While a lot of questions about becoming a fighter pilot are easy to answer, answering the question of how long it takes to become one requires a bit of nuance. Here’s U.S. Air Force Major Justin Hasard Lee to explain.
Before you can even begin your journey to becoming a fighter pilot, you must first become an officer in the U.S. Air Force. That means you’ll have to complete a four-year degree before attending officer training of some sort (there are multiple routes, ranging from ROTC to Officer Training School). To learn more about the requirements, you’ll have to meet, check out Justin “Hasard” Lee’s video about fighter pilot requirements here.
Once you’ve earned the rank of lieutenant (or as you’ll be called as you wait to begin flight training, a “causal lieutenant”), you’ll have to wait for a position to open up at one of the installations that are hosting flight training.
From there, you’ll start flying with low-performance prop planes before moving on to supersonic jet-powered trainers. If you’d like to learn more about that training process, be sure to check out Justin Lee’s video on Air Force fighter pilot training here.
Do you want to learn more about life as a fighter pilot? Then check out these great articles from Justin “Hasard” Lee:
- LEARN THE ART OF SELF DISCIPLINE FROM AN F-35 PILOT INSTRUCTOR
- TAKING THE BLAME: WHY FIGHTER PILOTS HAVE TO OWN THEIR MISTAKES
- FIGHTER PILOTS HAVE TO CONSERVE MENTAL ENERGY LIKE JET FUEL. HERE’S HOW
And make sure you check out Justin “Hasard” Lee’s podcast, The Professionals Playbook, here!