Author Topic: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program  (Read 19364 times)

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Offline Joely.Ho

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Thank you to all those who took their time to read this post. I am 16 years old and want to enroll through the free university education program. However, to be honest, I am not what people will normally consider as fit, although I am of a healthy weight. I wanted to ask all those experienced with the paid university program to answer the following questions and if it's convenient, to leave behind an email which I can send future questions to.

1. What are the fitness requirements one must have to join this program?
I want to ask this question as I noticed that an aptitude test will be taken on fitness.

2. Is life "strict" in the army?
I asked this question because I was once in a cadet program and was told off for smiling-- my default expression.

3. Is it competitive to enroll into the paid education program?
Any statistics like 100 out of 5000 will be perfect if possible. I am also confused with how on the Canadian forces site it mentioned only 15 people will be accepted into the ROTP program, or maybe I misunderstood the statement.

4. Please provide me an example of what the entire paid university program is like from start to joining the forces.
For example, from the application process to serving in the air force. Or until whichever stage you are most familiar with.

5. Am I confusing the ROTP with the paid education program?

6. What are other ways to become a pilot in the Air Force if in the case I am not accepted into the paid education program?

7. Are the courses in the program for really smart people?
This question may sound really juvenile but, truth is, I have an average of high eighties in my school's academic courses. I worry about my grades if the courses at the paid university exceed the level of academics I am used to.

Thanks for reading this message. All answers are appreciated.

Sincerely,
Joely Ho

Offline PrairieThunder

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Sincerely,
Joely Ho

I'm not a pilot, nor am I a Reg Force member of the Air Force but I'll point you in the right direction and an SME can fill in where I am lacking.

1.
http://www.cflrs.forces.gc.ca/menu/ps/rec/ec-pf/index-eng.asp

Yes. You will need to be physically fit and maintain an acceptable (read: approved) level of fitness at all times.

2.
Yes. Order and Discipline must be maintained to high standards at all times to ensure a skilled, swift, and effective fighting force.

3.
Yes. There is only enough room for 15 applicants to be selected for the program. Your grades and extra curricular participation need to the best you can get them to be as you will potentially be fighting for a spot against hundreds or even thousands of other applications from across the country. Only the best suited candidate(s) will be selected.

4.
a. Application
b. Canadian Forces Aptitude Test
c. (Air Crew) Medical
d. Interview
e. Air Crew Selection Course
f. Merit Listing
g. Selection
h. Enrolment Ceremony
i. Begin Regular Officer Training Plan - Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, RMC Saint-Jean, or at an approved civilian university if permitted.

Between Academic semesters, you will undergo your military training. BMOQ (15 weeks), BMOQ-L (10 weeks), DP1.1, DP1.2 etc. etc.

5.
ROTP is paid education. The degree program is paid for by the Canadian Forces and you are paid an Officer Cadet salary while attending classes and military training courses. Reserve Entry Officer Training Plan and University Training Plan-Non-Commissioned Member require the student/candidate to pay for the classes (reimbursement may be available). As a Pilot, you will be required to served 4 years (duration of your Degree program) + 5-7 years depending on trade in order to pay back the cost of your education.

6.
Direct Entry Officer - Obtain a degree,  re-apply and see what the CFRC has to say.

7.
You have a long way to go. University is nothing like High School, it is more difficult, nobody is there to hold your hand through it. University classes are only as hard as you make them to be. Once you've completed your degree program and you begin Pilot Training, I imagine it will be very difficult and very few people make the cut. Apply yourself. Stay dedicated and focussed. If you want it, you can achieve it.

You're only 16, by the the time you have even graduated High School and eligible to apply to the Canadian Forces, these positions will be filled by suitable candidates.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 02:44:53 by JorgSlice »

Offline Melbatoast

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Thank you to all those who took their time to read this post. I am 16 years old and want to enroll through the free university education program. However, to be honest, I am not what people will normally consider as fit, although I am of a healthy weight. I wanted to ask all those experienced with the paid university program to answer the following questions and if it's convenient, to leave behind an email which I can send future questions to.

Why not, I have not personally done one of these posts yet...

It's not "free," because while you don't pay tuition and receive a (very small) salary, in the end you owe a certain number of years of service (typically 5) in return.  And as a pilot you owe a further seven years after achieving wings, although the terms are concurrent not consecutive.  If you break those terms you can end up owing a great deal of money.  Considering the time it takes to train as a pilot, you're probably looking at about 9 years of service owed.

Quote
1. What are the fitness requirements one must have to join this program?
I want to ask this question as I noticed that an aptitude test will be taken on fitness.

There is no "fitness aptitude test."  In fact there is no fitness screening during recruiting at all anymore.  You still have to meet the CF fitness standard and you can very easily be removed from the CF if you can't achieve it.  Two people at my university are on the way out because they can't pass the fitness test after being given literally years and multiple opportunities.  The standard is very easy to obtain.  If you go to RMC there is another, more difficult standard expected but I don't know a great deal about it.

Quote
2. Is life "strict" in the army?
I asked this question because I was once in a cadet program and was told off for smiling-- my default expression.

Well, you would be in the air force as a pilot, but anyhow..."strictness" is typically more noticeable in the early training phases.  Basically it's to reboot your brain into accepting that your job could eventually involve killing or being killed.  It becomes automatic later on so you are much less aware of it.  I imagine RMC life is full of it but I'm not there so can't speak to it.

Quote
3. Is it competitive to enroll into the paid education program?
Any statistics like 100 out of 5000 will be perfect if possible. I am also confused with how on the Canadian forces site it mentioned only 15 people will be accepted into the ROTP program, or maybe I misunderstood the statement.

Pilot is the most competitive direct-entry occupation in the Forces.  The numbers would be more like 25 of 5000 recruiting centre walk-ins eventually getting wings, but I don't know if 5000 people attempt to apply for it per year (pretty unlikely).

Quote
4. Please provide me an example of what the entire paid university program is like from start to joining the forces.
For example, from the application process to serving in the air force. Or until whichever stage you are most familiar with.

The other guy had it mostly correct except aircrew don't do DP-whatever and other land courses.  After 1st year at school you typically do BMOQ (basic training), after second is French language training, and after third it's Primary Flight Training.  So long as you pass PFT, after 4th year you are posted to a squadron and do on-the-job-training while you wait for a spot in Moose Jaw for Basic Flight Training, currently about 6-10 months.

Quote
5. Am I confusing the ROTP with the paid education program?

No, that is the most common paid education program.

Quote
6. What are other ways to become a pilot in the Air Force if in the case I am not accepted into the paid education program?

Pay for university yourself and apply again.

Quote
7. Are the courses in the program for really smart people?
This question may sound really juvenile but, truth is, I have an average of high eighties in my school's academic courses. I worry about my grades if the courses at the paid university exceed the level of academics I am used to.

No.  In fact you might be more academically challenged at at name-brand school, but RMC can be as-or-more challenging for other reasons.

Quote
Thanks for reading this message. All answers are appreciated.

Sincerely,
Joely Ho

Sure.  Feel free to search the forums to find other answers to your questions.

Offline SF2

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To put it bluntly, the following milestones must be met

1)  You must pass initial aptitude tests.
2)  You must pass the initial interview.
3)  You must make it onto the merit list.
4)  You must pass Aircrew Selection aptitude tests.
5)  You must pass Aircrew Selection medical screening.
6)  You must pass Security Clearance screening.
7)  You must be accepted to the entry program.
8 )  You must pass Basic Training.
9)  You must pass all 4 pillars at RMC - Academic, Bilingualism, Physical Fitness, and Military Professionalism
10)  You must pass Primary Flight Training
11)  You must pass Basic Flight Training
12)  You must pass Advance Flight Training (Rotary, Mutli, Fighter)
13)  You must pass platform specific OTU
14)  You must maintain proficiency and currencies, along with passing all of your annual check rides and exams
15)  You must complete Officer Development courses.
16)  Don't get arrested :)

Then, and only then, will you be a successful winged pilot in the RCAF.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 08:52:58 by milnews.ca »

Offline Loachman

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Welcome to Army.ca

Please spend some time researching older posts on the site and using the Search Function. You will find a wealth of information here, including answers to questions you haven't even formed yet.

Offline Joely.Ho

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Thanks to everyone who answered my questions. All answers and/or criticism are appreciated.   [mountie]

Offline Habs

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You could always join the Reserves right now while you're still in school, and see if you like the military lifestyle.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Just a small point WRT to your post, in line with the 'how hard are the academics' line of questions, it made me think of this post in another thread that I thought you might find interesting.  If you really want to be a CF pilot, there is more to think of than life at RMC.

Cheers
"What a f$$kin' week!" - me, every Monday at about 1130hrs.

Offline Loachman

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I shall add, here, a little to my comments in the post linked above.

I coasted through high school. I could snooze at the back of the classroom and pull off high-eighties to low-nineties in most subjects. Consequently, I hardly did any homework and developed no study habits whatsoever. Grade 13 was a completely different story.

Moose Jaw cured my inability to study, most quickly and most thoroughly.

Yes, it was a lot of work as I explained in my other post.

On the other hand, everything was relevant, logical, and essential and I did not mind doing it at all.

Ground School was a little overwhelming, and much of what was forced into our skulls under high pressure did not apply until later in the course, but eventually, piece-by-piece, everything came together.

A clear goal - Wings - helps. High school tends to lack such clear goals.

Seeing coursemates drop out for various reasons along the way is also a motivator. Nobody wanted to be the next guy.

The reward far outstripped the effort required to attain it.

Offline Messerschmitt

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 18:01:52 »
5.
ROTP is paid education. The degree program is paid for by the Canadian Forces and you are paid an Officer Cadet salary while attending classes and military training courses. Reserve Entry Officer Training Plan and University Training Plan-Non-Commissioned Member require the student/candidate to pay for the classes (reimbursement may be available). As a Pilot, you will be required to served 4 years (duration of your Degree program) + 5-7 years depending on trade in order to pay back the cost of your education.


Mandatory service is actually 2 months per 1 month of schooling, to a maximum of 5 years (so for 4 years of schooling that's 64 months, but only 60 since you reached the maximum) or a minimum of 3 years (you do only 6 months of schooling, you still have 3 years).

Aircrew has different mandatory service, pilot being 7 years, navigators 4 years. The years are not cumulative. Only the highest is taken. Meaning as a pilot, the mandatory service is 7 years (7 years for pilot trade > 5 years service for school).
That is if you make pilot. If you don't, then you will have to pick something else that is available, and you will have the 5 years mandatory service for your school (if you took 4 years of schooling).

I am still uncertain what exactly the VIE represents (Variable Initial Engagement), and what happens if you release before your VIE is up, but after the mandatory service. For now, all I know is that if you release before VIE, you will not receive any benefits (ie. pension), but it will not be frowned upon, or any other negative aspects (provided you are not in-service/deployed/used in critical situation at the time you apply for release)

2. Is life "strict" in the army?
I asked this question because I was once in a cadet program and was told off for smiling-- my default expression.

It's very strict during training, and especially during BMOQ. After BMOQ AFAIK, is very tolerable, and unless you do something stupid (respond with a "yea" to your instructor), it's pretty nice. During actual service, I have seen a lot of personnel having very relaxed conversations, work, etc, depending of course of the importance of your job (there are times to be very serious depending on what you do)

3. Is it competitive to enroll into the paid education program?
Any statistics like 100 out of 5000 will be perfect if possible. I am also confused with how on the Canadian forces site it mentioned only 15 people will be accepted into the ROTP program, or maybe I misunderstood the statement.

This year, roughly 60 pilots got in via ROTP, AFAIK. There could be more. Not sure if it's because currently they need more pilots than usual.

6. What are other ways to become a pilot in the Air Force if in the case I am not accepted into the paid education program?

Besides ROTP, there is CEOTP and DEO. However, AFAIK, DEO entrance numbers are much smaller than ROTP, and CEOTP almost non existent.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 18:08:22 by Messerschmitt »

Offline PrairieThunder

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 18:08:43 »
Mandatory service is actually 2 months per 1 month of schooling, to a maximum of 5 years (so for 4 years of schooling that's 64 months, but only 60 since you reached the maximum) or a minimum of 3 years (you do only 6 months of schooling, you still have 3 years).

Aircrew has different mandatory service, pilot being 7 years, navigators 4 years. The years are not cumulative. Only the highest is taken. Meaning as a pilot, the mandatory service is 7 years (7 years for pilot trade > 5 years service for school).
That is if you make pilot. If you don't, then you will have to pick something else that is available, and you will have the 5 years mandatory service for your school (if you took 4 years of schooling).

I am aware.

Quote
I am still uncertain what exactly the VIE represents (Variable Initial Engagement), and what happens if you release before your VIE is up, but after the mandatory service. For now, all I know is that if you release before VIE, you will not receive any benefits (ie. pension), but it will not be frowned upon, or any other negative aspects (provided you are not in-service/deployed/used in critical situation at the time you apply for release)

You release before you complete your obligated service term, you will be obligated to pay back a portion of the training and education funds that you had not "paid back" through service.

Offline Messerschmitt

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2012, 19:32:06 »
I am aware.

You release before you complete your obligated service term, you will be obligated to pay back a portion of the training and education funds that you had not "paid back" through service.

Yes, but I meant releasing after you completed your obligatory service, but not the VIE contract

Also, as far as I was aware if you don't complete the entire obligatory service, you have to pay back everything, no just a portion, but I might be wrong. Paying only the portion, would actually make slightly more sence, but we are talking about the canadian govnt :)

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 22:13:20 »
I dunno about anyone else, but I love it when thinks make sence!  8)
"What a f$$kin' week!" - me, every Monday at about 1130hrs.

Offline PrairieThunder

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 00:34:04 »
Yes, but I meant releasing after you completed your obligatory service, but not the VIE contract

Also, as far as I was aware if you don't complete the entire obligatory service, you have to pay back everything, no just a portion, but I might be wrong. Paying only the portion, would actually make slightly more sence, but we are talking about the canadian govnt :)

Well, lets say you only serve 3 out of 7 years. I'm sure they won't make you pay back for the 3 years you had served, but you're right, it is the gov't.

Offline dcs

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2012, 07:55:50 »
They paid you and for your training costs that are to say the least a lot of money.  You sign a contract that you will be there for the prescribed time after.......      Yes they may and should make you pay back for the years of flight training or a percentage of at least.  If you decide to leave after 3 of 7 if I ran the zoo you would have to pay bak 4/7 of the cost of the flight training and your salary... probably at least $ 250,000.  If you don't want to do what is required and want to sign a contract you have no intention of honouring my comment is simple... don't apply.  There are loads of others that will happily fill the spot.

Offline dcs

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2012, 08:38:52 »
I believe that the 7 years for pilot is following the receipt of your wings (trade qualified). Son signed an I believe 13 year contract going into RMC.   If you are talking about the three years being post graduation and trying to leave shortly after getting your wings they will and should require a significant amount of money.    Do you really expect them to pay for your education and pay you a salary for doing so.... pay you a second lieutenant and possibly lieutenant for part salary for three years, pay for your flight training etc and then you can simply walk paying back very little.   University cost for 4 years, 4 years officer cadet salary (and benefits and pensionable years)  at least $150,000.  Three year salary post grad and flight training cost at least $400,000. They have paid I estimate over half a million dollars and possible a lot more, and have lost the resource of a trade qualified pilot that they were counting on for the next number of years.   I would want to have this individual pay dearly and 400-500 thousand or more not being out of the question.   They have got nothing in the way of true trade performance and therefore they should and the tax payer should not have t bear the burden of the costs.

Offline Messerschmitt

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2012, 13:02:18 »
Mandatory service starts after completion of a degree. For pilots, the 7 years might start once you receive your wings, yes (if you make it :P).

Offline dcs

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2012, 13:15:20 »
Son signed 13 year contract and it was indicated that the mandatory pilot service was from the date he received his wings.
As it could take the two years or more to potentially get the 13 years makes sense.

Offline 2010newbie

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2012, 19:13:26 »
They have paid I estimate over half a million dollars and possible a lot more

The number we were told during an in-clearance brief was $1.6 million per pilot.

Offline dcs

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Re: 16 And Aspiring To Become a Pilot Through the Paid Education Program
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2012, 11:55:04 »
Sounds right.    And the thought is that if a person leaves after 3 or 4 years that they should not have to reimburse (pay back) the training costs incurred .......... and education costs      They should and I believe will go after a significant amount to say the least.   As a taxpayer I certainly hope that they go after all of their losses in the contract not being fulfilled.

As I indicated earlier... if you have no intention or even believe that there is a possibility that you will not honor the contract that you signed please do not apply......   There are if you read the blogs many many individuals that will to fill the spots.

And... a good chance that you will not make it through anyway with the number that actually pass all training and meet all other requirements.