Thinking about joining the Air Force


New Member
Hey, I'm just trying to think of all my options and at this point in time the air force idea is almost my number one choice. I wanna be a pilot and was just wondering how it works. Do i go to basic military training before or after college? And is it true they will pay for me to go to college for free. I have a lot of questions, this is easily the biggest decision of my life so i wanna know everything I can.

~Also~ If I want to be a pilot does that mean I'm going to be a pilot? Are they gonna stick me with some other job I don't wanna do?
Back to the point....if i say i wanna be a pilot in the air force then does that mean I am 100 percent positivly going to be one (assuming i pass all the tests). And also do I do basic military training before or after my 4 years of college?
just because you want to get a certain MOS doesn't mean you're going to get it. A pilot slot is the hardest slot to get in the AF, harder than Infantry for us Army guys.
Not without a college education, several hours of flight time already under your belt and a few other happy things to offer THEM.
i already have SOME flight time but every penny i earn goes toward that, I'm a year through college but its so hard to pay for everything. I heard that they might be able to pay for me to finish college? I'm calling a recruiter tomorrow but everyone says how they lie just to get you to join so I'm gonna try to be as careful as possible.
Topgunn85 said:
i already have SOME flight time but every penny i earn goes toward that, I'm a year through college but its so hard to pay for everything. I heard that they might be able to pay for me to finish college? I'm calling a recruiter tomorrow but everyone says how they lie just to get you to join so I'm gonna try to be as careful as possible.

If your heart isn't completely set on fixed wing .. look into the Army's WOCS and WO Flight Training program. Even though only a HS diploma is required, they love people with some college and with some flight time under your belt already - you'll be ahead of the pack. But remember, that's helos, not pretty boy fighters.
Im glad you want to be a pilot: please understand that not everyone can be one in the airforce. With a 30-500 million dollar aircraft on the line, they can be picky and very selective in the process.

This site explains the the three processes by which the Air Force gets officers: College ROTC comissioning program, Officer training school, and the Air Academy. health care providers, chaplains, and lawyers are accepted in a special program that makes them Officers, but normally pilots are accepted from only the first three areas.

The people that get top consideration for the pilot program are usally college graduates with degrees in engineering or mechanical sciences, although anything is possible. Prior flight training is a bonus but not required.

Canidates that apply must also be the most physically fit specimans they can find. people with bad moral character or legal adjugements, such as a misdemoner conviction, are not accepted. Personnel with prior drug convictions, or known usage of drugs just arent messed with anymore.

So...its education (military or civil college), acceptance of a comission or acceptance into the OTS, application for pilot training apon completion of the college or OTS, acceptance into the pilot program, and then ground school. Its a long haul, but if you are determined, you should make it.

Good luck. ;)
Yea my heart is set on fixed wings. I actually have a bit of a fear in helicopters for some reason, and I think it's because when I was young I went up in a Cost Guard chopper and hated every second of it.

I got off of the phone with a the recruiter minutes ago and he asked me all those questions (have i ever done drugs, am i single, do i have kids, do i plan on having kids sometime soon, have I ever gotten in trouble with the law, etc..) And then he was like, "good man good man" and asked to set an appointment for next week tuesday. (i picked the date he kept trying to get me to go in today.)

He said I could get 100% tuition and all this other stuFF, but then I would have to join the air force as something else (mechanic or anything besides a pilot) and that I could learn for free while serving and then become a pilot after that? (i think thats what he said, does it sound right?)

He said my vision is good enough, and that it requires a bachelors degree which i can get for free while doing something else in the air force. Anyone know the cut-off age for pilots?
I do not know the cut off age for pilots... but i know you can't be older thank 35 to join the air force... i think... Yes it is true that the airforce pays 100% tuition, but you have to attend school on your own time. You most likely will have to sign on as an enlisted member of the air force with some other type of job. your job i really decided based on your asvab score. the higher you score the more choices you will have on the type of job. Ok back to the college thing. You work your job for 8 hours or so and then have to attend school after that. (like i said your spare time). You have to take officer training through the air force to become a pilot. You have to be a commisioned officer to become a pilot and there is no exceptions. the only way you will beable to get near the planes while enlisted is if you are one of the mechanics or an areial gunner or something similar. If there is anything i can help with please feel free to pm me.

I hope any of this helped
I don't want to turn you off to this whole thing, but here's my little bit of advice from what I have experienced in the army:

NOTHING is every guaranteed in the armed forces. Slots for schools open up and dissapear all the time.
just in case you still have to enter the pilot training program before you turn 27 years old. this means you have to be enrolled in the pilot program before this age. In actuality, the art of taking the gee forces and stress associated with a combat aircraft really favors the very young or exceptionally fit if you are advanced in maturity...yes, old.

As a sideline..they found out that women can take 2-3 gees more than the guys. some how the apeal of getting in a plane to plane dog fight with a woman pilot (or aviator, in the Navys case) has lost its luster... :shock:
i know the marines tried recruiting me before and he told me i could go to embry-riddle aeronautical university for free if i joined. (its in daytona florida) The Air Force wont pay for tuition to a normal college (like embry-riddle) if i join the AFROTC or anything?

Thanks for all the info you guys are giving me by the way; and also the guy told me i would be flying helicopters if i joined the marines and that is definatly not what i wanna do.
And it's good to know people, *waves to Captain "Bubba" Snuffy, USN*

Mod edit: Be careful with other people's names here (and elsewhere), I know your use was innocent, but unless it is your own name we cannot allow it.
If you really want to be a pilot and don't care which service you join I would suggest going Navy. They have the best chance of becoming pilots of any of the ROTC programs. For example almost a third of all commissionees recieve a pilot slot in the Navy whereas in the Air Force the competition is much fiercer for fewer slots. Of course I encourage you to go Air Force anyway! Air Power!!!

Regardless of what you decide to do, your three top things need to be grades, proffessionalism, and physical training. Your GPA, how your PAS ranks you compared to your class, and your PFT scores are going to be the top decisions in how you make pilot. (oops forgot: as well as how you do on your BAT test)

Oh and while it does give you an edge if you have a private pilots licence it's not going to balence out the other things being bad. I happen to know 3 lieutenants who made pilot without private licences...they just had to delay training until they had received them (and the AF paid for it too).

Interestingly enough the difference between the last pilot slot recipient and the first non-receiver was less than .1% this year. That means if he had run 3 seconds faster, done one more push-up, or had a GPA .01 higher he would have had the slot.

Another option you can consider is that those who have technical majors besides having better scholarship chances :D can also go to test-pilot school. Plus you could also try for a Nav slot!

Hope that helps! Good luck and do your best!
He said the army. The Marines have fixed wing aircraft including the Harrier and Fa-18. So if you wanted you could join the Marines to be a pilot although the officer training is probably hell.