hey guys - the reason why im creating a new topic is because hopefully someone can give me the latest insights on a RSAF career :)
firstly, whats the time required to be a major or higher any other higher ranking personnel? what are the requirements as well?
secondly, here comes to same qn again. is it better to work for the air force or pursue a career as an airline pilot?
thirdly, because i like to fly, can anyone tell me whats the RSAF job about? if its just mainly about paperwork and all that stuff then i will be bored shitless :(
thanks in advance :D
probably all the majors i seen in RSAF are mid 30's and above, unless your a scholar or you got some exceptional talent. There are so many cpt and lta's around.........
Contrary to popular belief.... promotion is not exactly based on paper.
Yes, scholars have an advantage because they have a certain path up to LTC planned for them. But at every promotion, they still must meet criteria (such as unit under their command must pass ATEC or other equivalents), he must have proven himself that he can command and handle things without messing up + pass IPPT. If fail IPPT, unfit, regardless whether you got Ph.D. or what also no use, strictly no promotion. Also, every year, regulars are assessed and graded by their direct superior (their boss may not be a scholar like them). They must show their results (pass ATEC, men under them high IPPT pass rate, no negligence on admin/logistics/manpower, exercise results performance...etc.). Their promotion to the next grade/rank depends on this grading annually.
You first question - how to be promoted to Major and above? Performance. Like mentioned, there's annual grading of individual performance. For pilots their flying performance (safety record, good control of aircraft, skills in flying/fighting are assesed). They are also categorised to their skill levels. A higher rank pilot might be categorised lower than a highly-skilful lower rank.
In short - promotion is not guaranteed. There're criterias (which is basic, such as passing IPPT), but it depends very much on individual, even for scholars).
To stay in the force beyond 45, officers must attain at least LTC, or they will retire with a Major (Retired) at that age. There're even people who retire with CPT (Retired) - meaning they only reached captain rank at 45. These are the sissy, weak, indecisive, unfit officers....shameful.
Your 2nd question - The military is not just a career. It is a disciplined force. You cannot quit as and when, or apply leave/late for work as and when. These are dealt with severely with punishment, warning letters, demotion or even detention barracks. Expectation on behavior etc. is very high - especially since all pilots are also officers. Flying military clocks less hours on paper, but skills you learn are far beyond the commercial pilots. Commercial flying is a totally different thing, where you can enjoy nice hotels, food served to your cockpit, reading announcement to your passengers.... commercial pilots take >10 years (typically 15 years or so) to reach captain. While in military, every pilot flies their own aircraft...albeit with heavier responsbilities of an officer/soldier. They don't just fly, they have to fight and lead.
Your 3rd question - Pilots fly...of course. So do WSO (Fighters). Half the time is ground preparation/briefing/tactics discussion/preparing for exercise. They don't just randomly take off as and when. Every flight is planned with a purpose, with objectives - its called a mission. So half the time is mission planning. While in the air, pilots fly the aircraft/shoot planes down....WSOs operate sophisticated systems to drop/guide ground weapons to hit targets on the ground accurately. They are also secondary(backup) pilots. They practise dropping bombs/fire missiles regularly at one of our southern islands. Due to lack of space, they can't do fighter manoevres over Singapore skies, they will crash into the hundreds of passenger planes coming in everyday....these take place at South China Sea....and majority in the USA where we keep a detachment of planes/staff permanently there. Pilots/WSOs are rotated through there regularly....that's the first place fighter/WSO training takes place too. So they train/hone their skills in Singapore/USA and take part in multinational exercises with other airforces to sharpen and validate their tactics.
Fighter/WSO job in Singapore is quite exciting..because RSAF operates one of the most advanced variants of F-16D and F-15SG. It has very unique configurations, sensors, electronic warfare, weapons suite....unique and more advanced than those used by USAF....