Going from Paramedic in the Air Force to Pilot w/ zero flight experience: Using a GI Bill at Arizona State/ATP

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m getting out of the military in about 6 months and have always had a dream of flying (originally why I joined and applied to the Academy.) I’d like to use my GI Bill to obtain all my certs (and college degree if possible, some out of pocket expenses like my PPL are completely okay.) Not extremely pressed for time, not in a hurry to get to the airlines as I’m just excited to be out of the military and go back to school.

Have looked into and reached out to AeroGuard, ATP, and Arizona State University (where I’d prefer to attend school.) Was wondering if there’s any veterans here that have used their GI Bill benefits towards flight training or attended the ASU Flight Program; and if so, were most if not all costs paid for with their GI Bill? Was building flight hours the only thing left to accomplish? Does the “ATP ASU Program” assist with a flight instructor job to do so, just like the normal ATP program? Would really like to avoid paying the $90,000+ for an accelerated flight training considering I came all this way for my GI Bill… thanks!


Hopefully someone with similar experience/situation will chime in.

Until they do Id like to point out that pilots have a limited number of years they can fly. While I completely understand your desire to not spend $90k, every year you delay your entry to the industry you’re potentially forfeiting $400k plus benefits and seniority. Further with the hiring bonus and Tuition Reimbursement being offered today, you’d get that money back in very short order. Just something to consider.


RTag Nation is a group of veterans who transitioned into civilian aviation. Below is a link to their FB page, and they also chime in on the aviation career mentorship fb page.

Some Vets choose ATP part 61 accelerated program and others choose a 141 college program that allows the GI Bill. That group will have members that have done it all, for better or worse.

Ultimately you choose what’s best for your situation.

Chris F

This is extremely helpful Chris, thank you.

Thank you Adam, the more research I do and pilots I talk to, the more I consider this route.