The Navy has really good pilot training...Naval fliers are supposed to be the best I hear....I think you should check into more than just the Air Force when looking at military options. That way....you might see another branch of military has the same thing you want, but it might be easier or you might get better opportunities out of it. Just keep an open mind about the military. The AF isn't the only branch where people can become pilots....
now wait just a cotton picking minute! the air national guard units fly just about everything in the regular Air Force inventory...from fighters to cargo to medevac planes! yes even fuel.
Big Planes. little planes. Even pink and purple polka dot planes (wait...that one crashed from shame). The Air National Guard can do it all.
Now that that shameless plug is over...back to the program You have so much oppertunity to learn to fly in so many organizations...and all of them are good too.! Just take your time and learn to AIM HIGH the first time! (this subliminal message brought to you by the US Air Force...)
Dude if you are going to school now go find a Air National Guard Recruiter and tell him your plans. You can join the Guard go to boot camp during the summer and get them to pay for almost all of your college. My advice would be to join and get a job in Life Support, that way you will learn a lot of the on ground stuff you will need to be a pilot. In the guard you can also apply for an undergraduate pilot position which will put you in a pilot slot, then you will go to Officer Training School then start your flight training. I had a friend do this and is training in the T-38 now, and will eventually be flying the F-15 (America's Air Superiority Fighter) Good Luck in whatever you do...
I'll try to add my 2 cents. I'm pursuing a military career, I applied to the USNA and USAFA (AFA wait-listed me, USNA shafted me) and AFROTC and NROTC (once again, the shaft from the navy, I guess I'm too much of a land-lover). I looked into the USMC, but AFROTC gave me the scholarship, so I'm joining the det at AZ state.
I know if you walk into the ROTC bulding and join either AFROTC or NROTC (don't know about AROTC), they won't pay for tuition, but they will give you a stripend ($250 per month first year, $300 second year, etc.) and if you graduate from college you will be commisioned into either the AF, Navy, or USMC (if you do NROTC Marine option). I also know that if you do well in college, they may pick up your tuition down the road.
Personally, I wouldn't listen to an enlisted recruiter. I was at some Civil Air Patrol thing, and an AF C-130 pilot with ten years on active duty said he has only known 5 guys in the AF who crossed from enlisted to officer, because, as he put it, it's really difficult to do your AF job for hours on end, then go straight to school. He also said that the needs of the AF come first. So if your class meets at 9, and you have to report at 8 taht day, then you're screwed. My grandpa was a CMSGT in the AF and he said it was ridiculous, so I'd take their advice.
I don't know much about the Guard though, maybe that is a great way, but with the current Iraqi situation I'd standoff a bit if you want to finish school soon. Personally, I was hours away from signing into the Marine 92-day reserve program, but my recruiter made a phone call and found out that I could be deployed. He promptly told me, but if he hadn't, I'd be in Iraq in a few months.
At least sit down with a ROTC officer and talk to them. They will give you straight answers, because, generally, they don't have to recruit officers, enough people want to do it voluntarily. I mean, the AFA had 15,000 applicants for 1200 slots this year, and ROTC had 16,000 applicants for 2,500 scholarships. Also, ask about OTS. I'm pretty sure the navy gives the same consideration to each pilot candidate, whether they're from OCS, NROTC or USNA, but the AF gives a lot of consideration to AFA officers, decent consideration to AFROTC, and not much at all to OTS. And in the AF you have to commit before you know whether you got into pilot training. I'm sure this is all accurate, but ask to be certain.
Also AFROTC has a weird way of picking candidates. Your major doesn't count for very much, but almost all scholarships are in technical majors. However, your commander's recommendation is 50% of your score, and if you have a hard major then I've heard your commander will give you more leniancy. I've heard rumors that this may be changing and that majors will start playing a bigger role, but they're just rumors.
However, if you go Navy OTS or USMC PLC or OCS, they will guarantee pilot slots before you sign the dotted line (not sure about NROTC or USNA), but something like 60% of their fleet are choppers.
I've looked at this from a thousand angles, and there isn't an easy way to become a pilot. Good luck though, I hope to see ya out there.
bingo. and most of the pilots are grads of AFROTC or the Academy and have no prior military expierence. it is really hard to even be considered for flights school and actually doing flight school is even harder than that.
To be a pilot in the USAF you will have to have to be an officer. Only Officers can pilot aircraft.
You cannot join the USAF garenteed pilot because pilots have to pass certain phyiscal tests and if you pass out at certain G-forces or you get sick too often than they will drop from the program.
Also at the USAFA the students get to choose their careers and they choose in the order they are in that class ie the top students chooses first and then the 2nd best students etc. So if you go to the academy and are last in your class your career options will be somewhat limited.
I am not sure how it works if you dont go to the academy because when I was considering becoming a CRO I was only concerned about going to the academy so I only know how it works there.
American_Ace, the ease of going from enlisted to officer depends a lot on your career field. I know at least on Pararescue guy who was chosen to go to OTS and you figure how much time he must have had to study being in one of the most active enlisted career fields in the USAF. If he were to get a desk job in the USAF that works from say 0800-1630, something like MPF, than he could easily knock out classes at will.
The majority of Navy aviation slots are for rotary wing aircraft. That means if you want to fly fixed-wing aircraft then the Air Force is still your best bet.
Theres also different schools of thought on what you should do. They all include going to college. If you are very academically successful, I would suggest applying to the Air Force Academy. Otherwise, or if for some reason you do not wish to join the academy I suggest you enroll in AFROTC.
The percentage of people in flight training that arrived there through OTS is about 4 in every 30 while the rest is usually divided between ROTC and the Air Force Academy.
Theres some debate on whether prior flight experience helps or hurts you. I am of the mind that it helps you, provided that you are cut out to be a military aviator in the first place. It is not difficult to get a private pilot's certificate, so therefore you see some people going into training with so many hours of flight time yadda yadda. Usually about half of those with flight time can't hack it, while the other half do very well. (I am pulling these statistics from what amounts as to my rectum). Prior flight exp helps you in the sense that it gets you ready, but if you just can't think easily faster than 120 kts then it may prove to be a hinderance as you feel you come into training with an advantage when it truly is a defect.