Becoming an Air Force pilot
- Complete a bachelor's degree program at a community college or university. The second step is earning a commission as an officer (a Second Lieutenant to be precise). You have essentially four choices: The US Air Force Academy (4 years of marching, looking good), The US Merchant Marine Academy and accepting your commission in the Air Force, ROTC (4 years of wearing uniforms to class and saying very un-pilot-like things like "AirPower, " marching and well groomed haircuts), OTS (12 weeks of early mornings, vaguely annoyed instructors and a decent salad bar). Your choice: you'll earn a commission no matter which way you go.
- And if you do well enough, you might earn a spot at Undergraduate Pilot Training. Things determining that are: Your GPA, Class standing (for USAFA and ROTC), Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) scores, Pilot Composite Selection Method (PCSM) scores, Recommendations.
- The AFOQT is a comprehensive, day long test that your recruiter or school can arrange. It measures academic potential as well as a number of measures of piloting skill and problem solving abilities.
- The PCSM is part-simulator and part-psych profiler. The final score also includes not only aptitude results but real-world flying experience in the form of hours accumulated in real aircraft. This is the surest way to enhance your chances of being selected. It also happens to be quite fun.
- Be in shape. In order For one to become a USAF pilot, they must achieve the utmost medical, physical, and academic requirements and be at least the rank of Officer in the United States Air Force.
- Once you've been through all that process, you will find yourself in the last crucible: UPT. It's a grueling 54 week ordeal that requires every ounce of energy you can muster and has claimed many students who didn't have the right stuff. You'll work 12 hours a day for 5, 6 or 7 days a week and study an additional 2 or 3 when you get home. You'll think about absolutely nothing but flying airplanes. But that's not to say you won't have fun: flying solo in a jet, being number 2 in a fingertip formation, low-level navigation are just a few of the things that await you. That and the dreaded stand-up interrogations every morning.
- Then one bright day, you'll walk across the stage in the base theater and receive your first set of silver wings. You'll have become one of the best trained and most able pilots in the world. All that remains is to prove yourself in the next airplane you're assigned to.