This week on BogiDope I got to write about how to apply the principles from Pilot Math Treasure Bath to USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT.) I argue that not only will applying these principles pay off in the financial long-run, it will also help you perform better in the program. Here’s a preview:
“If you’re headed to pilot training, you absolutely must read our 3-part series on Winning UPT. It explains how to perform well in your training program. However, that’s just part of your life at that point. Today we’re going to discuss how being smart with your finances will help you do better at UPT, and set you up for success later in life.
Perspective – Start With Why
If you want to do well at UPT, you need to stay focused on why you’re there. Your ultimate goal is to become a combat-qualified aviator in the greatest Air and Space Force the world has ever known. With that in mind, you should put the vast majority of your time and energy for that year into studying, chair-flying, and whatever else it takes for you to excel in this program.
Let’s be honest, you’re probably not used to this. Was college 4-5 years of razor-sharp focus on your studies…or did you spend plenty of time enjoying yourself? Were there sports, social gatherings, pursuing romance, road trips, and other distractions?
It turns out, that’s okay in college. Most schools require core/gen ed classes to make you a well-rounded person, but they’re not all so rigorous that they prevent you from also allowing your general life experiences to make you well-rounded.
Make no mistake though, UPT is not about breadth. Your entire year in that program is razor-focused on getting you to build some pretty specific skills as an aviator. It’s important to maintain balance in life, but you can maintain that balance while crafting your environment to maximize your professional development.
We’re going to look at ways to do this through the lens of pilot personal finance. Part of the reason for this is that I just wrote a book on the subject, Pilot Math Treasure Bath, and I feel like I have some authority on the subject. This topic is near and dear to my heart, and I truly believe that your career and life overall will be better if you consider the principles I discuss both here today and in that book. I also believe that the career earnings of a professional military pilot have the potential to set you up for financial independence and ultimate freedom in life…if you handle those earnings carefully.
The other reason basing this discussion on personal finance is that our entire society is shaped around a mindset of spending and consumerism. If you’re not careful, that culture will steal your attention from doing well in UPT and divert you to focusing on things that matter far less than flying jets and pulling Gs. Designing your life to avoid consumerism will protect you against those distractions.”