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These questions go mainly to any aviators/pilots in any branch, and any ROTC graduates. I have looked deeper into aviation and life in other branches (mainly Air Force and Navy). I have gone over the perks of all of them, and I’m still over thinking it. I want some real feedback just for peace of mind (I don’t want to worry about my career for the next 8 years).

Here are some:

What are the differences in ROTC programs? I know about Navy cruises and Air Force field training, but I would like details about the school year and especially summer experiences.

How many hours do Naval aviators (mainly strike/heavies) get in comparison to Air Force pilots? I’m not going to be in it for hours (duh), but just curious.

I’ve heard that NROTC has more opportunities for pilot slots than AFROTC, but you are likely to get choppers, is this true?

Marines guarantee pilot slots?

I know this makes it sound like I’m looking for the easiest way in, but I am truly not. I understand that once commissioned, one is an officer first, pilot/aviator second. Now for my other questions.

I know that heavy pilots get more hours than fighters (generally), but fighters get more PIC and tactical flying. As a deployed/US-stationed fighter pilot (Navy or Air Force) do you fly a significant amount (not as much as heavies, but at least weekly)?

I am highly attracted to Air Force tech/aircraft/benefits (I’ve heard AF has good quality of life), yet, if I didn’t get a pilot slot, I think the Navy has a more interesting lifestyle to me. I am also stuck between AFROTC or NROTC. Help me? I am also worrying that if I ever get a pilot slot in the Air Force, I will be forever jealous of Navy life on a ship/carrier landings.

Can Naval Aviators transfer to the Air Force for heavies?

Can an Air Force fighter pilot transfer to heavies later in a career (can one fly an F-16 and a C-17 in one career)?

I know this is all way ahead, and highly optimistic (I’m no superhuman, there is no guarantee for an ROTC spot, much less a pilot slot), I am just confused about my choices. Bottomline: I can’t decide between branches (Navy/MC/AF), and don’t know what I want to fly (heavies vs. fighters).

I have researched training, life, and ROTC over and over. I just would like some real advice. Thanks again, sorry if I sounded arrogant.


Extra info: I am not worried about airline jobs in the future, I am not deciding heavies for an airline job later.