Pilot training for veterans for aviation careers
As a young airline pilot climbing my way up the seniority list, I grew accustomed to the many threats of furloughs, mergers, and system-wide layoffs. It was just a part of being an airline pilot. Once a year, we went to recurrent pilot training, and once a year, we updated our resumes; it was always good to be prepared.
One wise Captain gave me some advice that I still remember, “You will always be able to get a good job because airline pilots are highly trainable.”
That advice has followed me everywhere and has helped me through most of the ups and downs of my lengthy aviation career. Even if I had to find a job in a completely different industry, I would be ok because I can follow instructions, learn new skills, retain information, and generally have a good attitude while I do it.
Another career fits into that same mold, maybe even more so; the U.S. Military. What other group of people are more disciplined, follow checklists and orders, think on their feet, and remain calm in an emergency? I can’t think of any, which is why I think it’s fantastic that a group is actively promoting and recruiting aviation careers for military service members.
RTAG (formerly known as the Rotary to Airline Group) was formed in 2017 to address the national pilot shortage. The non-profit is a veteran-run charity that was started by four rotary wing aviators and has evolved into a place for service members to transition into the airline industry. RTAG helps veterans enter aviation regardless of their experience and background.
To date, they have assisted thousands in the search for aviation careers, and the assistance is across the board. For example, they have programs to help pay for veterans’ flight training, from zero to ATP. They also help aviation businesses find employees by offering an incredibly diverse group of qualified applicants.
This fall, the big news for RTAG is their annual convention at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Texas from October 21–23, 2022. The convention is for military service members, veterans, and civilians interested in an aviation career. In attendance will be over 4000 pilots and maintenance candidates, and more than 100 sponsors are looking for suitable candidates to hire. These odds sound like a win/win to me.
The sponsors will include civilian recruiters, military representatives, vendors, flight schools, and hiring representatives from airlines and charter flight departments. It’s the last major aviation hiring event in 2022, so if you’re looking for a new career, this is the place to be!
Admission is free for current and former military, and civilians can make a small donation at the entry gate. More information on the conference and pre-registration can be found at www.rtag.org. So if you’re a service member or even thinking about an aviation career, check them out. This is the total package between the pilot training, scholarships, mentors, and overall guidance.