FAQ

What are the minimum requirements for veterans to apply?

VAW is looking for highly motivated veterans who desire careers as professional pilots within the civilian aviation industry.  The best part, no prior aviation experience is necessary. Here are a few of our requirements:

  • Desire and drive to acquire a career as a professional pilot
  • Willingness & ability to devote time & energy into completing the VAW program (see “What is the VAW program?” FAQ)
  • Service within the U.S. armed forces accompanied by an honorable discharge (or expect to receive honorable discharge)
  • 12-18 months of full GI Bill benefits available.  If full GI Bill is not available, contact us for additional details on eligibility
  • At least a Class 1 FAA medical exam
View all Requirements

 

How did Veteran Air Warriors start?

VAW was founded by Michael Overstreet, owner and founder of Corporate Air and also a veteran of the US Marines. Mike had a vision of helping veterans secure significant careers within the aviation industry.  He founded Veteran Air Warriors to provide the opportunity for veterans to accumulate the necessary training, experience and industry introductions to become successful professional pilots.

What is the cost to the veteran?

The cost is minimal compared to the traditional overall cost of flight training (average $60k – over $100k).  The veteran will need:

  • At least a class 1 FAA medical exam (costs vary by location, but usually don’t exceed $200).
  • Depending on flight school, there may also be costs for the supplies and equipment required for training and flying (headset, flight charts, text books, etc).  Some flight schools are able to provide this equipment for their students, but not all.

VAW’s goal is to set each program participant up for professional successes, but also understands that every situation is unique. If a VAW program participant finds themselves in a situation where completion of the program is at risk, VAW would like to explore the opportunity to assist.  Timely communication from the participant is vital, and specific conditions may be required, but additional VAW assistance may be possible.

How long will the program take?

Once the veteran is accepted into the program, flight training will commence at the agreed upon time and location.  The length of time to complete flight training will depend upon multiple factors, including but not limited to, the veteran’s prior flight experience (prior experience is not required), ability to master necessary aeronautical concepts, demonstrate skills, specific flight school’s syllabus etc.  VAW estimates that a veteran with no prior flight experience, who is committed to the program, can potentially acquire their first job as a CFI within 10–18 months.

What are VAW’s expectations from the veteran?

VAW will ask that the veteran devote the necessary time and energy needed to complete the program within the anticipated time period.  The length of time to complete flight training for each program participant will vary. All factors presented to VAW by the participant will be considered, and an expected completion date will be presented to the participant before beginning the program.

VAW asks that the participant act in a professional manner, since they will be representing fellow veterans, as well as fellow VAW participants, across the country.

Additional expectations will be presented to the veteran before enrolling into the program.

What is the VAW program and What can the veteran expect from VAW?

Veteran Air Warriors is committed to assisting Veterans every step along their aviation career.  VAW initially provides assistance by providing help planning the veteran’s flight training (through CFII) as well as providing financial aid to acquire the private pilot’s license.  This is often the most expensive and difficult hurdle for veterans to overcome. Once a private pilot’s license is acquired, VAW will help the veteran utilize their GI Bill to cover much of the costs associated with Instrument, Commercial, Multi-Engine, CFI & CFII ratings.

After flight training, VAW will offer assistance for the veteran to find employment, from helping to find CFI opportunities to offering access to VAW’s network of supporters and VAW alumni within the aviation industry. VAW partner supporters include aviation companies and industry professionals eager to bring veterans on board.

VAW is committed to maintaining communication throughout the veteran’s career to offer assistance or guidance when desired by the veteran.  The goal is to be a valued partner to our VAW participants and alums as they navigate their training as well as their careers.

What to expect and how to start the process?

The veteran begins by sending VAW an application through our website here. This will be followed up with scheduled interview attended by VAW executive(s) and including, but not limited to, an assortment of VAW board members, industry professionals and VAW supporters.  This interview process will also help to identify the flight school that will work best for VAW and the veteran.

Please keep in mind that the application process can be very competitive. Any efforts by the veteran to promote themselves and their application for the VAW program is encouraged (letters of commendation and/or recommendation, awards or medals acquired while serving, civilian recognition/awards, community volunteer work, etc).

Once the veteran is accepted into the program, flight training will commence at the agreed upon time and location.  The length of time to complete flight training will depend upon multiple factors, including but not limited to, the veteran’s prior flight experience (prior experience is not required), ability to master necessary aeronautical concepts, demonstrate skills, specific flight school’s syllabus etc.  VAW estimates that a veteran with no prior flight experience, who is committed to the program, can potentially acquire their first job as a CFI within 10–18 months.

After completion of flight training VAW offers assistance to find employment within the aviation community.  This can begin with identifying a CFI position to accumulate additional flight experience by utilizing VAW’s network of aviation industry contacts interested in hiring veterans within their company. VAW also commits to keeping in contact with the veteran throughout their career to continue the veteran’s access to VAW’s network of aviation professionals, as well as the ever-growing network of VAW Alumni.

Can I donate to the program?

As a 501c3 organization, donations are a welcome and necessary part of our program.  Please feel free to click here for credit card donations or send a check to Veteran Air Warriors, 1001 South 24th Street West, Suite 111, Billings, MT 59102

Any additional questions?

Please don’t hesitate to email us (info@veteranairwarriors.org) or call (406-530-7229).  We look forward to hearing from you!