VP-30 sucks. And here’s why:

Someone was recently quoted as saying, “VP-30 is the center of the universe for the P-3 Navy.”  Well if the center of my universe is a giant ball of suck, how do I leave?  To answer that question, I went to famed theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.  I didn’t get a response – probably because he was busy riding around in that fucking sweet DeLorean.

So what makes VP-30 suck so huge?  First lets look at the facts about VP-30.

Fact #1: It recruits individuals with the most recognized talent (note that is not the same as actual talent).

Fact #2: Its primary function is to teach fleet replacement students (3Ps, Navs, SS2s, you know… nuggets).  Its secondary function is to teach CAT 3 students (your returning department heads).

Fact #3: Within VP-30 lies the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School (hereafter referred to MPRWS or Weapons School) and the P-8 Fleet Introduction Team (FIT).

Fact #4: A shore tour at VP-30 is the number 1 predictor of follow-on success as a department head and command screening.  As such, BUPERS will never put an ex-VP-30 person against another one in fitrep cycles.

Fact #5: It is the largest squadron in the navy (over 90 LTs).

And now here are my opinions on the facts:

1.  The recruitment process is bogus.  Its a fucking boys’ club.  Are you the skipper’s boy?  Yes? Then you’re going to 30.  Are there a lot of you former squadron mates in 30?  Do they like you?  You’re golden.  How often is the phrase “I can’t believe these are the people they send to 30” uttered?  A lot.  All the time.

2.  Do you really need the best and brightest at VP-30?  Absolutely not (at least not the way 30 is run currently).  The best NFO in a fleet squadron is the one who is kickass at ASW, knows how to do a COOP SLAM-ER, doesn’t bitch about flying pointless hours, and tries hard to train upgraders.  So what do we do with that guy or girl?  Send them to 30 to teach NAVs how to take fixes, kick green, and to ultimately make them look slightly less retarded than they otherwise would when they show up to a squadron.  The best NAVs in the squadron, on the other hand, are the WORST NFOs in the squadron, because they sit NAV the most (even after they’re qualified).  We should send those people to 30, and send the best and brightest to the WTU – where they could actually make squadrons better.

And do you know what happens during an NFO’s time at 30?  They forget all the shit that made them good at being a TACCO.  Just in time to get senior enough to teach CAT 3’s inadequately.  I have news for the fleet JO’s: Many of the O-4’s are not that good in the plane!

3.  So we got this weapons school now, and the P-8 FIT, one of which is supposed to usher in a new frontier of Maritime Patrol Aviation, and the other to provide us with a constant source of expertise and tactical excellence.  So why the fuck are they bothered with teaching NAVs and Copilots?  Divorce them from VP-30, and let them do their jobs.

4.  The detailers actually make it so that it is most likely that the ex 30 dude gets the #1 DH fitrep so that they can screen for command.  So what happens when you get another DH that is equally as competent, well liked, but did a WTU tour?  The skipper gives the #1 fitrep to the 30 guy because 1) it’d be a waste to give it to the WTU because he’s not going to screen anyways, and 2) because the rankings are always subject to change based on where you were, and where you’re going.

5.  So what does 30 actually do with all of those instructors?  What is the finished product that gets sent to the fleet?  How much learning actually takes place at 30?  Any competent student at 30 doesn’t have to study AT ALL to pass.  Meanwhile – the WTU doesn’t have enough people to do anything except teach ARP and grade quals, and they’re the ones that are supposed to make the fleet better.  Why don’t we trim down at 30 and bolster the WTU?  I know its been done like this forever, but it doesn’t fucking work right.  30 instructors do good things, but their overall effect is minimal.  The WTU’s overall effect is ALSO minimal, but its because they don’t have the right people, and they don’t have the right number of people.

So VP-30 sucks, and that’s pretty much why.  Oh and it also breeds a culture of douchebag primadonnas that forgot what its like to be in a squadron.

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  1. #1 by William T Riker on 31August2011 - 4:24 am

    I like this blog but my exp my be the exception to the rule. My skipper told me that he didn’t want 30 when he was a JO, and that he never went to 30, but wanted to test himself against other communities, and in the long run thought that was best. Anyone else ever heard that?

  2. #2 by Haywood on 3September2011 - 8:33 am

    Sounds like your Skipper didn’t get in and has sour grapes like the guy who started this blog

    • #3 by Anonymous on 19August2014 - 8:28 pm

      You sound like a vp-30 douche nozzle

      • #4 by Anonymous on 1October2014 - 2:43 am

        I second that

  3. #5 by Voltaire on 6September2011 - 1:47 am

    Riker – I think the mentality of NOT going to 30 as a good option is spreading. The O-3 and below generation is quite different from the O-4 and above in that they seek less and less the idea of working hard towards an end state of retirement, at which point the fun part of life would begin. The younger generation has the desire to have fun AND work towards a goal at the same time, and believes that the two should not be exclusive. The Navy has yet to adopt policies that accept that generational shift. Hence, VP-30 is still the best bet for an operational command.

    I’ve never heard anyone talk about testing themselves against other communities. Screen boards evaluate you based on how you performed against the number of people you were ranked against. They do not take into account whether other communities were represented. Its a straight up numbers game. A JO at 30 gets ranked against 80-90 other JOs, and the fitrep is signed by an O-6. A JO at a VT squadron, while ranked against other communities, is only ranked against 30-40 (and really its only the number checking out during the fitrep cycle). That’s why a 1 of 1 ranking on a PEP tour is not competitive – not because the person wasn’t good, but because the boards have no way to assess how good.

    Haywood…. Tell me why we shouldn’t be pissed at our community. Tell me what we do great. My belief is that there are measurable steps we can take to improve our overall effectiveness at warfighting and quality of life. These steps largely involve changing policies that initially were intended to do just that, but ended up doing the opposite. You are sounding like those douchebag 30 guys who elevate themselves in their own minds above the rest of the community and assumes that everyone is jealous because you were a 30 instructor. Is that accurate?

    • #6 by Lobotomized O-4 on 5March2012 - 3:36 am

      The JAG on the staff I work with sincerely believes the only reason any person, any member of the human species doesn’t go to law school is because they’re too stupid to get in. Same with a buddy of mine who’s a physicist regarding PhD programs on math, engineering, and science related fields. Same with some VP-30 instructors. I think when people of a certain personality accomplish something that requires some smarts or talent, they tend to adopt the viewpoint after a while that there’s people who do that thing and people who want to, and there’s no third option.

      That’s not to denigrate the accomplishment of getting into 30. You do have to be very good at the flying part of your job, and you do have to do a lot of extra work as an Instructor in your squadron building your package. It’s not like getting into a top 10 law school, but it’s an accomplishment all the same (for the record, I didn’t go there). I’ve seen the political side, or the ‘Skipper’s boy’ aspect of it work both ways. True, if you have the personality of a cheese grater, you have to be better to get to the same place. That’s life; if people like you, that plays as one more thing in your favor pretty much everywhere, and Skippers aren’t immune to that. However, I’ve also seen people who were not quite up to the VP-30 standard in the plane whose Skipper pushed a 30 package for anyway have their nom shredded by former squadronmates at VP-30. When I went back for CAT 3, I saw some instructors who sorely tested my faith, but I still think for the most part VP-30 does a very good job of QA when it comes to instructor selection, and getting in there means something. It’s not like slapping Instructor papers on someone who’s marginal Instructor material at best so they can take an overseas billet that requires a WTI qual. Because everyone knows you need a WTI patch to sit TGWO in Sig…that doesn’t kill the credibility of the whole program or anything. But that’s a different story.

      The point, though, isn’t whether VP-30 is a place where we send a lot of good people and whether it should be recognized as such; the question is whether it should be the only place. I think everyone knows the top 3-4 guys coming out of VP-30 every FITREP cycle are going to get hooked up, and I don’t think anyone has a problem with it. I think people do have some issues when the #12 EP from VP-30 is still treated as head and shoulders above his or her peers in the community coming out of WTUs, VX, etc. The idea that every former VP-30 instructor should get hooked up before anyone else does is, to me, the controversial part, but I think that mentality is gradually going away. I think the WTUs in particular are becoming viewed as closer to parity with VP-30, and that brings us a lot more in line with the rest of Naval Aviation where you have NSAWC Weapons School guys, Wing Weapons School guys, and in some communities FRS and / or VX guys who are more or less coequal at orders time, meaning that top guys from each of those places get hooked up, and the middle tier rollers less so. I think that’s a lot better than everyone from one place getting hooked up before anyone else, and I think we’re going that way. In VFA, Top Gun instructors routinely don’t screen for DH and Skipper, and that’s viewed as OK with everyone. I think we need a little more of that in VP, but like I said I think we’re wandering in that general direction, though not as fast as many would prefer.

      I do think you’re wrong, though, about the generational gap. I think the same kinds of people have signed up for Naval Aviation pretty much since it’s existed. I think it’s important to talk about because in this line of work it’s easy to look at previous generations and either make them 10 feet tall or think they somehow are so different from us that they can’t relate. Obviously the guys flying PBYs in World War II had some challenges that were unique to their generation and were called on to do some things we never will, but I’ll bet they were pretty much the same sorts of people as us coming in the front door. Same same everyone between then and now.

      To respond to your statement above, neither I nor any of my classmates in API in the 90s thought of their future career in Naval Aviation as a long slog toward retirement when the ‘fun’ portion of our lives would begin. We all wanted to be challenged, and we all wanted to have fun. In my case, I did and do have a pretty good time with this gig, which is why I stick around. I don’t drive to work every morning whistling Anchor’s Aweigh, and I see things every day that frustrate me to no end, but at the end of the day we all have our little piece of things we can control in a big world we can’t. If you stick around and don’t sweat the inconsequential stuff or the stuff you boss’s boss’s boss’s boss doesn’t even bottom line, which is a trap a lot of otherwise good Officers fall into, I think it’s a pretty good way to go all things considered.

  4. #7 by Anonymous on 22October2011 - 8:50 pm

    Not the biggest squadron in the Navy, bro. That’s VFA-122.

    • #8 by Voltaire on 23October2011 - 3:30 am

      VP-30 has somewhere around 1200 people at any given time. This includes students. I might be wrong, but I was pretty sure it was the biggest squadron in the navy.

    • #9 by Anonymous on 29August2013 - 3:14 pm

      Check your facts, bro

  5. #10 by Anonymous on 29June2012 - 12:42 am

    Oh it sounds like some Frat boy didn’t make the cut for 30. Guess that degree in Gen ED did not help

  6. #11 by Anonymous on 14July2012 - 4:00 am

    Being the best P-3 guy is like being the gold medal winner at the special olympics, yeah sure you won but you’re still retarded.

  7. #12 by Anonymous on 16September2012 - 5:52 pm

    Just letting you know that if you Google VP-30, this is the first hit

    • #13 by Anonymous on 30August2013 - 2:17 am

      Yup, just found out I was going to 30. Now I’m pumped

  8. #14 by Big Lebowski on 20September2012 - 1:28 pm

    I would entirely agree with the first opinion bullet in this article. Having many peers in VP-30, i can tell you that the best pilots, instructors, and tacticians choose to take their talents elsewhere rather than waste them at the “Pro’s Nest.” It’s a boys club where it is all about “Who you know and who you blow.” Unfortunately, this culture is not unique to this command or the military in general. The formula to get into VP-30 is simple. First, go to the Naval Academy. Two, become a shitty pilot and select P-3s out of the VT squadrons. Three, kiss a lot of ass. Four, hope that the “good” P-3 pilots choose another career path, thus opening up opportunities for the mediocre instructors.

  9. #15 by Mark on 22April2013 - 2:00 am

    Good blog. The real problem is you work for the military/government. All the mediocrity comes from a lack of value. By, “value” I mean looking at your marketplace and determining what to risk, what to conserve – what is REALLY important.

    Unlike Apple Computer the Navy:

    1. Makes no profit. Thus what shall be valued? How does one determine the,”top producer” when there is no product served to consumers?

    2. Has no competition. Competition derives value.

    3. Absconds (steals via Congress/IRS) it’s funding from, “taxpayers” who have no choice but to pay or go to prison. The, “consumers”, have no say in what you do in VP.

    4. Though a voluntary choice. While under contract to the Military you are a prisoner. Just try to walk off your, “job” and see what happens. Employees that can immediately and voluntarily leave their employer with no encumbrance gives an employer incentive to treat people fairly.

    5. Add to all this an immature work force with very few over 30yo even fewer over 40yo. People that are never in one place very long. An incentive by all to prep for the MIC (Mil Indus Complex) because warfare and warfare skills, do not exist, are not needed in the civilian world. A retirement that is politicized and not progressive but instead, “20 or nothing” – lowers risk taking. A civilian world that glamorizes the military and is ignorant if what really goes on.


  10. #16 by Nicknjax on 24August2013 - 5:17 pm

    Same goes for the enlisted, I was a NATOPS evaluator in VP-23, in 1970 they transitioned from P2V’s to P3B’s.. I didn’t go through VP-30 because I transitioned VP-50 from P5M’s to P3A’s, (3) years prior, 1967. Most of the AW’s we were getting from VP-30 were able to turn the equipment on and that was the most they were good for. After doing a short of shore duty tour I was ordered to VP-49. They required me to go through VP-30, I knew more about the plane and equipment than most of the instructors. It was a waist of money to send a Chief through VP-30 to learn equipment, (AQA-7), that I was an NATOPS evaluator on in VP-23. The radar was new but the picture is the same once you have become proficient on the APS 20 and APS 80. My first trip through VP-30 was in 1961 and I felt they did a great job back then apparently along the way some of the knowledge fell through the cracks. I went through VP-31 in 1967 and they seemed a lot more proficient than VP-30 was when I repeated the P3 phase in 1975. Yep, you got my vote, it sucked.

    VP-5 61-63, VP-50 67-69, VP-23 70-73 & VP-49 75-78

  11. #17 by PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS HOWARD AME1 on 13November2013 - 12:12 am


    • #18 by robert fry on 24January2015 - 4:44 am

      I was with vp-30 from 1970-aug 1973, AE worked in check crew, and was a flyer. I loved it, and yes there was a ton of smart people in 30. I ran for US congress in 2014 didnt win, but life isn’t over either.

    • #19 by Dr. Zhivago on 12October2015 - 10:30 pm

      Shut the fuck up AME1 you have no idea what you are talking about. You are weighing in on VP30 almost half a century ago. That should give you an idea just how much of a piece of shit the plane is now.

  12. #20 by DENNIS HOWARD AME-1 USN on 24January2014 - 1:03 am


  13. #21 by DENNIS HOWARD AME-1 USN on 27January2014 - 12:42 am


  14. #22 by Rasz on 3February2014 - 6:33 pm

    First, I am prior enlisted, never wanted to be a chief (plan for retirement, not a status); I became an NFO, never had an ambition to be a pilot (and no I don’t wear glasses…); I choose P-3s for the quality of life, (never really wanted to go back to a boat); stated to my CO as a JO (Instructor TACCO/MC/blah blah w/ competitive EP) I didn’t want to go to VP-30, (wanted to take the non-traditional route); Staff Shore tour was only 18 months (EPx3); (cut it shore tour short to go do disassociated); did the shooter thing (yep, I chose the boat and left with a competitve EP); Shore duty (Fleet exposure – EP); slated to go DH and my counterpart is a VP30 (EP) guru. I can honestly say my career has been my choices, and I have no regrets.

    So I am curious if this blog will hold true, or if it is just a gripe. If it does hold true, and I don’t become an operational commanding officer, well, then I don’t, and I will look back at my first intention (plan for retirement, not a status!) Then I can sit back and enjoy the ride to retirement still with no regrets!

    However, I do agree that the P-3 community should invest more in tactics and weapon utilization, and they should figure out how to incorporate a super JO tour mentality to keep instructors in squadrons longer while not hampering the carreers of the junior JOs.

    • #23 by Mark on 4February2014 - 8:49 pm

      The taxpayers were ripped off by VP. It is odd, to get in the Navy I had to take a test that graded my AERONAUTICAL aptitude, I went to AVIATION Officer Candidate School, I went to FLIGHT School – and yet – when I get to my Operational Squadron how I protect my country, as a warrior, is by sitting at a desk with pen and paper, playing politics, etc. When I was in VP how well you flew the plane, how well you/your crew did tactically meant ZERO, NADA. It was all about the, “game”. You either played the, “game”, well or you didn’t.

  15. #24 by Nick Mulich on 23February2014 - 1:57 am

    Went through VP-30 twice, 1961 and 1975, both times were less than expected. Students are barely prepared to go to the fleet. I agree that the instructors are less than adequate and are not the best in the fleet. I was in VP-23 with a fellow AW that changed his rate from BT to AW and his first tour as an AW was VP-30. There is no way this guy was able to impart any of the skills learned on deployments. He was barley able to perform on his first deployment after being in VP-30 for 3 years.

  16. #25 by Anonymous on 17June2014 - 7:37 pm

    How is vp squadron for AO’s e5 and below

  17. #26 by Whatever on 29June2014 - 4:09 pm

    The center of the universe for the P-3 navy is shifting to Wing 10. Wing 2 continues working on their tan as they get ready to disestablish, and VP-30/Wing 11 is balls deep in the P-8. Unless Wing 10 takes the bull by the horns (doubtful), things are only going to continue going downhill for the P-3 squadrons.

  18. #27 by Anonymous on 10August2014 - 8:24 pm

    you know what makes VP-30 suck?? negative little shitheads like the tard that wrote this blog. He can’t get out my navy soon enough. if he is spewing nonsense that adds up to nothing here. there is no telling what he saying to sailors just checking into the command.
    this isn’t an officer writing this blog.. there are to many grammatical errors. this is most likely an AW that couldn’t cut it, and got rolled back. and if he can’t cut it as a flight stewardess, then he is surely unable to do anything else.
    whatever or whoever he is.. there is one thing for sure. he is a failure.
    instead of offering actual usable solutions.. he spews filth and complaints. i’ve never been to VP-30, but if they have been flying mishap free for over 50 years.. they must be doing something right.
    you really need to get out. there is no place for you in this or any other navy. all your doing is taking up space where a good sailor could be and wasting the governments money.

  19. #28 by ^ Prior enlisted ^ on 13August2014 - 9:46 pm

    The above post is hilarious on many levels, especially the remark about grammarz!

  20. #29 by Rick Magalis on 22October2014 - 7:15 pm

    VP 30 was a fantastic squadron in my day (1970-1974). I spent two years as a flight and ground school instructor, teaching every system. I taught the prop for 2 years and got to know it better than most of the Hamilton Standard Reps. I was also the NAVAIRLANT NATOPS Evaluator for two years. We did unannounced evaluations in those days flying from Pax to Brunswick and Jacksonville to check the squadrons at those locations. Most of the officers that I served with then are still friends of mine today. During my career, I flew P2V-7s, P3As, Bs, Cs and update 2.5s. I commanded VT31 and served in VP24, 44 and 30. I also flew DC8-63Fs for a couple of years. I was A Nav on the USS Independence for a couple of 9 month Med cruises. I later served as ASW OPs on the COMFAIRKEF Staff and Safety NATOPS on the COMPATWINGSLANT Staff. I was the Director, Naval Staff College at the Naval War College and Professor of Naval Science at Rice University. In addition to all of that I have been a consultant for 24 years during which time I lived in the Middle East for 10 years. The bottom line is, of all those experiences, I rank my VP 30 days right up at the top!!!

  21. #30 by The voice of reason on 29March2015 - 2:27 am

    You are a fucking idiot, who literally has no idea what you’re talking about. This is the reason you did not get VP30 or the WS. You teach ARP, which is managed by the WS idiot. They own your product, so yes, better guys need to be there. Oh, did you forget about WTI, taught by VP30/WS. You are qualified to instruct WTU by the higher level thinkers at the FRS/WS. Jesus, just admit you’re butt hurt because you didn’t get in. What were you, a number 5 EP? Don’t preach hate about something you don’t understand. You are the WTU teaching at a level 300 standard. We teach at the level 400 and level 500 standard each and everyday. Do people slip throw the cracks? Yes they do, but I challenge you to find somewhere they don’t! Last comment, I promise, we kick more people out of WTI from the WTU’s than any other nomination pipelines in the maritime patrol navy. Chew on that!

    • #31 by No thanks VP-30 on 28March2016 - 7:40 pm

      Sounds like another VP-30/WS douche..

  22. #32 by VP30isclearlybetterthanIam on 23June2015 - 1:31 am

    If the weapons school managed ARP so well then maybe the WTUs could get products that were updated past 2009. Or not have to teach O-4 TACCOs how to fire Harpoons when they didn’t get any training in the cat 3 syllabus…..

  23. #33 by Slipp McGurk on 7August2015 - 2:39 am

    You remember the last Harpoon launched by the VP community? No, not the fake ones… the real ones. It’s been, what, ten or fifteen years? Maybe longer? Have we ever launched one? And don’t carriers/jets/everything else tend to carry a ridiculous number of them, often specializing in some sort of strike warfare?

    Yeah, who cares if you can fire a Harpoon or not. There are a number of outdated weapons on this outdated platform that could just be removed from ARP/Readiness with zero loss to our mission capability (with an added bonus towards our sanity). Maybe the reason so many WTI guys are getting kicked out is because they are forced to teach obsolete material, thus making them expendable to the higher-ups on orders and promotion boards. Would you promote the guy developing the next killer app, or the guy who teaches the finer points of the abacus?

  24. #34 by Dr. Zhivago on 7August2015 - 5:53 am

    You are all fucking idiots. P-3s fucking suck now. Flight hour/Qual demands are the same if not more, the quality of people they are sending are clearly on the lower end of the spectrum, money is trickling to a stop, and an old ass plane is falling apart. People need to open their eyes and realize P3s aren’t the same as it was “in their day”. Try doing the same bullshit with half of the people and tell me how motivating it is to upgrade when you are still going to sit in your level 200 position until the last fucking day you leave the squadron.

    • #35 by VPisfail on 10September2015 - 1:53 am

      It’s actually worse than what Dr. Zhivago wrote… Any comments from some guy who was in the P-3 community 20 or 20 years ago are completely irrelevant. I say this as a guy who was in the community 10 years ago. It is in horrible shape now.

      • #36 by Dr. Zhivago on 10October2015 - 11:05 pm

        Thanks for the comment. I can attest that the current state of P3s is alarming. It is a cess pool of incompetency and laziness, resulting in the disillusionment of many junior officers. The part I find most interesting about this blog is how there are comments pre -dating 2011 that cite the same idiotic processes as I see now. There really is no hope for change, and by your comment I see that I will carry this disdain with me for some time to come after I leave this community.

  25. #37 by NotaDH on 14August2015 - 3:38 am

    75k bonus for department head tour. Incurs 5 year obligation. So lets do the math 75k/5yrs=15k a year, 15k a year/12 months=$1250 a month….fool me once, shame on you, me becoming a DH, shame on me. Take the bonus and shove it up your ass VP navy. I’ll be taking my life back now.

  26. #38 by Maximilien Robespierre on 13October2015 - 2:56 am

    Still don’t think there is something wrong with the P3 community? Read this recent USNI article about JOs desiring command. More specifically, look at the aviation numbers. Sound familiar? Could it be a cultural problem? Yes.

    • #39 by Anonymous on 17October2015 - 1:48 am

      See comments on 22April2013. Still holds true. Another thing about the Military is it has very little oversight/interaction with those, it supposedly, serves. If a Police Department were run like a P3 Squadron the taxpayers would be up in arms. Just think – all the Cops sitting around the station, doing paperwork, FaceTime, politics…anything and everything that has nothing to do with Policing. When I went in (mid 80’s) I wanted to be a warrior and my sword an aircraft. Little did I know the paperwork and office politics would mean everything. Look, it is a government job. This said, they, could, make the P3 community more objective by: 1) Gearing fit reps to actual warrior performance – on station, etc. 2) Foster warrior based competition in the squadron and amongst the squadrons. 3) Establish a professional warrior cadre…ie…not aspiring to be Obama’s bullshit mouthpiece. This said, it won’t change……never will. See my comments, again, on 22April2013 on why. Get out and don’t look back. I did…life is much better.

      • #40 by Maximilien Robespierre on 28December2015 - 1:31 am

        The problem with that thinking is that we don’t do anything that has to do with being a warrior. And honestly I am glad. Everyday I spent in the squadron was just another confirmation of that feeling. The unreliability of our aircraft , steady decline in quality of people, and lack of any modicum of a warrior spirit. Just do whatever the minimum is to make it look like you care so you can move up in rank, regardless of any improvement of any tangible product. That’s the name of the game and apparently it has been like that since 80’s. Thanks for the reply.

      • #41 by GetOutASAP on 20November2016 - 9:34 pm

        Much truth. P-3 pilot here with mediocre filtreps from the fleet, but kicked ass in the VT’s. I bailed asap in 2012. Started a fuel company with a life-long friend, got hired at American Airlines, and quit when I got a better offer from an Elon Musk company. Life is so much fucking better on the outside that it boggles the mind to this day. My Father and Grandfather were both Naval Aviators also, and this “Navy” is a shadow of its former self. Especially with culture, tradition, and morale. Political correctness has brought nothing but misery and rot.

  27. #42 by Anonymous on 28March2016 - 5:55 pm

    does anyone know the name of the contracting company for 30 currently seeking employment just recently separated from the navy

  28. #43 by Dr. Zhivago on 18November2016 - 6:18 am

    Does anyone read this anymore? Or has the VP community gotten magically better?

    • #44 by AlmostOut on 6February2017 - 8:16 pm

      “VP get better?” LOL

  29. #45 by Dr. Zhivago on 7February2017 - 4:01 am

    Yes, I still read and post and yes the P3 community still sucks. From jaded fellow to another, don’t be afraid to use your own unique screen name instead of mine, no judgment zone here.

  30. #46 by WillP43 on 23April2018 - 4:59 am

    I went through VP-30 starting in the summer of ’08. They did a fairly good job of teaching the aircraft, but overall I saw my piloting skills plummet, and their ops department ran things with no rhyme or reason. I had to go into scheduling a couple times to politely ask them why I was being scheduled twice a week as a priority six when I was due to check out in two weeks with five events left. I barely completed on time, and had to re-take the paper instrument and NATOPS exams because of said poor scheduling (well, that and airplanes that broke if you looked at them wrong). This is dredging up quite a few bad memories…

    There were some very good instructors when I was at VP-30. There were also some toolbags who thought they were good instructors because somehow schmoozing their way there meant so. I’d have to say that VP-30 was, in retrospect, the worst-run squadron I’ve experienced first-hand (though I’ve talked to other former VP types who had some stories). It’s hard not to hate the “golden path” mentality, and not just because you weren’t offered it after working just as hard as others who were but played the game better. It’s easy for the insiders to suggest that those who criticize are just bitter, but I honestly didn’t have any desire to go back to VP-30 at the time. I’d still say unless someone had Career Navy Person aspirations or family in Jacksonville, I still don’t see why they’d want to go there. I went on to instruct primary, and I’m glad I chose that path.

    Ultimately, I completed my commitment and went to the reserves as quickly as I could manage. There were a lot of reasons, and it’d be disingenuous to suggest that VP-30 was the driving force in that. The lack of direction and fighting spirit in the military in general, the social experimenting directed by bureaucrats, the mindless dog-eat-dog, make do mentality, shuffling from station to station for the sake of meaningless timelines. There are plenty of reasons. But VP-30 does fit in that matrix. From check-in, where the question of whether there was polish on my boots was the top concern (seriously! fortunately, a buddy forewarned me), to one of the crappiest weeks I’ve ever had trying to pack up my stuff and prepare for a cross-country move, knock out a NATOPS check in bad weather and broken airplanes, and somehow check out and collect myself enough to not show up to my next squadron as a hot mess… Other than a couple individual instructors, there wasn’t much concern about students – the product they’re tasked to develop and deliver – and it doesn’t seem I’m alone here.

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