Real Answers from Real Pilots

Military pilot or Civilian

I am in a weird pickle and I would like some advice. Right now I have 3 options to choose from in order to start flying. My overall goal is to become a pilot. I am enlisted with 4 years of service and still currently in the military. I am pursuing my undergraduate degree online and will be done by the end of 2018. My three options right now are completing my degree and applying for a pilot slot in the Air Force (branch I’m currently in), separate from the service (palace chase: leave active duty and join an Air National Guard until) and attend a school with a flying program, or stay enlisted, finish my degree then try to get as many cert’s as I can until my enlistment is over in 2022. Any insight would help me out a lot. Thanks!


You say your “overall goal is to become a pilot”. The question is do you want to be an airline pilot or a military pilot? If you choose to remain in the Air Force I believe the minimum commitment is 8 years for a pilot slot. Great aircraft, great training IF you want to be a military pilot. If however you want to be an airline pilot than I wouldn’t wait another 8yrs to do it.



If you can get a pilot training slot in either the Air Force or the ANG, I would absolutely recommend doing that. Beyond that, if you really want to be a pilot, the best thing you can do is get yourself into the cockpit as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less time you have to fly for the airlines.