With airlines running a reduced flight schedule and generally not hiring, the US Army is open to accepting former aviators and crew members back into the service, according to the Army’s command chief warrant officer for the aviation branch.
As explained by Gary Sheftick, Army News Service, in the article With airlines lagging, Army looking to bring former aviators back, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jon Koziol appeared on a Facebook livestream on Jun. 17, 2020 from Fort Rucker, Alabama, and explained the opportunities to those tuning into the page for the Rotary to Airline Group, known as RTAG, founded to help veterans transition to the airline industry.
“As we are all well aware, this global pandemic has made unprecedented impacts on the world’s economies and our personal way of life,” he said. “Some of those impacts may have directly affected your ability to pursue your goals of working for the commercial sector, specifically the airlines.”
The Call to Active Duty, or CAD program, allows Army Reserve and National Guard aviators to apply for a three-year stint back on active duty, Koziol said. Aviators are needed for AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, as well as CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks and in some instances, fixed wing assignments.
The retiree recall program is also a possibility, Koziol said, and other programs exist for veterans who only served a few years in the branch.
“No matter how much time you have served in the Army, you are still a Soldier for Life and part of this team,” he said. “We could use your expertise.”
Some Army civilian positions are available for aviators on Fort Rucker, he said, directing listeners to check the USAJobs website. In addition, contractor positions are available under instructor and maintenance contracts.
UH-72 Lakota pilots are needed to instruct the Initial Entry Rotary Wing and other courses. Test pilots are also needed and additional opportunities exist for fixed-wing pilots, mechanics and others, he said.
“Basically across the board, there is more than likely a good chance that we can find a spot for you where you can help,” Koziol said.
While there’s no current shortage for OH-58D Kiowa pilots, some other positions may be available for those aviators, said Chief Warrant Officer 5 David J. Stock II, aviation branch warrant officer proponent.
“We do have the ability, in some instances, for the right officer to bring back some OH-58D pilots and use them in a non-flying position,” Stock said.
Koziol said recent studies indicate it may take commercial airlines two or three years to get back to the operating schedules that they had prior to the pandemic.
In addition to the active force, the Army Reserve and National Guard also have positions available for aviators, Koziol said. Positions vary depending upon location and the aircraft in each state, he explained.
Photo credit: Spc. Hunter Garciaand Tyler Greenlees / U.S. Army
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