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What are the requirements to become an Air Force fighter pilot?

The road to becoming a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot isn’t easy. Strapping into a hundred million dollars worth of state secrets and flying headlong...

The road to becoming a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot isn’t easy. Strapping into a hundred million dollars worth of state secrets and flying headlong into combat isn’t for everybody, and that’s why the Air Force maintains pretty strict requirements for those who aim to become fighter pilots.

In this video, U.S. Air Force Major Justin “Hasard” Lee breaks down what requirements you’ll need to meet in order to pursue a career as a fighter pilot in jets like the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, or the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone with a better understanding of U.S. Air Force aviation than Lee, who accrued hundreds of combat flight hours at the stick of the F-16 before transitioning to the newer and more advanced F-35. Today, Justin trains the next generation of F-35 pilots coming into the U.S. Air Force.

Justin explains each requirement and suggestion in the video, but here’s a brief rundown for reference:

Air Force Fighter Pilot Requirements:

  • Four year degree
  • Pass a selection board
  • Meet height and weight requirements
  • Have no allergies or hay fever (waiverable)
  • Have correctable vision to 20/20
  • Must be a US citizen capable of maintaining a secret security clearence

Things that aren’t required but help:

  • Get good grades
  • Do well on the ACT/SAT
  • Play sports
  • Be a leader
  • Do volunteer work
  • Take the initiative

Do you want to learn more about life as a fighter pilot? Then check out these great articles from Justin “Hasard” Lee:

And make sure you check out Justin “Hasard” Lee’s podcast, The Professionals Playbook, here!

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