Air Force or university

I’m a Jr in high school and I want to know if it’s better to go to the Air Force and get the student aid to get my bachelors or just go straight to the university. I don’t want to spend time in the Air Force if it doesn’t help me in the end. I want to be a ATP pilot and that already a lot of years wouldn’t want to waste time being in the Air Force if it doesn’t help me advance


The Air Force offers some great opportunities and their pilots receive exceptional training but ANYONE who’s in the military will tell you enlisting just to learn to fly is a bad idea. The military is a huge commitment on many levels.

If you want to be an airline pilot be an airline pilot. If you want to serve your country AND learn to fly then do that.



100% agree!!!

If you do not have a desire to serve your country, then you absolutely should not enter the armed forces just to get financial existence. That is the complete wrong reason to do so.


As a Junior in HS I would urge you to visit an Officer Recruiter for the Air Force (or the Navy, since they are so much cooler, I may be biased) :slight_smile: Unless you have personal experience (Ex. if you are a military kid) with what the military is, you just need some exposure to what you would be taking on. It is certainly a “job” and pays you plenty to take care of yourself (and any future family you have), trains you in a skill (flying in the case of this discussion), and for most days of your service commitment its likely you’ll go to work at 07:30 and leave at 16:30, Monday to Friday. HOWEVER, you will have significant stretches away from everyone you love in some very nasty places, you will likely be put in a position to be shot at (perhaps a lot, depending on the aircraft you fly), and you will be supporting missions where the goal is to kill people (or you may actually be the one killing them).

The college benefits are undeniable.
The “cool factor” is real. I mean, hey, have you SEEN the uniforms! :slight_smile:
The average pay, medical benefits, housing, and travel overseas are all good.

However, you will be emotionally stressed, intellectually put through your paces, and if you shot at, are targeted by bombs or bullets, are taken Prisoner of War, or have to carry out deadly missions where civilians are killed (by mistake, or as unavoidable collateral deaths) you may suffer mental effects for years to come.

If you think you are prepared to pay the price and dedicate yourself to a “job” bigger than your own personal financial growth, look into the military. It’s 100% worth it for many, many who have taken up the challenge.

One last thing, some military services require an 7, 8, or even 10 year contract in exchange for training you as a pilot. Be sure you ask a LOT of questions if you decide to talk to a recruiter!

Good luck!
23 year military career in the Air Force (4 years enlisted), and Navy (19 years, still serving as an officer):us:

1 Like