Yo, I do Army stuff, but i'm non-aviation. I went to schools with some aviators and a couple are my close friends. Here are my observations.
-Army Aviation (almost all rotary wing) is bad ass. If you go in as an officer, you have a fairly strict timeline to get pilot in command and basically continue your aviation career, but even then you don't fly THAT much after Captain. I have seen multiple dudes drop packets to switch from officer to warrant officer and they are happy. The other ones, not so much unless they'd rather lead anyway.
-If you have a pulse and graduated college, you're probably gonna graduate flight school, but you might not get the airframe that you want unless you're shit hot.
-The Army varies SIGNIFICANTLY unit to unit, but it's the best place to fly rotary wing from what I have heard. In all other branches (except USMC) it's kind of a niche.
-Air Force and Navy are significantly better branches to work for when it comes to just about everything. That being said, if you're not best of the best, you're probably not going to be doing what you want.
-Air Force has a huge issue with keeping pilots right now, you can google some of the articles... the best one is from warontherocks dot com. Look into it.
-Navy/USMC aviation is a really cool spot, I know a bunch of fast mover pilots/navigators and they absolutely love it. The Navy also has some great duty stations, USMC is a toss up between really good and really terrible.
-There is a massive shortage in commercial aviation and it's a great time to get in there, the military being the best way. I know a TON of pilots (all branches, all airframes) that are getting out and doing the accelerated commercial flight programs. Very quick promotions compared to how it's been for the last 50 years (as I understand it).
-I'm in a very specialized job with a ton of intelligent/resourceful Soldiers, so many people are jumping ship to fly Army rotary wing and then hope to switch to commercial aviation when they retire or get out early.
Overall, I think it's a good idea. You might get a shitty duty station eventually, but I just like for over three years in Europe and it was the best opportunity of my life. Hit me up if you want some contacts or have questions you need answered.
Just finished my PPL, should have my commercial done in the next few years. I’d like to go Navy or Army, but I’m a little attached to being a bum so I’m probably gonna start bushflying in Alaska, and hopefully wind up flying waterbombers. Its a sick time to get into aviation man. Right now, the majority of Airline pilots are about to retire, which means that a ton of lower level jobs are gonna open as everybody moves up. Also, aviation gives you the most career options for one skill set. Military, airlines, float flying in the caribbean, bush flying in canada, alaska, idaho and africa, heli skiing, SAR, drug smuggling, cropdusting, and a whole bunch of other shit. Also, flying is fun as fuck. I wouldn’t say its better than skiing, but its pretty damn close.
**This post was edited on Sep 24th 2018 at 10:51:40am