There are lots of options for those who want to fly in the United States military. Every branch, not just the United States Air Force, has need of pilots. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have air wings that are vital to their operations.
The Coast Guard operates both fixed wing and helicopter missions in their service here in the States and around the world. The Navy flies all kinds of aircraft from sea-planes to fighter jets, to helicopters and the Army has its helicopter missions for transporting and supporting their troops on the ground as well.
Though the Marine Corps air wings fly multiple platforms from fighter jets to A-10s, this video is about the Marine Corps helicopter pilots. You will hear from two pilots who fly two very different aircraft; the Huey and the Osprey.
The Huey is a very versatile ground support platform that is familiar to Vietnam War veterans as well as today’s veterans. It has been around for a long time and continues to be a very important asset for air support missions.
The Osprey is a very interesting platform as it can fly both as a helicopter and as a fixed-wing aircraft. Because of this shape-changing ability, it has proven to be a very versatile aircraft for transporting troops and supplies and even for medevac missions.
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More importantly, you will get a real sense of how these pilots feel about their jobs, their aircraft and their responsibilities toward their fellow Marines.
There are so many of us who are alive today because of the skill, courage, and dedication of helicopter pilots who supported us under fire and saved our skins when we got into a fight. Their bravery under fire, their dogged determination to keep the enemy away from us, and to come into the fight to pick up our dead and wounded, to resupply us and then to transport us out of harm’s way, was awe-inspiring.
For the most part, we never knew their names, but we could describe what they did for us as they swooped in, dodged and weaved up above us laying down intense, powerful suppressing fire for us with crisp details. We can still hear the distinctive sound of those Huey rotary blades.
It always meant help was here. What they did on our behalf was unimaginably courageous and we cannot thank them enough.
The Veterans Site sends its gratitude and respect to all who have served and those who continue to serve as helicopter pilots in the Armed Forces. Your work, your skills, and your courage has been personally felt by countless combat veterans.
Thank you for your dedication to serving your brothers and sisters on the ground.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.