The Air Force began as a subdivision of the U.S. Army and was declared an official combatant arm in 1920. It wasn’t until 1947, following World War II, that the Air Force was recognized as its own military branch.
Today’s Air Force operates in keeping with a three-part vision: global vigilance, reach and power. This vision empowers a technologically advanced force of more than 300,000 troops focused on air, space and cyberspace superiority.
Before Serving in the Air Force
To join the Air Force, you must be between 18 and 27 years old, or 17 with parental consent. While exceptions are sometimes made for candidates with GEDs or other high school equivalents, high school diplomas are preferred. As in most Service branches, the ASVAB test is used to match recruits with jobs. Officer candidates are required to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). Qualified college students wishing to train as officers should consider Air Force ROTC or the Air Force Academy.
All Air Force recruits spend 8.5 weeks in Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During this time, trainees develop the discipline, confidence and skills to grow into Airmen.
Air Force Benefits
A good salary, full health benefits and a fulfilling career – could you ask for more? For the right person, the Air Force can be a very rewarding experience, and not all of the benefits are as tangible as those listed here. Explore how compensation combines with travel, character-building experiences and more to make the Air Force experience unique.
Air Force Careers
The Air Force provides advanced, hands-on training for hundreds of careers. Pilots and flight crew are just the tip of the iceberg. The Air Force relies on mechanics, electronics technicians, air traffic controllers, medical staff and other personnel to fulfill its objectives. Find out which Air Force opportunities are right for you.