Airline Academy Pilot Stories Training

From the military to commercial pilot training

  • Article by Brian Rulison - Veterans Scholarship winner
  • Published
  • Duration 5 minute read

I grew up in a military family with service in either the Army or Air Force. With a natural interest in a military career as well, I looked into West Point and was accepted. Upon graduation in 2009, I commissioned as an Infantry Officer and was stationed at Fort Hood, deploying to Iraq in 2011. My second assignment landed me at Fort Campbell where I would deploy again on a mission to Afghanistan. Following that deployment, I spent a year as an Operational Planner and moved on to a civilian career. 

Between the military and pilot training, I worked in home financing. Knowing home loans were going to be an interim career, I began looking for the next great opportunity and decided to chase my childhood dream of becoming a pilot.

The most transferable skills I've brought to pilot training from the military are mental toughness and work ethic. I knew pilot training would be nearly as mentally tough as Ranger School was physically tough. I came in with the 'grind mindset' and a no fail, no quit work ethic. This has served me well through the initial ground phase and will continue until completion of my training with L3Harris Flight Academy.

As a kid, I wanted to be a pilot but instead chose the life of an Infantry Officer instead. After the Army and a stint as a banker, I realized I wanted to go after that dream and wanted to find the best program to do it with. The reviews for L3Harris garnered much higher marks than the other schools I researched and seemed to have a better curriculum and pathway to a successful career as a pilot.

Winning the Veteran's Scholarship has allowed me to take on the most challenging program with L3Harris.  This will allow me to leave here for my first job as a pilot with the best qualifications possible so I'm set up for success to begin my career.

I've looked at numerous options to start my career as a commercial pilot and I'm excited for the multiple different routes available. For now, I'm focusing on building hours with a regional airline, but ultimately, flying private jets for a company would be my preference.  

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What's next?

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