Today's Military:

Mansour Elhihi
Fighter Pilot

Service: Air Force     |     Status: Officer

“The word impossible is no longer part of my vocabulary. Anything is possible if you work hard at it.”

As the first member of his family to join the Military, Mansour wasn’t exactly sure what the Air Force had in store for him when he was commissioned as an officer. But Mansour did know he loved to fly, and the Air Force could provide him with the challenges and excitement he was looking for.

What Mansour found was a place where he could develop his skills as a pilot, travel the world and experience a job unlike anything he had ever previously known.

“Every time I go up in the air, I think about how grateful I am to be flying the world’s greatest air superiority fighter.”

As a single-seat fighter pilot, Mansour’s responsibilities are endless. On any given mission, he is on the front line – the first one in …and the last one out. And as big of a role as that is, Mansour would have it no other way.

He values the fact that he is among the few who have been given such an important job in the Air Force – a job that has given Mansour an opportunity to see the world (Europe, Australia and the United States); a job that has made him someone fellow personnel can count on to get the job done – and done right.

“The Air Force has helped me reach my goals and figure out what I want from life.”

For Mansour, becoming an F-15C fighter pilot did not simply happen overnight. It took more than two years of Air Force technical training – flying in a variety of aircraft in various environments around the globe – to become fully trained in the F-15C.

But the hard work and time spent was worth it for Mansour. He not only achieved his goal, he also acquired a variety of commercial flying licenses, which he can put to good use upon re-entering the civilian world.

Next, Mansour plans on using the GI Bill to pursue his master’s degree, because Mansour is not the type of person who is satisfied when he achieves a goal. He strives to accomplish new ones.

“Anything you truly want to do, the Air Force has a place for you. The opportunities are endless.”

From the leadership-building opportunities and educational pursuits, to the inspiring new challenges every day, Mansour believes his life has only improved since entering the Air Force. And while his first passion will always remain flying planes, there’s always a new goal or endeavor he’s eager to embrace.

Mansour’s Military Career Timeline

  • January 2002: Joined Air Force as an officer, after receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at San Jose State University in California
  • February 2002: Assigned to the 14th Flight Training Wing for pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
  • March 2003: Attended Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (AKA: dogfighting school) at the 49th Flight Training School at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
  • August 2003: Attended F-15C training in Klamath Falls, Ore.
  • February 2004: Assigned to the 60th Fighter Squadron as an operation combat fighter pilot at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

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