Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pilot Training, Part I

Before Einstein and I married, we knew he was headed to pilot training. Air Force UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) is 13 months of twelve hour duty days, endless studying and emotional exhaustion.

In other words, it is like most military training.

Amongst my Air Force friends (and I had a lot, even without that fancy brown card!) UPT had gathered a mystique. Whether or not their husbands were pilots, my friends gleefully gave me a metric ton of unasked for advice:

"Don't plan on talking to him for a year!"

"My husband was too busy to hug me. It was the worst year of my life, and of our marriage."

"You shouldn't even bother moving there. It's not like you will see him anyway."

The last bit of advice was one that I heard from numerous sources. Obviously, I didn't follow it. Looking back now, at roughly the halfway point (almost!!) I have to say that it was hands down the worst piece of advice that I was given. I'm going to try to write a little series on pilot training, with my advice for those wives/girlfriends/fiancees who are headed into those dreaded 13 months. I hope that my advice is more reassuring than any of the advice I received.

I'm planning to concentrate on different aspects and problems we've faced. I have a feeling most of it will be applicable across the military, not just to AF pilots. I will probably end up repeating things that most of my reader's already know. But maybe it will be handy for that scared, research and internet dependent woman like me, who was hoping for some ray of sunshine and practical advice in the sea of negativity.

3 comments:

loquita said...

i think that sounds like a great idea. it's never helpful to receive overwhelmingly negative response to something ahead of time -- why can't people ever offer something constructive!

i don't know much about the Air Force, so i'll look forward to some education in that department. :)

The Mrs. said...

I too am clueless about the air force and I'm always interested to hear about the other branches. Especially the flyers.

Bring on the learning!

Meggles* said...

I just came across this post and I have yet to check out the rest of your blog but if you have a second could you email me? I definitely have some questions I would love to shoot your way!! :D Thanks regardless!

mcarlin@alumni.upenn.edu