First I will start with the similarities shared by 19Ds and 15Ts. The most obvious similarity is that both jobs are in the Army. With that, brings many of the same evils. Waking up early is not a choice; neither is wearing a uniform. You have to obey lawful orders from anyone who outranks you, and pay them the respect that their rank deserves. Pay is based on rank, and is a yearly salary.
That means that no matter how long you work, or how early you get up the next day, no sort of overtime pay is awarded to you. Both jobs come with the thing that is foremost in everyone’s mind, deployment to foreign war zones. While extra pay is given for time served in war zones, the chance of injury and death still exists. The possibility for “stop loss” is there, meaning not being able to get out when your contract ends because of your unit’s deployment schedule.
There are many differences between being a 19D and a 15T. For starters, a 15T fixes Black hawks and flies with them doing various flight related missions. A 19D’s primary mission is to find enemy positions in uncharted areas of the combat zone. 19D’s also conduct presence patrols and do all of the basic infantry jobs, such as raids and call for fire missions. Beyond the basic job descriptions, the differences come down to the simpler level. Basically, most ways that the two are the same, they are different. A 19D wears a ground force uniform.
A 15T wears a flight uniform. Command is very strict and rigid in a Cavalry unit. An aviation unit tends to be more relaxed and rank matters less, as long as you are proficient at your job. Flight pay is awarded to flight crews for the job they do, regardless of where they do it. Flight crew’s duty day is limited to fourteen hours. The best part of aviation is the deployment schedule. Certain aviation units have a two month deployment schedule; which greatly reduces the Army norm of fifteen months.
With all of the similarities and differences considered, the choice I had to make hinged on one thing I haven’t listed yet; civilian potential for employment. As a 19D, jobs options were limited to security positions, that in most cases, civilians could get just as easily. As a 15T, I have the ability to get an Airframe and Power plant license. That license certifies me to work on civilian fixed wing and rotary wing airplanes. So basically, by re-classing, and devoting 4 more years to the Army, I came out with a license that will guarantee me employment worldwide. The choice seemed as obvious to me at the time as it does today. Being a 19D was fun while it lasted; but being a 15T is a smart career choice.