Men and women who have served, or are serving, in the various branches of the military are likely to have received training and unique skills that provide a solid foundation on which they can build if they choose to pursue career opportunities in aviation. In addition, the Texas National Guard (Air Force and Army), U.S. Army Reserves, U.S. Navy Reserves, and U.S. Air Force Reserves provide military experiences to individuals who, if they are aware of aviation education opportunities in North Central Texas, may be interested in two-and four-year degree programs that may be offered here.
Most aviation-related military occupations have similar jobs in the private sector, and many aviators leaving military service immediately find civilian employment in aviation. In addition, some aviation responsibilities are being handled currently by private sector contractors whose teams function in aviation-related capacities. For example, the U.S. Air Force is outsourcing its aircraft mechanics in various situations.
The military provides aviation education opportunities both in classrooms and in the form of on-the-job training. In addition to producing exceptionally skilled airline pilots and aircraft mechanics, the military has traditionally provided strong training for aviation operations and support functions. It should be noted that the military benefits greatly by providing these educational resources because it fills its key positions with individuals who are trained to meet every expectation.
Funding for Education
Historically, the United States (U.S.) has supported its military veterans by providing benefits ranging from education support in the form of the GI Bill, to low interest real estate loans, to healthcare, to insurance pensions and many others.
- GI Bill: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides educational benefits under several programs. The bill provides active duty and veterans over $47,000 (tax free) to be used for tuition, books, fees, and living expenses while degrees or certifications are being earned. The GI Bill is generally eligible to members who have served at least two years on active duty.
- Post 9/11 GI Bill: The VA has expanded its education benefits through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This legislation benefits persons who have served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty since September 11, 2001, went into effect on August 1, 2009. Its provisions are more comprehensive than the original GI Bill, offering up to 36 months of full tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend, and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies. To receive full benefits under this program, the individual must serve three years of active duty service from the bill’s start date.
- Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP): This program was established to support educational aspirations of reservists and National Guard personnel who have been called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency.
- Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC): The ROTC is a great opportunity to get invaluable experience while you earn a college degree. In ROTC, you learn and develop leadership skills while preparing for a career as an officer in the U.S. Military. Students learn first-hand what it takes to lead others, motivate groups and conduct missions as a military officer. ROTC provides a world-class leadership training and experience comparable to the best MBA's or corporate management programs in the U.S. Many colleges also include room and board, living allowances, and book expenses. ROTC is an elective curriculum you take along with your required college classes. It prepares you with the tools, training, and experiences that will help you succeed in any competitive environment. Along with great leadership training, ROTC can pay for your college tuition, too. You will have a normal college student experience like everyone else on campus, but when you graduate, you will have the opportunity to serve as a leader in either the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.
Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base
The Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base (NAS Fort Worth, JRB) is the only active military installation in North Central Texas. Located on the site of the former Carswell Air Force Base, it has been a military installation since 1941. NAS Fort Worth, JRB was created as part of the 1993 Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) Commission process by consolidating many U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps Reserve, and Texas Air National Guard units displaced from other closing and realigning bases. The Navy took over as host of the installation on October 1, 1994, from the Air Force.
Major commands currently on base include:
- Navy Reserve: Fleet Logistics Support Wing; Logistics Support Squadrons 59 and 46; Intelligence Command; Operations Support Center
- Air Force Reserve: 10th Air Force; 301st Fighter Wing
- Army Reserve: M Company, 158th Aviation Regiment
- Marine Corps Reserve: Marine Aircraft Group 41; Headquarters, 14th Marines
- Texas Air National Guard; 136th Airlift Wing
According to the Star-Telegram, totals for each service are: Navy 4,120; Air Force 2,071; Army 457; Marines 1,644; Texas Air National Guard 913; and 1,780 civilians. (October 2009)