Real Answers from Real Pilots

AirForce

Hello everyone,

I have my medical exam tomorrow. I graduate college in May and will be attending ATP soon after. All my questions have been answered on here already. By the way, thank you all for helping us future pilots on advising. My last question that I can’t seem to find on here is; the AirForce. Everytime I tell friends, family, etc. that I am wanting to be a commercial pilot they always ask if I’m going to the AirForce first. I know that the airlines hire them pretty easy once they serve their time. Does anyone have any input on this? Have y’all seen this to be a more efficient route? I’m still going to attend ATP I just was curious as to what y’all have to say about joining the AirForce to go to the airlines.

Thank you for you feed back!

Drew,

I have never been in the service, but I can tell you that if you want to join the Air Force, you should do it because you want to serve the country, not because you are looking for a free ride. The military is a whole lifestyle and mindset, which is fine, but it is something that will affect the rest of your life. The military also does not (in my opinion) provide a more efficient route to the airlines, there is always the possibility of not being assigned a pilot training slot, being assigned drones, or just not flying much.

If you want to join the military, that is great, but do it because you want to join the military and not for any other reason.

Chris

Drew,

Many, MANY years ago the original commercial pilots came from the military. You had retired military aircraft being bought up by fledgling airlines who needed pilots to fly them (there was no ATP or Embry Riddle in the late 40’s). For decades the military continued to supply the airlines so for the vast majority of airline pilots were military. BUT, commercial aviation continued to grow and expand and at the same time there were fewer military pilots so the balance shifted with more and more pilots coming from the private sector to the point where there now are far more pilots coming from the civilian ranks than the military. With all due respect to your family and friends, they’re giving you info based on something they heard from someone somewhere some time ago.

Adam

Adam,

Thank you so much! That is what I was trying to ask.

Drew,

Like they said, if you want to join the Air Force then that’s great and you should do it. However, I can tell you from experience that doing it because you want to serve your country is the only reason you should do it. Unless maybe your living in poverty and it’s your only escape but that’s not what we are talking about. The Air Force (and all other branches for that matter) is very, very selective on who they send to pilot training. Unless you find a Guard or Reserve unit that is hurting for bodies if you didn’t go to the Air Force Academy, your chances just went down even more. The military is a lifestyle change that you can’t help but undertake. It’s great for some and horrible for others. If you want to be a pilot, go become a pilot. If you want to join the Air Force, then go join the Air Force. Just know that doing one, isn’t going to really helping you out with the other.

Jeremy