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Life as an Aviation Officer

CPT Julie Opfer explains how someone with no prior flight experience has thrived in her Army aviation career.

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Life as an Aviation Officer

CPT Julie Opfer explains how someone with no prior flight experience has thrived in her Army aviation career.

Hi my name is Captain Julie Opfer; I am a 15 Bravo which is an Aviation Officer, more specifically a UH 60 black hawk pilot. Before I joined the military I had absolutely zero flight experience, so I don’t want you to think you need an extensive aviation background to be able to do this. Flight school is at Fort Rucker, Alabama and they will send you there and they give you great training. The training lasts for about a year to two years. I started out as a flight operations specialist, so just being around a bunch of pilots in an aviation, you know at an airport. I just decided you know what this is something that I think I can do, this is something I want to do. So I put in an application, I applied for it and I was accepted and I’ve loved every minute of it. One of my favorite things about being an aviation officer is the variety, every day is different. One day you may go into work and one of the maintenance test pilots wants you to go on a test flight with him, so you’ll go fly for a couple of hours, another day you’ll be working on different types of aviation paper work, approving flight schedules, things of that nature. Other days you’ll actually be going out on training missions, could be doing night vision goggle training in the evening or just a daily flight transporting personnel or Soldiers. So every day is absolutely different. One of my favorite assignments that I had was actually working with the DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency, in the Bahamas where I was stationed there. For three months off and on for approximately two years and we did drug addiction, basically flying almost every day trying to fight the war on drugs. I guess my favorite thing would be that it’s not a typical nine to five job and that your hours are flexible and you do different things every day, so there’s never a dull moment, there’s just a lot of different opportunities and different things to do.
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