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A fighter pilot is regarded as one of the most highly acknowledged and most desirable positions in the entire Air Force. It is reputably elite and requires a contending individual to possess an impressive academic record, level of physical fitness, health, and strong mentality.

Air Force fighter pilots are explicitly trained in aerial warfare and dogfighting while in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft. They must meet specific physical requirements, as well as undergo levels of training, testing, and education, in areas relevant to their craft.

At the very base, a fighter pilot must be between 18-34 years old. They must also be a United States citizen to serve and defend the United States.

There are a vital number of skills that a candidate must possess before and during training. First, they must possess an impressive caliber of motor coordination. They must have an aptitude for, that develops into a mastery of, flight skills. They must also have the ability to operate highly sophisticated machinery.

Before undergoing any sort of training, it is necessary for an applicant to have a bachelor’s degree. This need not be in aviation or a related field, but that is an advantage and can help bypass certain other forms of training and testing, depending on the previous education of the candidate.

Next, it is necessary to complete at least one relevant training program. This is either Air Force ROTC, Officer Training School, or graduating from the Air Force Academy. Then, they must pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test with a score of at least 10 for the quantitative portion, and at least 15 for the verbal composite score.

They must also pass the Initial Flight Training and the Undergraduate Pilot Training. Initial Flight Training enables instructors to assess a candidate’s ability to learn aviation skills and moves them from primary to advanced training. Undergraduate Pilot Training occurs after Initial Flight Training. Candidates learn navigation, aerobatics, formation flying, and how to optimize aircraft instruments.

Once all of these requirements and steps have been taken, assignments are given. These are based on a combination of where an officer prefers and would like to perform, in addition to what is available and how their skills and talents distribute. When they receive their assignments, they undergo specialized training, thus learning how to fulfill their specific position and completing their Fighter Pilot training.