The Best-Kept-Secret in Aviation

Guide to becoming a pilot
During my rigorous Air Force training, I routinely encountered active-duty classmates who were surprised by my path to becoming a military pilot. Over and over again, my peers couldn’t believe that I’d arrived at the same world-class training program after choosing my aircraft and base location. Each of my active-duty classmates were assigned an aircraft and location upon completion of the pilot-training program. It was during this training that I discovered that joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve is perhaps the best-kept secret in aviation. 

The Alternate Route of joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve allows candidates to select from a wide range of military aircraft based at various locations across the country. Applicants research aircraft, base locations, and missions and apply only to units they are interested in. The applicant must be hired by a unit before they incur any military commitment.

I’m Jeffery Van Orsow and my book called Alternate Route: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pilot in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve features a step-by-step guide for applying and getting hired to the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve, as well as critical information about the process and what applicants can expect. Read more about my story here: About the Author.
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T 38 solo
When I began flying lessons in college, in pursuit of my Private Pilot License (also known as a PPL or “private pilot certification”), I was convinced that the clearest route to becoming a major airline pilot was what is often referred to as the “Civilian Route.” This meant earning all of my pilot licenses and certificates on my own, without financial assistance, and over the course of many years.
A few years later, after I landed my first job as a Flight Instructor, I quickly realized that my chosen course would take much longer than I had anticipated. I became frustrated because:
  • Progress was slow toward additional required pilot licenses and certificates
  • Building flight time happened very slowly
  • Pilot licenses and certificates are expensive and time-consuming, and
  • Entry-level jobs with regional airlines paid very little

It was completely by chance that a friend and mentor sought me out and encouraged me to apply with my local Air National Guard unit. He knew I’d begun pursuing a career as a pilot and wanted to help accelerate my progress in achieving my ultimate goal. The Alternate Route turned out to be exactly what I’d been looking for.

Why Reading Alternate Route Is Important

When you begin to research aviation and the path to becoming a pilot, it can feel overwhelming to try and decipher industry-specific terms and acronyms. There is no comprehensive source of information to guide you from novice to fully-qualified pilot, and your research may leave you with more questions than answers. The internet is great at many things, but it can also be a source of excessive misinformation. It can be hard to know what is true, what is accurate, and what information is current or has become outdated. 

Alternate Route: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pilot in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, explains, in detail, the entire hiring process of joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve, as well as the benefits of pursuing a military aviation career. The book also provides extensive, accurate information to help applicants before and throughout the process. Written from real-world experience by a current military and commercial airline pilot, Alternate Route is the complete information source for all that this opportunity has to offer.

This book goes step-by-step to explain what options you have to achieve the same outcome I did. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Or even the wing. This plane is ready to fly as long as you’re ready to read the manual. And if you have any additional questions, please contact me.
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The shortage of pilots is there.
Are you ready to fill it?