MOS 15S,T&U Questions.

I am 23 and I just got out of A&P school with my licenses. I never considered joining the Army but I must say, it’s started looking good when I looked into it. I MAY look at the Army as a place to start my career. Smiler

My question is, will me having an A&P help or hurt me in getting this MOS? Confused If I sign up for it tomorrow, is this something that gets locked in for me, or can they push me out for someone else like infantry? I don't want to get stuck with something I don't like.

Aviation is my passion, I want to fix helicopters. I was looking at doing OH-58, UH-60 or CH-47 as a job if I joined. Does anyone here have any info about each of these and the pro’s and con’s of them.

I’ve done my research, but seem to be lost when it comes to finding out if my training in the civilian world will help me in the military world.

Thanks for helping a newbie, hopefully the info I get will help me pick.
Original Post
I am no longer in the Aviation field, but up until about a year ago I was a 15R for the previous 10 years. I decided at year 10 it was time for a career change, so I reclassed to Intel. Usually I would say that having your A&P wouldn't help you, however there is the program in the Army called ACASP. I'm not sure of the specifics for it so my recommendation to you is to google it. I think Aviation was/is a awesome field to get into with the Army. God knows people there seem to be much more normal than the people I surround myself with every day now. If your looking for real crew cheif/flight time then I would suggest either 15T or 15U. 15T's have a few more duty locations open to them, but in my personal opinion any of the jobs you listed are limited in duty locations. For my first 6 years in the Army I was stuck in the Savannah, Ga, Korea, Iraq rotation. Now I have quite a few duty locations open to me in my new MOS. If you sign for the job you are locked in for that job. If for some reason you got to AIT and failed out then it is possible you could be reclassed to needs of the Army. Sorry I don't have more indepth info for you, but typing on this little keyboard is getting old.
I'm a 15W but I know a lot of mechs and they seem to enjoy their MOS for the most part, long hours can be regular business especially when deploying so be ready for that. Can't tell you a whole lot other than it's like anything else in the army and you can be tasked out to do things outside your MOS.
I am a 15U Flight Engineer. The previous poster was correct in that Blackhawks have more duty stations. If station of choice is the main factor in your choice, then they are your best bet.
It's easier to get into flight on the blackhawks, but you can make an enlisted carreer out of it in the chinook community. The 15Ts tend to get pushed out when they make E6. There is no guarantee that you will go to flight, though. You have to be able to pass the physical for Non Rated Crewmembers (I think Class IV, but I'm not sure) and put in quite a bit of extra time. It can be a rewarding job though especially when deployed.
The maintenance side of the house isn't bad as they usually end up with a lot of free time and generally get promoted faster. You would have more time to take college courses and things like that.
The A&P would help you gain promotion to the more senior grades faster and you'd be more of an asset to a unit. If you have any specific questions you can PM me.
Thanks to the posters who have commented thus far. I'm not looking to fly in the bird, just fix it. Should they pick me to fly, that's just a bonus for me, but I'd be just as happy turning wretches all day and doing run-up and never leave the ground. I just want to use the Army as a springboard to a better lot in life, and to use it to better my own life as well.
quote:
Originally posted by ThatIs1BigZ:
If you don't really have a desire to fly in the bird then I would say 15R and 15S would be a better deal for you.


I was looking at MOS 15S, the Kiowa Warrior. It's very similar to a civilian Bell 407 helicopter, and that kind of training could really help me in the future. I read blackhawk and chinooks are hard MOS to get because most want to do them, what is the demand of the Warrior? Is it low to fair, or the same as the 'hawk?
I can't speculate on the how hard one is to get compared to the other. All I can say is speak to your recruiter and check on the availability that way. When I was an instructor at the 15R AIT we had no shortage of students coming through, that's for sure. I wouldn't rule out any specific airframe if I were you. You have never mentioned even considering 15R.I have plenty of friends who got out after their term and are making plenty of money as DoD contractors. Most of the guys I know were obviously 15R's. Point is because they were 15R's certainly didn't keep them from making very good money on the outside. You may disagree, but in the eye's of many civilian companies a rotary wing mechanic is just that. Doesn't matter the background you came from. Plus, let's be realistic here. Being a Apache mechanic is pretty dang sexy.
True. Apaches are very sexy, the mechanics who work on them, well....LOL

But honestly, I not ruling it out, I just prefer the Warrior, Hawk and Chinook. At the end of the day, you are right, a helio mechanic is a helio mechanic. I just want to have the opportunity to maybe fly, but like I said it's not a "must have" I know AH-64 is a two pilot bird, and I've read on other forums you don't get to run the bird or test fly it with the pilot. Is this true? I know the other airframes you get to at least do run up with the pilot, which is something I want to do, did you do it with the sexy Apache? LOL
No, unless you are part of a very few and select individuals you will not do any test flights. Run-ups just kinda depend. I never did them in the states, but while deployed I did run-ups with a MTP for max power check and engine flushes. You will get alot more of that stuff with either the UH-60 or the CH/MH-47. If you can be trusted and pass the test you will do frequent APU run's on the Apache, but you will never turn blades(or should never anyways)
Even for the 47s we don't turn blades. We (flight company) motor the engines for the engine washes where they do turn a little (or a lot of your ECLs are in ground, backup power is on and fire pull handles are not pulled prior to starting the wash). I have a little stick time, but I won't say when or with which pilot and there are certainly no pictures.
Honestly I'd recommend 15T for you. It gives you an opporttunity to fly if you want and has more room for advancement than my MOS. The 47 is the fastest and most versatile rotary wing in the military's inventory, but you have crap for duty stations.
I think the UH-60 is going to be the main one I try to get put into, the problem comes when there aren't any slots left. I guess I'll need to wait it out, or pick another bird.

What do you mean by undesirable duty stations for the 47 compared to the 60? Aren't you all in the middle east now? Isn't it all crappy?

You guys are awesome when it comes to helping me out, I've been on other forums, not so much. Thanks again, and sorry if I seem to be asking the same questions over and over. This is a big step for anyone, and I want to make sure it's for me before I sign 6 years away to the Army.
Honestly man, I almost had a freak out when the guy told me I was going to take a 6 year hit for 15R. I told him I was gonna have to come back because i had no intention of commiting 6 years to the Army at the age of 18. Looking back that was 12 years ago and the time has went by fast and I've had a good time. Almost all your major divisions are going to have a CAB(combat aviation brigade). Some locations would be Savannah GA., Ft.Bragg N.C., Ft. Drum N.Y., Ft. Lewis has some avaition assetts(no 64's) Ft. Hood TX., Ft. Carson, CO., Ft. Campbell, KY., Germany, Korea. I'm sure there may be a couple more. 60's have more options because they're used for MEDEVAC and VIP missions. Some have a mission down in Honduras. For the most part though, you are gonna suck up some middle east deployments because aviation soldier's are some of the most heavily and frequently deployed soldier's in the Army. There is just too great a need for helo assets in combat that can't be manned at this point.
I could imagine being told you got to comment to 6 years. I just found out a few days ago, it's not a big deal cause I'm young and when I get out I'll still be fairly young. I need to think about this whole thing, and maybe take a trip to my nearest recruiter.

One more question to ask, what is it like? To be in Army aviation as a mechanic of ANY of the helios, what is a normal day for you guys?
Two things....feast or famine. With a "line" or "flight" unit you work less hours (sometimes weirder) for more pay because you are drawing flight pay.

Besides experimental/research craft (which are not entry level) the only REAL options at enlisted flight will be 15U and 15T. You can be in a flight slot (actually FLYING and drawing flight pay) with many other MOSes but chances drop to super small percentages.

With what is called a maintenance unit you work SLAVISH hours and often wonder why you joined the Military.



Coming in the Army there really won't be any ways to ensure you end up in a flight unit(unless from what I can gather you have some magic way to get Ft. Belvoir)...just luck of the draw.

If I were to do it over, I would choose 15T, because they are easier crafts to work on. Chinooks are a bitch even though they are more spread out. Blackhawks can go to more duty stations as well.
Typical deployed day:

0430 wake up
0530 at aircraft to do final mission prep/configuration
0630 load cargo
0700 take off
1600 return
1730 with luck the postflight and daily are complete with no issues

If it's broke then you pretty much need to stay however long it takes to fix it. Someone might need it the next day. Our schedules are pretty hard to predict because it depends on the mission requirement, but that's a good picture of a normal cargo type run.

Maintenance guys usually work 10-12 hour shifts. When we're deployed they generally have a night shift just like we have night missions. They do the larger jobs that take a couple days. You don't want to give that to flight company because we can't keep the same personnel on the same job for consecutive days due to the mission. If we're lucky we have contractors and the maintenance company is given the less critical jobs.
I was a Recruiter for a bit over 3 years as well as a 15U.

I hope you adhere to some gems I'm dropping on ya here.

ASK TO SPEAK TO YOUR RECRUITERS STATION COMMANDER. EXPLAIN YOU HAVE A STRONG CHANCE OF BEING QUALIFIED FOR ACASP IF HE COULD CALL HIS OPERATIONS TO GIVE YOU SPECIFICS.

Have him give you specifics on what he needs so this way he can't blow ya off and just say you aren't qualified. Even though an ACASP enlistment is easy to do, MOST Recruiters don't know a lot about the program to provide info off the top of their head with out their current operations support.
Good advice, I will keep that in mind. You guys have been such a wonderful help. It's great to get the real story from guys who have been there.

I have no problem working long hours, as long as I'm doing something I enjoy. To corvette1140, what do you mean speak to the recruiter's station commander? Will that help me get the MOS I want?

What is the difference between flight pay and regular pay, is it like a extra bonus pay for just being in the helio?
The Recruiters Station Commander is the station boss without going to a pain in the a$$ level. Its like going to the manager.

It could....if you meet the initial requirements.

Bout 150 bucks for half the hours of work.

I seriously felt the same way you did, but work will always be WORK. If you are stuck there 14 hours a day, it gets old lightning fast.

In the civilian world, if you are working on an aircraft you can call it a wrap at a certain hour. In the Army you may need to get the aircraft mission capable that day, which could even mean all the way up to a 18 or 24 hour shift. These scenarios tend to happen in maintenance waaaay more than flight.

If you do pick 15U or 15T, flight is what you need in your life.
Oh, ok then. I will ask for the station commander when I talk to them. Thanks for the advice.

Everyone always says they love there job for the first few months, then they start to dislike it. I've felt the same way in the civilian world, but just being around the helicopters I work on.

You do bring up a very good point, you can't stop whenever you feel like it, because you need to have this bird in top condition to fly the next day, we have the same thing in the civilian world, but I think it would be more important in the Army.

Oh, by the way 150 bones is awesome, but what is regular pay for this job?
Flight pay is based on rank and what slot you hold. I'm guessing corvette was a SPC in an OR slot by the amount he listed. I was getting 190 at my last unit as an e5 in a flight slot. I understand the tangos do less of their own maintenance and flight is the place to be. There was not a day during the deployment where we worked less than the maintenance kids.

The normal pay is just your base pay as whatever grade you are. There are job sites online where you can post your resume. You should be fairly employable with the A&P. You should look into it before you join up.
quote:
Originally posted by Triwall:
There are job sites online where you can post your resume. You should be fairly employable with the A&P. You should look into it before you join up.


I know, I'm looking for work in the civilian market, the reason the Army is a choice is I can go in as a reserve or even in some cases civilian and fix the 60. Also, heli mechanic jobs are hard to get fresh out of school, they want guys who have been trained already, and most of them are former military, so I figured I could get great training and become more disciplined and refined at the same time, cause I could sure use it sometimes.

I'm still thinking about it, as it stands I'm 40% Army and 60% civilian. I need more time to think, reading about everything the Army can offer me is very exciting, but I don't know. If you could do it again, would you guys still join? Is this a bad time to think about join given the issues in the middle east?
Yes, I would do it again. You hear a lot of complaining about the army, but I have a very good standard of living and a lot more job security than what's out there right now. They will pay me to obtain a degree while I'm in and then I can use that degree at the ripe old age of 38 to start a second career. That, of course, is with half my base pay eacch month as a retirement.
I've been to seven countries on the job. Some were more fun than others. You make quite a bit more when you're deployed so I don't really see those Middle East issues as a negative.
All valid points. I do like the idea of job security, both in and out of the military. Civilian employers love to hire military types do to there discipline, hard work and expert training, and like a poster say earlier, I could still do DOD or other military jobs and get a good pay. I like the the help with college, cause I could use more training to help myself in the long run. Like I said, I'm going to talk to my reciter Monday and see what is going on. My only roadblock is I'm a bit overweight, so I want to work on that before I try to join.

You guys been very helpful. More help then I've found so far, and it's really making me think about joining. I'm nervous and a bit scared to join now, but once I talk to them and get the straight story on what I can and can't do with my A&P and what is going to happen if and when I join as a Hawk mechanic, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.
I rarely will ever mention the National Guard aka Nasty Girls, but they have some sweet gigs for 15T and 15U, where many do the weekend a month and, civilian through the week. They are probably 2 of the best kept secrets in the Guard/Reserves. If you are near some of their Aviation units, it could be worth a shot, but if no Aviation units are near you, then you can rule this option out quickly, after all you don't want a 150 mile commute to work.

When I was in flight things were good, in Afghanistan and stateside. When I was in maintenance in Iraq, my experience of slavish hours changed my view. I was then voluntold for Recruiting, and the 3 years out of my MOS (Recruiting is 3 years long) had me questioning my further competence in the field. So I re-classed into Respiratory Therapy, and as of now I am happy I did.

I would do it all over again, but I would choose 15T if at all possible, if no seats are open I would take 15U all over again.
There are a lot that use their guard jobs to network into a Technical Inspector position for their actual full time job, choose carefully though for part or full time since very RECENTLY the Army is extremely limited on letting you go full time if you started out part-time. Many are not aware of this, any Recruiter that is worth a damn will be aware of this.
Hey guys, just to give you an update.

I am going to join after all.

It's been thinking about it, and at one point I didn't even want to do it thinking I could just work in the private sector.

But it's a year later, and I'm still in the same place. I think this is the best for me to start to improve myself and my life.

I done the pro/con list and I can't come up with many cons, but alot of pros the Army can help me with, including a job working with helicopters which is what I want.

Do any of you Army Aviation guys have any other tips of advice for me?
quote:
Originally posted by tr00th:
Hey guys, just to give you an update.

I am going to join after all.

It's been thinking about it, and at one point I didn't even want to do it thinking I could just work in the private sector.

But it's a year later, and I'm still in the same place. I think this is the best for me to start to improve myself and my life.

I done the pro/con list and I can't come up with many cons, but alot of pros the Army can help me with, including a job working with helicopters which is what I want.

Do any of you Army Aviation guys have any other tips of advice for me?


I am a 15U, just returned from my second 12 month tour (first one in Iraq) in Afghanistan. I've been turning wrenches on CH-47D/F models for 5 years now.

To work in the private sector, you either need Military Aviation experience or have your A&P License. No Aviation company is going to hire you off the street with no experience.

If you go in as a 15T, there are plenty of state and federal agencies that use the S-70 (Civilian variant of the UH-60) both here in the US and abroad.

If you go in as a 15U, you can pretty much work on almost any helicopter, as you will know all the systems (except for Avionics) in the helicopter in great depth and detail. However, there are not as many companies out there that use the civilian variant of the CH-47 (Boeing-Vertol 107). Columbia Helicopters uses them extensively (they have a small fleet of 46s and 47s out in A'Stan). I think Evergreen might use them as well. Other than those, I'm not sure.

Keep in mind though, that Army Aviation will still do the 12 month deployments every other year, as Aviation is the heavy-hauler over in Afghanistan. So if you have a family you might want to think on that one.

Other than those things, working with helicopters is very rewarding if you are into helicopter aviation. The only downside is working in the extremes of every type of weather; heat, cold, rain, snow, etc.

If you want/need any other info, just let me know.

Matt
Thanks Matt for your reply.

I have my A&P, and will be joining with it already so that's one hurdle I don't need to jump. I do have a question for you, since your active duty and overseas now.

What is like right now over there? How do you guys do your maintenance? In a hanger, tents, out in the desert? How much work do you guy do, is it like 24 hours of work, days off?

Tell me what you do in 24hours working on -47 so I can have a idea of what I'm getting into.
...And yet you are not that rank. It doesn't really bother me personally, but you can see where I'm going with this right?

As to your A&P...It won't really be of too much benefit when you first join. You and I (I also have the license) both know that ultimately anyone can pass the knowledge test and oral/practical. However, like your college degree, the A&P license will help you downt he road when you are working to become an E5.

Pay attention to what your squad leader does and become intimately familiar with tasks like rigging and phase. If you have a reputation as a smart guy who knows what he's doing, I'd imagine you can advance quickly.

Maintenance operations in garrison are usually 9-5. Flight generally works a bit longer depending on the mission set. It'll be 12-13 hours daily deployed...Sometimes longer mission depending. Have you any experience at a FAA repair station?
quote:
Originally posted by tr00th:
Thanks Matt for your reply.

I have my A&P, and will be joining with it already so that's one hurdle I don't need to jump. I do have a question for you, since your active duty and overseas now.

What is like right now over there? How do you guys do your maintenance? In a hanger, tents, out in the desert? How much work do you guy do, is it like 24 hours of work, days off?

Tell me what you do in 24hours working on -47 so I can have a idea of what I'm getting into.


I got back from Kandahar Airfield (KAF) about a month ago. However, as to your questions:

How is it? KAF is relatively secure. Yes, it gets rocketed at least once or twice a week, but nothing important of ours ever got hit.

Maintenance: We had a clamshell type tent hangar that could fit 2 Chinooks in it with blades on. However, half of it was owned by the Aussies. So the only time our birds were in it were for phase maintenance. 90% of maintenance was done out on the parking ramp in the heat, cold, rain, etc. At night we used portable light sets.

Hours: We had two shifts, day and night. Our hours were 7am-7pm (or the opposite), then changed to noon to midnight (or the opposite). We worked 6 days per week, with one day off per week. Even though the shifts were 12 hours, you will actually be "on the clock" more like 13-14 hours per day. It also took 15-20 minutes each way to get to/from work, or if you took the bus, 45 minutes each way. I averaged 5-6 hours of sleep per 24 hour period.

As for a "regular" day... Well there really wasn't any such animal. If you were on a phase team, you worked the phase from teardown until the MTF was complete and signed off by the MTPs. If you were not on phase, you did unscheduled work as it came up. There was almost always something to fix or work on, as flight ops were always ongoing, and birds did come back damaged or shot-up. You could do virtually nothing for days or even weeks on end, and then have 3 aircraft that need to be fixed and flight-ready in a ridiculously short amount of time.

In garrison, phases are very infrequent, as the birds are flown less than during deployment. So a phase only comes down once a month or longer. There might be one or two minor fixes to do here and there, so lots of hangar sweeping/mopping happens too.

If you have any other questions, just sing out.

Matt
quote:


Keep in mind though, that Army Aviation will still do the 12 month deployments every other year, as Aviation is the heavy-hauler over in Afghanistan. So if you have a family you might want to think on that one.



Matt


I'm in an aviation unit doing a 9 month rotation. Just saying.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×