By lex, on May 27th, 2010
So, Son Number One, whose travails many of your are familiar with, has finally received an up-chit for to learn how to fly on the Navy’s dime. The last of several probably unnecessary tests having confirmed that his heart was in great shape. He’s very happy to have this set of hurdles behind him, and I of course am happy for him.
In one of those curious synchronicities, it turned out that an occasional reader – an absent friend I’ve never met – learned of his travails in these pages. A medical professional as it turns out, as was his bride. They opened their hearts and home to the young man, and helped him navigate the shoal waters of the system. Not by doing anything inappropriate from a standards of care perspective. But by just being there for a very young officer in a confusing situation at the very beginning of his career. Facing up against NAMI can be a daunting prospect for an ensign, who doesn’t really know yet that all of the professionals he passes by have the best interests of the service at heart. And that he, being one of those servicemen, is their reason for existence rather than a number to be cut. It was exceptionally kind, and I’m indebted.
He starts training right away. That’s the good news.
The “meh” news?
In an effort to reduce and stabilize the current wait time for training, the Navy is seeking to decrease the number of officers in the Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API) student pilot pre-load. Reductions to aviation fleet requirements and recent material challenges with training aircraft have caused the student pilot population to exceed the optimal preload by approximately 200 personnel.
We never seem to get the whole “accessions/requirements” things quite right. We have a long history of offering too many billets and then radically cutting them, only to realize later * the magnitude of our mistake.
Some will get attrited. Most will be successful. Someone has to finish first.
The difference between the three categories will come down to native adaptability – about which one can do nothing – and heart.
I’m not overly concerned. Your man has heart.
* 10-03-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.