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How to Become a Fighter Pilot

Chuck is a former Vietnam-era air navigator with degrees in History and Economics. Areas of interest include aviation and military history.

The Training is Grueling

Fighter pilots fly high performance jet planes in combat. Their primary job is to defend our troops and positions against attacks by enemy aircraft.

To become a fighter pilot, you first must join the armed forces. For Americans, the only domestic employers of fighter pilots are the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, and the Marines.

The Marines have some attack aircraft but they mostly fly support for Marines on the ground.

The Army uses mostly helicopters and the Coast Guard uses aircraft for rescue. Neither of these two branches of the service engage in extensive air-to-air combat.

Inside cockpit of USAF F-15E Strike Eagle flying in formation with other F-15E fighters (photo courtesy of USAF)

Inside cockpit of USAF F-15E Strike Eagle flying in formation with other F-15E fighters (photo courtesy of USAF)

Requirements for U.S. Fighter Pilots

All pilots in both the United States Air Force and Navy are commissioned officers, and all commissioned officers in these two branches must be college graduates. So the first requirement for a fighter pilot is to be a college graduate.

The next requirement is that a candidate meet the physical, psychological, and intellectual requirements for admission to officer training.

This process starts with completing a long and very detailed application which can best be described as telling them everything about your life to date. Don't lie or omit anything on this application as the application will be given to the FBI who will use it as the starting point for a full investigation of your background.

This FBI background investigation includes going through sealed court records, so if you had any run ins with the law as a juvenile, include this information even though the court told you the record would be sealed and not available for viewing.

Past transgressions, both as a juvenile and as an adult, won't necessarily prevent you from being accepted for officer training, but NOT disclosing them and having the FBI find them will almost certainly be grounds for rejecting your application on the grounds that you lack integrity and cannot be trusted.

Even if the FBI overlooks the record on this first check, they will do a more extensive background check before you graduate from flight school and they will most likely discover the record that time and you will be removed from flight school.

Admission to officer training also requires the passing of a test which tests your knowledge (this part is very much like the Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT that you took to get into college) as well as having a psychological test built into it.

The psychological questions are intermixed with the knowledge questions. In addition, the test is in sections and, once one section is completed, you cannot go back and change answers in the previous sections.

So, by the time you have figured out where they are going with the psychological portion of the exam, it is impossible to go back and change answers in order to present the right psychological profile.

In general, the USAF and Navy are looking for people who are motivated, aggressive, have initiative, and are team players. This is what the psychological portion of the test looks for.

Finally, you will also have to pass a rigorous physical exam.

Pilot candidates usually also have to take additional knowledge and psychological tests as well as meet higher physical standards, especially in the area of vision.

Assuming you meet all of the qualifications, the next step is officer training. All officer candidates, except those who received their commission through ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) in college or as a graduate of the Air Force Academy or the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, have to go through the officer training program following acceptance into military service.

While in officer training school, you are not an officer and are treated much the same way as those in the enlisted ranks are treated in basic training.

Physical training is a major part of the program as are the academics, which are focused mainly on the history and traditions of the Air Force or Navy.

Physical and mental stress play a big role in the training as one of the goals of the program is to weed out those who can't handle the stress and who are not fully committed to becoming an officer.

Expect to have to meet tough physical and mental demands as you undergo your training.

Flight School

Once you complete officer training and receive your commission, you will be sent to flight school. As an officer you will be treated with more respect and have more freedom than a cadet in officer training.

However, pilots are an elite fraternity within the service, especially in the Air Force, which is all about flying. You will still be in a second class position as you will be both a student and one who has not yet earned pilot wings.

Flight school is a combination of academics, this time dealing with more serious aviation related subjects such as meteorology, aeronautic theory, principles of flight, etc., as well as flying, both in simulators on the ground and in planes in the air.

Stress is also a big part of flight school as they want people who can not only deal coolly with the stress of in flight emergencies, but the added stress of flying under combat conditions.

The intent is to identify and force out those who can't handle the stress as well as those who do not measure up academically or whose flying is not up to standards.

It is not uncommon for a number of people to wash out of flight school and not become military pilots. Flight school will take about a year and, if you successfully complete flight school, you will be awarded your wings as a pilot.

Throughout flight school you will be continually evaluated and ranked. The rankings will be posted, so everyone will know where they stand in relation to everyone else.

As the class progresses, the higher ups in the chain of command will review their needs for pilots and send a list of open assignments to the flight school. These assignments will be based upon the needs of the service and there will be no guarantee as to how many, if any, of the assignments will be fighter jets.

Worse still, people are assigned to planes according to their rank in class with the top ranked person having first choice of assignments and the bottom ranked person getting the plane that is left after everyone else has chosen.

Since fighter jocks are the elite of the elite, you can be certain that any fighter assignments will be taken by those at the top of the class. So, if you want to be a fighter pilot, you had better work hard to be at the top of your class in flight school.

Scenes From Fighter Combat Mission in Afghanistan

The Lucky Few Go On to Advanced Training as Fighter Pilots

In the case of the fighter jets, especially the newer high performance ones, the assignment is not to fly the jet but, rather, a seat in the school that trains people to fly these jets. While you are waiting for your fighter jet class to start, you will probably to sent to wilderness survival school to learn how to survive in the wilderness if you ever have to bail out and live off the land for a few days while waiting to be rescued. There will be a few days of class where you will learn which bugs, critters, roots, and leaves are edible and then turned loose in the woods for a few days where you can immediately put this knowledge to use by living on these same creatures as you make your home in the wilderness. Disgusting as it sounds, this is actually the easy part of the training as the next stage is to continue to survive on eating bugs and whatever else you can find while, at the same time, evading capture by the enemy. Of course, you will be captured and will spend the next few days as a prisoner of war undergoing the same psychological and physical torture as you would receive from a real enemy.

The final stage is to attend and complete training in the fighter aircraft that you have chosen. You are now both an officer and a pilot, so you are well into the ranks of the elite. Even if you fail to complete this school, you will be given another flying assignment, although not necessarily in a fighter jet. In addition to learning how to fly your chosen aircraft, there may be additional training beyond how to operate the aircraft. Upon successful completion of your training, you will be a full fledged fighter jock, one of the most prestigious positions in the Air Force, overshadowed only by the tiny clique of test pilots and astronauts.

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle in flight.  (Photo courtesy of USAF)

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle in flight. (Photo courtesy of USAF)

USAF F-100F Fighter Jet at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ

USAF F-100F Fighter Jet at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ

Indian Air Force- Su MKI 30 - Heavy Combat Aircraft

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2006 Chuck Nugent


Jadon on June 15, 2017:

It's always been a dream of mine to be a PIC of a fighter jet for US Air Force, I'm 18 working on my GED, I have little flight experience of 60hrs between a j-3cub and a Cessna150

VJG from Texas on October 10, 2014:

Great, detailed article and so well written, that, based on the comments, you inspired a lot of youngsters. It's good and comforting to know that it seems that we have only the best fighter pilots up there protecting us.

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on June 01, 2013:

Abigail - you have very impressive accomplishments already at 16 and sound like you would be a good candidate for the U.S. Air Force except for the citizenship issue.

If you want to be a pilot you have to be an officer and officers must be U.S. citizens. According the U.S. Air Force's enlistment web page (http://www.airforce.com/joining-the-air-force/enli... Non-citizens can, however, join the enlisted ranks of the Air Force provided they are a legal, permanent resident (i.e., qualify and hold a Green Card). This would be a way for you to serve in the U.S. Air Force without having to give up your Nepalese citizenship (note: if you are planning to become a doctor you would have to put off practicing medicine until you left the Air Force as Doctors have officer rank).

I checked the British, Canadian and Australian Air Force Requirements for options for you in those nation's Air Forces. The British and Canadian Air Forces limit admission to all ranks to their citizens only. However, according to the Royal Australian Air Force recruiting web page (http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/recruitmentcentre/ca... there appear to be some limited opportunities for non-Australians to join the Royal Australian Air Force. These include flying positions provided you have prior flight training and experience in another nation's Air Force.

I hope this is of help and good luck in your quest.

Abigail on May 15, 2013:

hi I really wanna be in the air force so badly since I was 8 I wanted to be in the air force . Right now I have completed my 12 th class with science having physics,biology,chemistry,english,and Nepali (my native language). I am from Nepal .right now I am 16 and I am about to do classes for MBBS( doctor) but I really wanna be in the air force.in my country there is no air force!!! And to be in the air force do I have to be the citizen of US?? Please help me please me..I can be a real fighter with all my passion and hard work and determination..

Abhay on March 11, 2013:

Thanks for the info. I m from kanpur university (http://kanpurdeals.com/kanpur-university-annual-ex... I am sure this info will help me to reach new heights...

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on January 18, 2013:

Ramandeep Kaur, I suggest that you check to see if your nation's Air Force has female pilots and see what requirements need to be met in order to be accepted into this training.

However, I would suggest that you first make sure that this is your dream as well as the training is very rigorous as are the job demands. While it is admirable that you want to fulfill your Father's dream for you, it should be your dream as well. If your heart is not in this you will not only not be happy in this profession and could also put your life and the lives of fellow pilots at risk as this is a dangerous profession that requires a high degree of concentration and commitment.

Ramandeep Kaur on January 15, 2013:

I m a teenage girl nd i want to become a fighter jet pilot. It's my father's dream nd i wanna complete the dream...........

Kaz on December 22, 2012:


Great Hub. Also other hubs about becoming a commercial and jet pilot are really interested, especially for me. Currently I am in a flight school and in few years I will get an frozen ATPL. Also in the meantime I write articles about military aircraft and you gave an idea of article about becoming a fighter pilot. Thanks for that.

You can find the article here:


Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on July 09, 2012:

Will - vision and other requirement for fighter pilots varies depending upon branch of the military and from nation to nation. See my Hub on becoming a fighter pilot for the Air National Guard (https://chuck.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Become-a-Fig... which goes into some detail about the requirements, including the vision requirements, for fighter pilots in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard.

Will on July 05, 2012:

I want to become a fighter Pilot but the problem is my vision is not perfect (I need glasses). Do you think it is still possible to become a pilot or not? I don't think they accept people who's vision is not 100% perfect.

Alex on May 09, 2012:


i am alex and i do wanna be a fighterpilot but in my country there are a lots of cuts in the army and the chance of becoming a fighter pilot is olmost zero. I am from the Netherlands and I'm curious if its possible for me to become an american Fighter Pilot. I really wanna do everything for his job ! u most understand it's more than a dream for me. Hopefully i will receive some useful comments!

my regards to u all!

Tatyana on April 29, 2012:

My grandfather and father are both MiG,s pilots .Number one is great health , absolutely perfect vision . O

Number two is brain . Number three is strong personality . Dream isn't enough .

alez on March 31, 2012:

i am 10 and i am going to be a piolt for the us air force.

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on March 22, 2012:

Ryan - The Hub is intended to describe the general process for becoming a fighter pilot in any nation's air force. For specifics you have to check with the air force of the specific nation whose Air Force you are interested in serving in.

In the links section of the Hub above I provided links to Air Forces of some selected nations and Canada is one of the ones I have links for. You will notice that there is a link to the Canadian Forces home page as well as a second link for the pilots page of the Canadian Forces.

Paul on March 20, 2012:

I would be grateful to anyone who could answer my question on Qualifications. I am a healthy 19yr old, I weigh about 127 and im about 5`7. I dont do well with roller coasters but have noticed Ive grown more of a resistance when riding them. Is there any way of ridding myself of motion sickness so that I might be able to fly as a fighter pilot? ( Ill do anything, spinning around in chairs even lol.)

Ryan on March 18, 2012:

How similar is this to the Canadian Airforce?

Michael "ThunderHawk" Schutte on March 13, 2012:

Thanks for all the info.I am 13 and i have decided to join the Swedish air force(Flygvapen) even though I stay in South Africa.My right eye is not so sharp as my left eye,do you think they will still accept me?And will their aircraft,the SAAB Gripen still be effective by then? Thank you.


Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on March 06, 2012:

sneak - it depends both on what your eye problem is and the sight requirements of the branch of the service that has the fighter jets you want to fly. There are many nations that have air forces with fighter jets and their rules vary. Also, as mentioned in the Hub above, in the United States the Air Force, Navy and Marines all have fighter jets and their rules on sight vary.

sneak on March 06, 2012:

helped....ive got one question.

if got eyes probleml..can still be selected???

weston on February 06, 2012:

I am 14 and I want become a fighter pilot. I love flying it is so much fun. I fly R/C gas airplanes.But it is my dream to be a figher pilot.I wanted to become a figher pilot when I was 7 years old.

sandra on January 11, 2012:

I am from Argentina and I am studying in epic flight academy. I want to know if i could work in the US as a pilot after I have finished my commercial studies. I am 18 years old and I dont know if a can work in a company. I want to know if i can be an instructor even though I am not american

Darragh on January 02, 2012:

I'm 14 and Irish and I am very interested in becoming a fighter pilot and was wondering what Air Force i'd be accepted in?

hamish757 on December 29, 2011:

I live in australia and will joining the air force cadets help me become a fighter pilot

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on November 26, 2011:

jamin2000 - each nation has their own rules for obtaining a pilot license so check with your nation's aviation authority to see what is needed to obtain a pilot license in your country. If you are interested in becoming a fighter or other military aviator check with the branch of service in your nation that you want to fly for to see what their requirements are as these will probably be more strict than for a regular private pilot license. The same is true for becoming a commercial pilot your nation's rules for a commercial license will probably be stricter than for a private license and each company or airline you wish to fly for may also have some additional rules and requirements.

Manvi Thapa on November 23, 2011:

Iam a teen age girl and comleting my studies... and my dream is to become fightr pilot.. dream to fly high.

aftr readin info m too much excited to go in this field...

jamin2000 on November 15, 2011:

I really wont to become a pilot but I think I may be short. how tall do you need to be to fly a normal aeroplane.

Guy from Norway on November 03, 2011:

Hi, I recently discovered my huge passion and desire to become a fighter pilot. I'm 15 years old. I do "ok" in school, and have a good physical shape. I was just wondering how I could get prepared, and what are the chances for me to fly the "Joint Strike Fighter"??

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on November 02, 2011:

JS RISHI KANNAH - You sound like you have the desire to be a fighter pilot. I suggest you check the link capsule located toward the bottom of the Hub. In that capsule I have provided links to both the Indian Air Force Homepage and the Indian Air Force pilot career page. These two sites would be a good place to start looking for the answers you are seeking.

JS RISHI KANNAH on November 01, 2011:


Joashua Mclemore on October 10, 2011:

hi im 14 and have decided to be a figter piolt for the usa's airforce is there any thing i need to know about what i have comeing send i tit cucumber1997@aol.com

sid.... on September 24, 2011:

I m a teen right now but i wnt to be a fighter pilot in future...... if any one of u would like to suggest me some important measures u can contact me at sidahir96@yahoo.com


Jaron on August 30, 2011:

Hi, I am going to the Air Force Academy and I admitted to smoking weed 2 times on an AFROTC application. Will this disqualify me from pilot training??? I certainly hope not because that doesn't sound reasonable at all.

John "Jolly" Rogers on August 20, 2011:

We run a web site built by fighter pilots for fighter pilots, those who want to become fighter pilots, think like fighter pilots, or just think fighter pilots are the coolest dudes on the planet. We built it to preserve fighter pilot history, traditions, and spirit. Our site is at www.fighterpilotuniversity.com and have just opened an updated web site. We wanted to see if you would be interested in running an ad on our site. We can put you on the top of one of our popular pages, plus include you in regular articles we post with e-mails to our subscribers (currently 1450). We have many visitors from all over the world to our site on a regular basis. If you would be interested in doing an ad, we can work out the details and terms.


John "Jolly" Rogers

Fighter Pilot University

OBTW - our new site has only been up since July 1st and we've had over 95,000 hits. I can send you the google analytics for the past 10 days (I've only had that turned on since Aug 9th). Below is our internal analytics which measures page hits:

marshal on August 08, 2011:

I am a 15 year old boy and i want to know that can i be a fighter pilot for the N.A.V.Y. or the U.S. Airforce even if i am from another country. I really need this information because i am going to college in 2-years and i need to put my academics in order.

Attatched is my e-mail address, if any anyone can help me, I shal be truly greatfull to them. My e-mail address is: bombamjawula@ovi.com. please help!!!!!!

Mark Bascug on July 27, 2011:

This is very informational about becoming a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.

For people who want information on how to become a fighter pilot in the Canadian Airforce should go to http://pilotincanada.com

Do agree that being selected to be train as a fighter pilot is extremely competitive. I was in the Canadian Air Force and didn't make it as fighter pilot, and ended up working in search and rescue missions mainly. I found this to be a much more rewarding experience.

Katherine Olga Tsoukalas from New Hampshire on July 19, 2011:

What an interesting hub! The requirements are quite strict - I hear stories all the time of people who joined the Air Force or Navy just to be a pilot but being denied because of something or other... usually they seem to be denied because of their eyes.

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on July 19, 2011:

Bud Gallant - thanks for the kind words. I'm honored to learn that it was considered good enough to be included in a HubCamp video.

Bud Gallant from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on July 19, 2011:

Hi, Chuck. I saw your hub featured in a HubCamp video, and I can see why. Still #1 in Google for this topic. Congratulations. This really is a great hub, and I'm looking forward to checking out more and learning from your success.

mojtaba on July 14, 2011:


Plz reply my question

I have 167cm height

2 tooths is empty

May be i'll pass in my country

dusy7969 from San Diego, California on May 27, 2011:

Great hub.This is very informative and useful.I get a lot of information about the fighter pilot from this hub.Pilot candidates usually also have to take additional knowledge and psychological tests as well as meet higher physical standards especially in the area of vision.So thanks a lot for this wonderful sharing.

Joshua on May 26, 2011:

I am a teen right now but am looking to join the airforce. If anyone would like to send me information about it and what requierments you need to be a pilot, like vision or accademics, plese emal me at joshuajb98@yahoo.in thank you!!

walkin from India on May 07, 2011:

A Fighter Pilot is one of the most exciting & challenging career options. Only the daring can opt for it.

Check out the article on how to become a Pilot in Indian Air Force: http://www.vfreshers.com/how-to-become-a-pilot-in-...

mcnickey98 on April 14, 2011:

IF i want to be a pilot for the air force, what magor would you suggest that I magor in while i am doing AF rotc at Lewis University. what is the best route to go to get a pilot position.

tard on April 02, 2011:

No you dont need a GED . They accept morons

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on March 30, 2011:

Mozzz77 - I will try to answer some of your questions here.

As to body structure, I doubt that the female body is that much different when it comes to handling G-forces as there are female astronauts who have successfully flown in space. Since the G-forces are greater on a rocket than a jet fighter plane, I doubt that fact alone would disqualify you. Of course, people are different and if you can't handle the G-forces then that would be a disqualification for you.

As to becoming a fighter pilot in Australia, I suggest that you check out the Australasian Air Force as each nation has its own rules for military occupations. There is a link to the Australian Air Force page in the Hub above but here are two links for the Australian Air Force: http://www.airforce.gov.au/careers/pilot.aspx http://www.airforce.gov.au/units/2fts.aspx

My advice is to study these and other sites as well as visit an Air Force recruiter and discuss with them you dream of becoming a fighter pilot as they can answer specific questions about their current requirements than I can.

Good luck with achieving your dream.

MOZZZ on March 30, 2011:

im really grateful for this as i plan to become a fast fighter jet pilot, being a female will this give me less of a chance becoming a pilot, as well is there a certain kind of body structure for women or is just if you can handle what the G-Force? i really just want to know my chances of getting to be a fighter pilot, i have a lot to learn i can tell that now, but thank you so much it gave me and obviously everyone a great incite!!! good job, i;m also just wondering is there a less chance of me becoming a fast fighter jet pilot in Australia or is the chance equal everywhere in the world? i'd like to say again great job!!! i'd love to know more about the knowledge part... like do you need to be great in certain subjects? because i was told by a friend you need to be really good at maths... is that true?

karthik on March 21, 2011:

hi sir this is karthik pursuing my b.tech in mechanical engineering in second year

my ambition is to become a pilot of a fighter plane

after the completion of my coarse in mechanical engineering do i have a chance to become a pilot if so can you give me the details if it???

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on March 19, 2011:

WJP - first of all thanks for visiting my Hub and congratulations on your passing the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test.

As to learning to fly and obtaining a pilot license before entering the Air Force, it certainly won't hurt your chances of getting into Air Force Flight training but I don't know if it will necessarily help during the candidate screening.

In my case, I entered the 2 year AFROTC program while in college. The AFROTC program did have a program where pilot candidates were given ground school and flight training leading to a private pilot license. This was offered during the second year of the program.

A change in school resulted in my having to drop out of the AFROTC program. I was, however, able to use the 6 week AFROTC summer camp and the one year of AFROTC classroom experience to obtain a position in the Air National Guard as a navigator (a very minor eyesight problem that was detected on a pre-entrance physical forced me to switch from pilot to air navigator training - today both the Air Force and Air National Guard no longer disqualify candidate with the minor astigmatism that I had so long as they correct it with contact lenses).

Good luck and so long as you have the time and resources to get your private pilot's license go for it as you will already have the basic ground school and flight experience under your belt when you enter the AF flight training.

WJP on March 19, 2011:

Hello. I took and passed the AFOQT and just graduated from colege. Before joining and going to officer training, will taking pilot classes and having a pilots license help my chances of obtaining a pilot slot? I have heard that it helps people during flight candidate screening if they have pilots license... is this true? Thank you very much in advance!

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on March 16, 2011:

Kyle - I don't believe prior flight time is required for flight training and I am certain that it is not required to enlist the U.S. Air Force. It was not a requirement when I was in the Air Force a number of years ago.

Kyle on March 14, 2011:

Chuck-do you need prior flight time to join the air force?..if so how much time?

Kody on March 08, 2011:

I'm only in high school but I wanna goninto the navy to fly

PDXBuys from Oregon on March 04, 2011:

Thanks for the post. This was my dream job! I was in the USAF (1980s) but was enlisted and did ground communications only. But that included being part of an air defense system operations crew. In my four years I was around jet fighters long enough to know that I really wanted to be a pilot. Still love the sound of an A-10 Warthog fly by. Maybe in my next life... sigh.

nancypolaska from Oxford Road on February 24, 2011:

Fighter pilot is the most challenging career. You have to make yourself tough to face it.

Emily on February 18, 2011:

Im 16 years old and I plan on being a fighter pilot after I graduate from Marshall University. This site has really helped me and gave me some information that I have been needing to know for a while now. I now have a general idea of what to expect. It's gonna be tough, but as long as i set my mind to it, it will happen.

dhilavar afridi on February 16, 2011:

this is good but it is over loaded with information

MUJAHID SAJJAD on February 11, 2011:

I WANNA FLY.................

Seth on January 30, 2011:

This is awesome!!!!! I've always wanted to be a fighter pilot. Thanks this really helps a LOT! What is physical torture?

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on January 23, 2011:

bcunning68 - Welcome to HubPages and thank you for visiting my Hub.

There is a wealth of information on HubPages for new (as well as existing) Hubbers seeking ways to be successful here. The best piece of advice I can give is to consider your HubPages activity a business and, like any good business, concentrate on 1) delivering a quality product; and, 2) more importantly, deliver content that readers want and make sure you let readers know that you have what they want (in other words, marketing).

Here is a link to one of my Hubs that I wrote to answer questions like yours: https://hubpages.com/community/How-do-I-get-Starte...

In that Hub I not only provided information on how to get started and be successful but also included some links in the body to other useful Hubs by both others and me. In addition, there are two Link Capsules in that Hub - one with links to other Hubs by me on different things I have found that have helped me as well as a second one with links to a few of the many Hubs by others that I have found helpful. Of course, all of these linked Hubs, both by me and by others, have additional links.

In addition to using the Hubs described above to get yourself off to a good start, you should also develop a habit of spending some time regularly continuing to learn as there are always new things we can learn that will improve our writing as none of us know everything. Even if one of us were to know everything we need to know to be successful, HubPages and the Web in general are still a work in progress with changes and new things coming out every day and all these changes are new things for everyone to learn.

One final comment, in addition to carefully reading and following links in Hubs you find useful in advancing you Hubbing skills, don't overlook comments in both the Hubs you are reading but in your own as they often provide new bits of useful information as well as introducing you to Hubbers from whom you could learn more. Many of the links to articles by other Hubbers in my Hub that I cited above in this comment were discovered when I clicked on the photo of a person leaving a comment on one of my Hubs or some other Hub I was reading and went to their profile and discovered Hubs by them which proved very useful in my Hubbing education.

Good luck with your Hubbing.

bcunning68 from Midwest USA on January 19, 2011:

I just started on HubPages and have enjoyed reading your articles for both content and to help focus my journey to publish my own Hubs. What are two things everyone beginning this journey should know?

Tyler on January 12, 2011:

Hey I am 15 put I want to know more about how to join and how much flying expirence do I need ?

mike27lax on January 07, 2011:

i am a junior in high school and it has been my dream to become a fighter pilot. my question to you is where do i start? also, there is so much information out there about becoming a fighter pilot and i was wondering if you know the best place to look for information?

Rocco Leo on January 06, 2011:


One year ago start my first esculptue.

FULL clay.



craigmissuea from USA on December 27, 2010:

Fighter pilot is a very challenging career. Your article will definitely help yougsters who want to choose this career.

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on December 19, 2010:

Jwoww - in answer to your question about whether fighter pilots have to be male, the answer is a qualified no. In the United States the Defense Department has been accepting women for pilot training since 1976 (actually during World War II the U.S. military used women pilots to fly planes from the factory to the bases where they were to be deployed from). However, it was not until 1993 that the U.S. military allowed women to fly combat aircraft. The United States also has women in its astronaut corps and more than one has flown in space aboard NASA's space shuttle.

For other nations the rules concerning flying military aircraft and military combat aircraft, will vary from country to country.

Jwoww on December 15, 2010:

Being a fighter pilot isn't limited to just males is it ?

Melissa on December 12, 2010:

Thanks for the information. Would like to see more on Marine Corps aviation. I am a 4th Class Midshipman in the Marine Corps ROTC & Aviation is one of my options.

Street on December 11, 2010:

Nice|,it must make an hounarable

SchmidtAggie on December 09, 2010:


I'm currently located in College Station, Texas. If you have any connections down here PLEASE let me know.

SchmidtAggie on December 09, 2010:

I'm going to make a badass pilot one day. This really helped. I have always wanted to be a pilot but this just tipped me to be one! As soon as I graduate college, I am definitely doing this! Eating bugs, getting beat half to death, fitness training....Nothing will stop me. It will definitely be worth it. I am very good at math and studying will be number ONE if that is what it takes!

Adam on November 27, 2010:

Thanks for the information and im trying to get in the Airforce academy but right now im a sophmore and im in afjrotc so im waiting until next year and trying to prepare for the academy and then becoming a fighter jet pilot!and do you apply online?

timonweller on November 26, 2010:

I always wondered what it took to fly one of those jets. Thanks for the share.

scott on November 03, 2010:

thx for the help it was very informative

Juan on November 01, 2010:

The easiest way to get a fighter slot is to go to the Air Force Academy. They get about 450 slots a year to distribute among the approximately 1000 students per class. Of those thousand, not all are qualified medically and not all want to fly. About 50 cadets who want to fly pilots and are physically able to will not be able to...so if you go to the academy and can stay out of the bottom 10% of the class, you are pretty much guarenteed a pilot slot. Then the competition begins for the coveted fighter slots.

wt1s3rv3r on October 14, 2010:

Very informative hubs.. Keep it up the good works

flyguy on October 14, 2010:

Pimpdigity.....thanks for the info

abhishek on October 11, 2010:

i also become a pilot

plz can u all help me

Jester Mombu on October 06, 2010:

I'am a teen and I really want to become a fighter pilot can somebody help me with any infor please..


the who.... on September 21, 2010:

i always wanted to be a fighter pilot....

it's my dream!!!!

henrykasan from UK on September 21, 2010:

Excellent Hub!!!!!

The hub is terrifically useful for young generation who are aspiring to become a fighter pilot. It provide all the necessary and valuable information in this regard such as, Pilot candidates usually also have to take additional knowledge and psychological tests as well as meet higher physical standards especially in the area of vision. Thanks a lot for sharing such a valuable peace of text.

Auston on September 02, 2010:

I have always drewamed of being a pilot and trained not in an achademy for it I will continue to train in future years and be a pilot

pinkdaisy from Canada on August 31, 2010:

This is an excellent resource! Great job :)

Technology Review on August 07, 2010:

I like the photo, Jet Fighters Flying Over HQ Bldg at Randolph, AFB. How do they do this? I think this requires a very difficult technique.

MyMastiffPuppies on August 06, 2010:

I believe to become a fighter pilot it must be the single most important thing on your mind so you can stay focused. Much like becoming a navy seal or green beret.

MOHD AKRAM on July 31, 2010:


cnar58 on July 28, 2010:

Chuck, I am trying to do some research for my son. He is currently in the JROT program in High School. He is only a sophomore but is already a Company Commander. His SGT told me that he is in line to be the Battalion Commander next year. My son feels like he would be better off joining the Civil Air Patrol than staying with JROTC. He does plan on applying to one of the Military Academies out of High School and his goal is to become a fighter pilot. So my question would be which one would benefit him more Civil Air Patrol or JROTC?

wade11hicks on July 20, 2010:

very cool hub!

I wanted to become pilot when I was younger, but I gave up when they said you need perfect vision. :(

Research Analyst on July 17, 2010:

Great and informative hub, thanks!

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on July 17, 2010:

AuthorSteve - thanks for visiting and for your comment.

I have always believed that it is important to keep other options in mind when you have a goal.

I wasn't seeking to be a fighter pilot but did want to be a pilot and fly. In my case we had mandatory military service for young men in the U.S. and I felt that if I had to serve then flying would be more exciting. Unfortunately, I had slightly less than 20/20 vision in one eye and, in those days, the USAF didn't allow glasses for pilot applicants (they do now and, even then, allowed it for those who had completed training and had been flying before their sight changed). However, the eyesight requirements for Navigators were not as strict so I became a navigator which allowed me to wear flight wings and be a critical part of the cockpit crew flying the plane. This turned out to be very satisfying and enjoyable.

So, keep an open mind and if one road is blocked en route to a goal be on the lookout for close alternatives.

AuthorSteve from Hawaii on July 17, 2010:

The requirements to become a fighter pilot seem to be even higher than I thought they were (after reading your hub).

But at least there is always the chance to become "just" a normal pilot, if you have failed to become a fighter pilot.

Sheila Mae on July 14, 2010:

fire fighters for me are hunks... they look great. i love them.. i badly want to be a fighter pilot but unfortunately im a girl.

Tony from At the Gemba on July 13, 2010:

I would love to be a fighter pilot but I think I am now too old... Maybe an astronaut..

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on July 10, 2010:

mcninckey98 - I think Corey beat me to it in answering your question.

Basically, it is my understanding that, as far as the U.S. Air force goes, once you complete your officer training and earn your commission as well as meet all of the qualifications for flight school you should be assigned a date for starting flight school (of course there is always the chance that the needs of the Air Force will change and you get assigned to another job). Once in flight school you will have to meet the passing standards in both your classroom academic work and flight training missions or you will end up being washed out and given a non-flight assignment.

As I mentioned in one of my comments above, the Air Force looks at its pilot needs and provides a list of pilot slots for those needs to each class. There is no telling what types of aircraft a particular class will be offered. It may be a variety of different aircraft or mostly one or two types of aircraft.

Each student gets to choose their assignment from the list offered with the student having the highest ranking in the class getting first choice and the remainder getting to choose in the order of their ranking - the one who ends up at the bottom of the class gets the aircraft that is left.

Corey was correct in that your best chance of getting the type of aircraft you want would be to join the Air National Guard. Air National Guard units generally only fly one type of aircraft and, upon successful completion of flight school you will be sent for training in that aircraft and then return to your unit and fly that aircraft. Here is a link to my Hub on becoming a fighter pilot in the Air National Guard.


There are a couple of things to consider before you decide to join the National Guard:

1) Not all units fly fighter aircraft so you will probably have to relocate to a city in another part of the nation.

2) The National Guard is a reserve force so you will need a regular civilian job and fly on weekends and during your annual two week active duty each year.

3) As reserve units, National Guard units can be called to active duty by the Governor of the State in which the unit is located or President of the United States to deal with a state or national emergency. With the exception of the Vietnam War, it has been the National Guard which has generally been called to active duty first in time of war (including the current War on Terror in which many Guard units have been called for multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Corey on July 09, 2010:

Oh and also that even if you earn top of your class anymore, if there aren't any fighter slots available your not going to be in a fighter. That is a pretty common scenario now

Corey on July 09, 2010:

Oh I forgot to mention, the best chance of becoming a fighter pilot, is to get into an Air National Guard unit that flys fighters. Good luck with that though because these units are turning down priors with experience in the same type of aircraft.

Corey on July 09, 2010:

Dreaming of being a fighter pilot is great, but just being skilled and working hard will not get you into a seat of a fighter jet,let alone even any other military aircraft, especially not today.

First of all you have to be an officer. In order to do that you either have to attend a military academy, do ROTC during school or attend an officer training school and in order to do that have at least a college degree. Second you have to pass an entrance exam (AFOQT, ASTB, whatever the Army does) that is similer to an exam to get into graduate school. Third you have to do very very well in order to be competitive enough to get a "pilot" slot (not a fighter pilot slot).

After commissioning you attend pilot training...(if your lucky) and the needs of your service still require pilots.(again not just fight pilots). As of right now with canceled aircraft contracts and the retirement of Generation 4 aircraft, there is a large pool of student pilots that are either being let out of their contracts or transferred to other duty (i.e. Naval Flight Officer, Combat Systems Officer (USAF Navigator)

Your first goal should be to be a Military Officer first.(although not many officer seem to understand that anymore). In any service you are always an officer first and whatever duty you are in second.

If someone joins any of the regular service branches (i.e. USAF, USN, USMC, USCG, USA) you are subject to the needs of that service. If the need is flying cargo or UAVs, that is where you are going.

It is great to have a fighter pilot goal but don't limit yourselves to just that duty, because most likely you will be disappointed for something that may not even be in your control. It is possible to get through all 2-4 years of rigorous training to be told you are going to fly something else. You will probably fly totally something different than what you expected, but you are flying, and that should be you goal.

If any of you are lucky enough to get a military contract read it carefully before you sign, because it states that your duties are base on the NEEDS OF YOUR SERVICE.

I am a commercial pilot with prior flight experience, and was selected for a pilot slot for the USN. Getting into a fighter slot will be the least of your worries. There are pilot candidates that have been in A-Pool for up to a year, and they are not only people from commission sources go but they are letting academy grads with aviation contracts out of their obligation to serve as officers, as long as they pay 50% of there school back. Also they are transfering pilots to other positions.

Being a fighter pilot would be great, but I would be happy if I were to be flying rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong, with the way things are going now.

mcnickey98 on July 08, 2010:

chuck one last question. how many people get to b a pilot for the air force out of a class because i want to b a pilot and i dont want to go through all the training and realizing i cant get a position .thank u very much. u r very help full.

mcnickey98 on July 08, 2010:

chuck thank u very much for ur help

Chuck Nugent (author) from Tucson, Arizona on July 07, 2010:

mcnickey98 - According to the information I found the USAF Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) takes approximately 52 weeks. This is the primary training required to earn USAF pilot wings. Graduates then go on to additional training in the aircraft that they will be flying for the Air Force and the length of this training varies depending upon the aircraft you will be flying.

Here is a link for more information on the USAF SUPT training program.


mcnickey98 on July 06, 2010:

how long is flight school

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