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How to Join the Air Force

Shashank Nakate
The United States Air Force (USAF) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and is among the world's largest and most sophisticated air defense systems. It is a field which provides a challenging work environment and also offers a chance to serve the country. Pride, integrity and tradition is a way of life at USAF.
If you want to be a part of this great tradition, this article would give you the details on how to fly high.
The part of an army which conducts aerial warfare is generally termed as its air force. The elements of an air force include fighters, helicopters, bombers, transport airplanes, and other aircraft. The United States Air Force was formed on 18th September, 1947.
It possesses 5,484 manned aircraft, around 180 unmanned air combat vehicles, 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 2,130 air launched cruise missiles and 332,845 active personnel on duty.
This is amongst the world's biggest air forces and has the capability and capacity to take up warfare in any location when required. The procedure to join the air force needs to be understood properly to secure good positions, which you would find here.
The air force provides a lucrative career and gives a chance to work with high-end, sophisticated technology. The Air Force Academy trains people for jobs in the United States Air Force. No tuition fee is charged. The standard of education offered at the academy is extremely high and those interested in joining the academy should, however, remember that it is obligatory to serve the air force at least for 5 years after training.

Educational Qualification and Aptitude Test

To join the air force, applicants should at least have a High School Diploma. Those who have appeared for General Educational Development (GED) tests can also apply. Applicants need to take the 'Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery' (ASVAB) examination.
The score achieved in this test is termed as the Armed Forces Qualification Test Score (AFQT). GED-holders should have an AFQT score of 65 out of 99 to seek admission. An AFQT score of 50+ is expected from high school graduates. Here is a list of subjects for which one should prepare in order to appear for the ASVAB exam.
  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Electronics Information (EI)
  • Auto & Shop (AS)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
  • General Science (GS)
Apart from the educational qualifications and tests necessary for joining the air force, the applicant also needs to fulfill some basic requirements which are enlisted below.
  • The person should be a citizen of the United States of America.
  • Those interested in joining the air force should be unmarried, i.e without dependents.
  • Their age should be between 17 and 23 years as on 1st July of that particular year.
  • One also needs to possess a social security card in order to join as a cadet.
  • Academic standards, physical fitness, and leadership qualities in a person are also taken into account.

Background and Medical Check

Applicants should not have any criminal history. They have to pass various medical tests in order to be eligible to join the air force. The different medical tests include a hearing test, a color blindness test, urinalysis, blood pressure test, etc. In the physical examination, one has to perform various joint exercises.
An alcohol breath analyzer test is also conducted, and history of these tests, if available, are also taken into account. Individuals also need to have a clean bill of health, with no existing medical conditions, to be considered eligible.

Jobs in the Air Force

The decision about joining the air force should be taken after discussion with elders and veterans who have served in the forces. Listening to the opinions of experienced people would help in taking informed decisions.
A job in the air force (or other defense services) is quite difficult in a sense that one has to stay away from the family for a minimum of 4 years and is also exposed to strict regimes and extensive physical activity. An aptitude test is necessary for a person to secure an air force assignment.
One should obtain detailed information about the test by visiting an air force recruiter. The air force offers as many as 150 different jobs. Here is a list of the various jobs that would give you an idea.
  • Operations
  • Medical & Dental
  • Support
  • Maintenance & Logistics
  • Finance & Contracting
  • Legal & Chaplain
  • Special Investigations
The decision to join the air force should be taken after understanding the nature of job completely. Given the lucrative job opportunities, one should seriously consider this option not only for income, but also for honor and pride.