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Old 26th Jun 2001, 06:05   #1 (permalink)
EmpireOne
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Unhappy Army Officer PVR Questions

Is there anyone out there who would like to give some friendly advise on PVR'ing from the army. Much as I love the AAC I have decided that spending the next 6 years sitting behind a desk as S03 Paperclips or similar is an unpalatable prospect. Of course, there are many other factors in the decision I have made to leave the army but probably donít need reeling off in this thread. One of the problems in leaving the army is that I am currently employed on an Intermediate Regular Commission (IRC) and nowhere near the end of it. (I have served out my time bar though). What I would like to know is what are the implications of PVR'ing from the army. How long after resigning will I have to wait to leave? Will I have to serve out the 12 months or is there anyway I can get this wavered. How will it effect pension, resettlement and leave? Will I lose the lot? I am currently loaded on to a JCSC course in the near future. Whilst I have no problem in doing this course, if I resign, will I be able to defer entry? Ultimately, I want to know that if one of my prospective employers offers me a job, am I going to be able to get out quickly?
I know that these questions could easily be answered by a CO or MCM Div (not that the answers would be impartial). However, I am trying to keep my cards close to my chest for the moment. I am also employed away from the AAC at this time and getting the answers without raising suspicions would be tricky. I am acutely aware of the fact that my resignation is really going to p*ss some people off, as the 'corps' has been very good to me. (I must be one of the undeserved few). Hence trendsetters, I am asking if there is any one out there who would being willing to offer some advise. I am finding the whole thing a bit daunting but am resolute that now is the time to leave before it's too late. I know I can expect, if nothing else, a bit of banter and hopefully some sound advice thrown in for good measure.

Cheers all.

EO
 
Old 26th Jun 2001, 12:31   #2 (permalink)
CaptainCrunch
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Well, you can't "go poofter" anymore - certainly not in the AAC. He he he

Try the following:

i. Get a private soldier pregnant
ii. Walk around with a copy of the Guardian and vaunt the virtues of "New" Labour in the OM.

You may well find that you are required to resign Brenda's Commission

iii. If i and ii fail, write execrable poetry a la Col. Pople and rave about Harriers buzzing your bedroom

OK. Trying to be more helpful, my only experience of this was indirectly from a chum who was OC of a training cadre when we were still using Catterick for basic training - lovely memories of podgy junior leaders arsing around in mid-February. He wanted out big time and the Colours that be were "less than helpful" to begin with but once he made it clear that he really wasn't going to be much use to the them he was free to go fairly shortly afterwards. This was in 1988 and he was on a standard SSC and had about two years in. I think the best way to describe this is to say that there are formal and informal ways of doing what you want here. The formal route is convoluted but will (eventually) get you into civvies with a decent reference. On the other hand, the informal route is more risky overall but may result in a quicker discharge all be it sans the (not necessarily) important "exemplary conduct" notice. Mind you, there was that OE at the Hill in '97 (son of the owner of Trailfinders, I believe) who dropped his strides before parade. He made it to the door after a quick chat with the resident trick-cyclist.

Sorry I couldn't be any more help and don't worry about my silly answer - I'm sure you'll find what you need to know on here in no time.

Cap'n Crunch (ex Scaleys)
 
Old 26th Jun 2001, 16:04   #3 (permalink)
EmpireOne
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Thanks CC,
If nothing else, I had a giggle.
Still considering trousers down on parade but the AAC doesn't do enough drill to present the opportunity.
 
Old 26th Jun 2001, 16:23   #4 (permalink)
ChristopherRobin
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Hello mate - good to see you on the forum again...

The best time to PVR (so I am told) is when you are in the last 6 months of a job - that way you don't give MCM too much hassle in finding a replacement for you as they would be about to do that anyway. The 12 months is not always rigorously enforced and sometimes they will let you go early particularly if you have a firm job offer and start date as they tend to view things pragmatically.

On the other hand remember that it is MCM's job to keep you in, so the manning situation could force their hand to do otherwise if you are unlucky.

Don't forget that if you wait until 9 years from your 21st birthday you can leave with £9000-ish and a pension at 60 yrs old, although if I remember rightly you would have a few years to push out yet.

Of course as you are only too well aware, this discussion would not even be required if there was a specialist-type aircrew career path for officers in the AAC. You, like many others I suspect would be only too happy to give up future promotion prospects if left to do the job you are trained to do, the job that needs to be done, and done by a professional - not some amateur flying-tour once-in-a-blue-moon-OC-carried-by-the-QHI-on-exercise-not-enough-hours-or-experience-thru-no-fault-of-his-own-blame-an-antiquated-and-inflexible-system-type of guy.

JCSC is crap, I was in your position a few years ago, but it is not as crap now as it was then. The joint services college in Shriv is v.comfortable and you can even drive your motorbike into the marble atrium whilst drunkenly spouting verbal abuse

- alledgedly.

It is a pain when you're there, but it does pass - people said it to me when I dreaded going but they were right.

Sadly a desk job does arrive afterwards, rather unnecessarily for a would-be professional aviator. Some are worse than others and I am pretty lucky with mine. My advice is to at least give it a go first unless it is adjutant or some clerk's job like that (sorry I meant to say "Valuable career enhancing senior captain future CO's post")

Here's what would help. Does anyone know if there is a change imminent for AAC officers that will allow them to become specialists?

It there is, I bet it would keep my old buddy Empire One, myself and a few others in a fine Corps in need of exactly this type of reform.

Does anyone know if changes are afoot?

Or shall we muddle on through and lose a lot of people as usual.

Good luck EO!!

------------------
Christopher Robin
 
Old 26th Jun 2001, 16:50   #5 (permalink)
EmpireOne
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CR,

I don't think I've ever read a poor post from you. You surely are the Dandy Cock 'o' PPRuNe Towers.
Actually, I've never really been away and have endeavoured to keep an eye on the forum as best I can.
I entirely agree with your remarks on the way the AAC manages it's officer aircrew (and indeed NCO aircrew) and ultimately this will be the reason I leave. Shame really.
Anyway, I'm a bit pre-occupied at the moment but I will reply in full later. You seem to know who I am and would therefore understand why my full reply will arrive in a few hours.

I would still be interested in hearing what anyone else has got to say in relation to my query. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? I know of at least one. In particular, to our 'friends' in the corridors of power. What are you prepared to do to retain my cohorts and I? Hereís a chance to explain yourselves.

EO
 
Old 26th Jun 2001, 18:37   #6 (permalink)
ChristopherRobin
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EO can you post an e-mail address? I have a few snippets you may be interested in.

Thanks

------------------
Christopher Robin
 
Old 27th Jun 2001, 01:14   #7 (permalink)
Poor Pongo
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E1 and CR,

Couple of things.

Firstly you may well get MCM down to 7 months but are unlikely to manage any less unless you are very lucky and extremely convincing. As soon as you 'jack your hand' then they will unload you from JCSC; however, I wouldn't rely on being allowed to go at a moments notice on the job front. There is no obligation on their part or right on yours to that and they might find that they have to find someone else to fill your post in the event that you go early.

As CR says if you do not serve 9 years then you will not recieve any cash or pension when you go. Similarly I am pretty sure that if you leave without completing your engagement (ie the full IRC) then you will not be eligible for any resettlement, leave, etc. This is different for those who are on SSC who are able to get all this beacuse they have completed the time they initially agreed to.

Hopefully you have a clear idea of what you want to do outside. I can't disagree that there are currently a lot of 'flying' jobs around in the airlines, but beware - the grass is not always greener! I have a number of direct colleagues who have left and are flying for Virgin/BA and believe me there are downsides. They may have the potential to earn more than me in 10 years or so, but it will take at least that long to do so. I am better off in the Army and am, arguably, having as good a time. There is at least one ex Army pilot who went out to 10 Regt AAC (Flying Colours/JMC) who has come back in (admittedly to the RN) because he hated the lifestyle so much. The charters may pay OK but the lifestyle is not necesarily so special, especially in the summer.

Without revealing my real id I can tell you that I have been through the exact same decision process and decided to stay. I am now consequently past SO3 paperclips and big school and the future prospects for fun and some (admittedly only some) flying are extremely good. I also got a lot of high value free education and a wad of licences (take your pick A and H) into the bargain.

Mate, I think my email is on my profile. If it is feel free to email me and I will get back (revealing my real id too, just so we're even!) and if there is any other stuff that we can discuss or info I can help with then feel free. You are correct to think that I may try and put some reasons to stay to you but if you are sure that you want to go I'm preety good on licensing, schools and also a few other departure odds and sods (legal, networking etc).

You're anonimity is guaranteed, BTW.

Final point is a broader one about Spec Aircrew. I think you'll find that it won't happen and there are some good reasons why. Firstly we already have NCOs to do it. Secondly it doesn't actually solve the exam question which is that commanders (at all levels but especially Sqn and Regt ) do not have enough experience. In fact Spec Aircrew would only exacerbate the problem by further taking flying away from the commanders and arguably maikng their job even more difficult by introducing yet another cohort of subordinate aviators who will be even better placed than our NCOs to make comand difficult for commanders by chaleenging their credibility and decisions.

The new career system and length of service based careers is likely to result in an average of flying training plus 8 years for the average grad and plus 11 years for a non-grad before having to do a JCSC euivalent and then a staff tour. This will probably be enough in the short to medium term to allow a minimum level of credibility and experience for commanders. As a matter of interest I actually think that the eventual solution - and one we may see one day - is to have AAC Sqns (albeit perhaps a slightly rerstructured version) commanded by Lt Cols in line with the other services and many other nations. Problem is it will take an amount of time during which we have to gather the evidence necessary to prove the value of AH and the improvement that this will cause.

Phew. Long post, or what. Anyway good luck with the decision or with organising the future etc in the event that you are sure. Offers always open for e'chat if there's anything that can be done.

PP

Use Email address poorpongo@yahoo.co.uk as the advertised prfile one is iffy.

PS CR, I am about to be sent to your neck of the woods. Drop me an email and I'll take you for a flight later in the year...

Edited (twice!)for email address addition.


[This message has been edited by Poor Pongo (edited 26 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Poor Pongo (edited 26 June 2001).]
 
Old 27th Jun 2001, 02:37   #8 (permalink)
Oggin Aviator
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EO,

Have you considered changing uniform ?
There are opportunities to transfer to one of the other services and letting them use your aviation skills. I know rotary guys from the RN who have recently (and are about to) moved to the RAF. If successful you should keep seniority and pension rights etc and remain flying for a long time. All the rules are in service regs. The new Navy career structure should keep you in the cockpit for a while, admittedly not getting as much dosh as a Spec Aircrew mate in the RAF, but you still get to fly in a challenging environment.

.... just a thought !!

Good Luck !

------------------

The OA
 
Old 27th Jun 2001, 10:08   #9 (permalink)
EmpireOne
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CR,

My e-mail address is empireone@hotmail.com
I would love to hear from you, particularly as you have 'snippets'. I do have a more personal e-mail address which I will give you, but can't on this forum for obvious reasons.

PP,

Many thanks for an informative and considered response. I am very grateful. Between yourself and ChristopherRobin, the info you chaps have given me is very useful. I realise and always knew to a certain extent that the consequences of an early PVR would adversely affect my pension, leave and resettlement rights. Hence, I am not rushing into making this decision and am in the fortuitous position of having a bit of time to investigate all courses of action.

I do have a clear idea of what I want to do in terms of a civilian job, (BA/Virgin do not figure in the equation)and I am acutely aware that the grass is not necessarily greener. I still very much enjoy being in the Army and I will be rather sad to leave should I decide to go. It would be hard to argue that I could have had a better lifestyle other than the one I've had so far in the arms of the AAC. On the other hand, there a lot of good jobs out there in the civilian aviation industry at the moment and my last job has given me some useful tools to qualify for those jobs.

Ultimately, I want remain in flying and abhor the fact I will spend the next five years behind a desk. I feel that everything I have achieved in the last five years will be lost in the next and make it even harder to qualify for those jobs available at the moment in civvy street. As I've said, I would be happy (not sure if that's the right word) to do JCSC. However I do view it as the beginning of the end of my flying career as this is a factor I find hard to remove from my mind. As you must know, it's hard to achieve good results from someone who is unhappy in his/her employment.

Anyway, whatever happens, the decision will not have come without a lot of consideration. I am a little concerned that in all the effort to come to that decision I will be burn a lot of bridges. Some would say that is inevitable but I am trying to avoid it if possible. Oggin Aviator has suggested a change of uniform and although I have considered it, at the moment I find the prospect of giving up the traditions of the army for the RAF somewhat unpalatable (if not, a little too treacherous). Call me a stick in the mud, but I think the army brethren understand where I'm coming from. BTW, that's not meant to be offensive to the other services. Try and imagine how you might feel about transferring to the AAC. (HaHa, perhaps not then!). The overiding reason for leaving the army is that my desire to be a proffessional aviator is greater than the desire to be in the forces; not that I want to leave the army on the basis that the grass is greener else where.

PP, I will get in touch about licensing and other stuff. I currently hold a CPL(H) but not an JAR one. I've got a couple of questions which might be easier discussed on the dog and bone, so I'll give you a ring if you send me your number.

EO
 
Old 27th Jun 2001, 23:03   #10 (permalink)
Baque Flip
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Empire One,

I know exactly how you feel.

I, like yourself, quite enjoy wearing a green uniform, am also on an IRC and due to do JCSC early next year.

Having examined my options, penalty claueses etc and what lyes ahead - I have decided to transfer to another service, therfore retaining all of my pension rights, flying pay etc. But most importantly, my new career allows ME to make the decision as to whether I continue to fly or choose a staff job.

No guesses about which service, but the aircraft has 4 engines, I get my full JAR ATPL(A)and at 38 I can either leave to work for the airlines with my full pension or stay as spec aircrew.

If you want any up to date gen, then I'm your man!
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 13:14   #11 (permalink)
gijoe
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CR,

All of the JCSC, verbally abusive, drunken, stunt motorcycle team have been let off of the hook with a slapping of the hand.

One of them is teetotal which i never really understood. What an amusing evening that was...
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 14:12   #12 (permalink)
ChristopherRobin
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Obviously another great SIB investigation then!

Although I bet the collective sigh of relief was pretty big.



------------------
Christopher Robin
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 17:02   #13 (permalink)
gijoe
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CR,

More a case of 'no case to answer in the first place'. It went something like this:

1. Bunch of post-dinner capts decide to have fun
2. Motorbikes came in.
3. Horses came in.
4. Lotus Elises tried to get in (but couldn't).
5. Bootnecks stripped off (no surprises).
6. Everyone went to bed !

Unfortunately along the way there was a fair amount of damage to the bar which wasn't cool but the whole business about the carpet in the rotunda was overinflated. Thanks to the benefits of the PFI scheme, the company tried to blame all of the buildings shortcomings on the nights events. Unfortunately they forgot to mention that the new building is in fact sinking very slowly so what the heck??!?? I was interviewed as to my part in the preceedings (as was everyone else on that particular course) during the DS phase at RMAS.



Many precious hours of monkey investigation time wasted...and no I didn't play a major part.



[This message has been edited by gijoe (edited 28 June 2001).]
 
Old 29th Jun 2001, 12:35   #14 (permalink)
ChristopherRobin
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Oh ok! The version we were told was that the serco security came along and things degenerated into racial and sexual abuse - allegedly! - and that's why the Gestapo were called in.

Good to know you've still got your fingernails old boy!



------------------
Christopher Robin
 
Old 29th Jun 2001, 12:50   #15 (permalink)
gijoe
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CR,

I think the 'sexual' bit was the booties getting naked in line of sight of the receptionists at the building and the 'racist' thing was an alleged remark made to one of the, as you say, serco-fun police that had come along to tidy things up. No one knew who made the remark and it all seemed to fade away. The security guard decided not to take things any further the day after.

His description of his abuser went something along the lines of 'young, short-hair, fit-looking wearing a red jacket and tight trousers'....ummmmmm...All of this was an aside to the horses,cars, bikes, etc

My fingernails are most definitely intact but my retina has been permanently scarred by the intensity of the spotlight ! The monkey-sergeant was very nice - long brown hair, polite, pretty etc far too nice to be a monkey or was it just part of the ploy to get everyone to own up ?

[This message has been edited by gijoe (edited 29 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by gijoe (edited 29 June 2001).]
 
Old 29th Jun 2001, 16:55   #16 (permalink)
kbf1
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EO, did we happen to meet last July on a day when you should have brought a Gazelle with you, but you couldn't coz the Wx was *****?

I can't add much to the discussion except to say that I was presented with a choice between getting married to someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and and a few more years of soldiering. I chose the former, which cost me a lot financially, but I haven't regretted it for a single moment. I appreciate that you can't live on thin air, but if you want out and can get out by whatever means and it makes you happy, do it. Best of British............

------------------
The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the Devil's own Satanic HERD!
 
Old 30th Jun 2001, 00:36   #17 (permalink)
The Bonk
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EO

1. I am sorry, but I do not think that the AAC realises exactly what talent it is losing at to the airlines and industry because it will not allow a genuine career in military flying.
So many bright young officers leaving that could be so easily retained.

Leaving due to family, Service pressures, seperation etc is natural wasted. But leaving still with a passion for military flying is just a disgrace.

These officers are the ones that provide the Corps with its flexibility, not the NCOs/LEs. These officers can be utilised by Glasgow in a number of ways. The training of RMAS, JCSC and other command and staff courses prepare them for the staff jobs that LEs get shunted into becuase of a shortage of SO3s. The odd staff job hurts no one, and none of us would complain, or PVR if that was the 'deal'.

Therefore not Spec Aircrew, but more like Career Aviators just like the RN (Currently holding 3 ex AAC officers, one about to start Sea Harrier training!) Poor Pongo, 'cohort of subordinate aviators' and 'reduce flying' for the commanders. Lets get this one straight, an OC should not be flying and should be able to rest on the experience he (soon to be she) has gained throughout their career. The OC is commanding, and the majority of that is with his brain and even when flying it is purely to obtain better situational awareness to make decisions and command. Not to physically stick and pole.

Those officers that have elected to sacrifice their careers and promotion for the sticks and poles bit should enable the OC to command by providing the knowledge, loyalty and officer corp ethos that is witnessed in the other Services. Can you imagine an AAC crew room with some 30 year old 3000 hour pilots, quite happy with their lot in life, but with the credability to stand up to the NCO mafia that manages to rough shod the current young officers into their mind set and modus operandi.

How many times have I heard during a set of ORDERS, (interrupting old and bold NCO)..."Sir...sir..your wrong, we won't be doing that, because its dangerous and a flight safety hazard, we'll do it like this lads." Flight Safety is my number one, and I have lost too many friends in my short career already to flying accidents, but this is purely born out of the perception (and in many cases wrong)that officers do not really know their core business of flying.

What is wrong with 'senior officer pilots' in an AAC Sqn? They can look after the younger pilots coming through, off load the QHI from some of his duties. Now if anyone is expected to know it all in a Sqn, it is the QHI....general flying, instrument flying, EW, tactics.....he is the one with the brain the size of a planet. Or is he?

Poor Pongo, the Career/Spec Aviator (and what is in a name?)will do the exact opposite to your "cohort of subordinate" aviators. It will strengthen the Sqn and improve not only morale, but also operational capability/efficiency and increase flight safety as there is more experience for authorisation, supervision and guidance of new aviators.

Back to the first point, the OC can then concentrate on the long term strategy of fighting and running the Sqn, in the knowledge that the professional core business and flying skills is in safe hands.

There are those in the AAC that do not want to stay flying and love the thrill and excitement of command and challenging staff jobs. The AAC needs these people to look after the high level interests of the Corps in JHC and Main Building, otherwise the other 2 Services will soon monopolise. There are some extremely capable and proffessional staff officers in the AAC, that will never sit in a cockpit again, but work their guts out for the interests of the Corps. Their brains are the sharp ones that will provide that decisive moment on the battlefield that will ultimately win a war and save lives. They need to be looked after aswell.

To hit the higher echelons of command they have got so many hoops to get through, that flying can only be 'quick look see'(The RAF do the same with their career flyers, as do the RN with their career men that are destined to command Aircraft Carriers etc). Yet again, another requirement for officers that want to stay flying in the Field Army,is to help the thrusting youngster who obtains command early keep his/her head above water in an area that has many potential poo traps! Not in a subversive, underhand insubordinate manner as Poor Pong insinuates, but in a supportive and loyal manner that allows fellow officers to discuss matters without ever forgetting who is boss, and ultimately who carries the can if it all goes wrong.

I am sorry if I have gone on for too long, but I am tired and saddened by seeing so many young officers unwillingly pushed into civvie street because they were forced behind a desk. These guys would be the ones that the country would be crying out for on operations. Why can't we admit that the other 2 Services have actually got it right. It would also solve the current problem of a shortage of staff officers at the lower levels as these officers could easily fulfill these jobs for a couple of years if required.

I purposefully haven't mentioned Apache, and the skills required and corporate knowledge base, but I will finish on a final point, life is very short, and if your passion is flying then to only do 4 or five years of it out of a 30 year career is sad.

Sirs, I do not want to go, I love the Corps, love military flying, except the separation from my girlfriend etc, love digging in and wearing green. You have spent millions on training me and I know that I can repay that with a career predominantly in the cockpit. If you send me to staff, then you have just trained a pilot for another Service, another country or another vocation. There are 3 types of Army Officer in the Corps:

1. The thruster who will actively pursue his career aspirations and ambitions.
2. Those that are easy come, easy go just happy with life, flying is fun, but the staff jobs are good too.
3. The passionate and aviation mad officer that just loves military flying.

The AAC has a complete mix, actively encourage that mix, the Corps will benefit from it I am sure.
 
Old 1st Jul 2001, 21:56   #18 (permalink)
ChristopherRobin
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....and put it better myself, I couldn't possibly.

News on the street from the Daily Radar:

1. Policy or even a decision may be made towards the end of August.

2. RAF have a transfer ban on at the mo and FJ training system is full (even if the frontline ain't)

Sooo...

Might as well sit this one out for a little bit eh EO?
Without being my normal cynical self, I get the impression that the hierarchy realise there is an officer problem and have appointed a fine chap to look into it.

Things might go our way yet, although that doesn't mean it will happen fast enough to be of any use to us gentlemen of a certain age.

Still with nothing better to do for the rest of the summer, cool your heels and wait out.

------------------
Christopher Robin
 
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