Are you an international student interested in hovering a helicopter over the open sea with Navy seals dangling on extension ropes, ready to make a rescue? Would you like the challenge of landing a fighter plane on an aircraft carrier? How about the idea of flying over enemy grounds to scout or participate in a combat maneuver? If these all interest you, a career as a pilot in the military might be for you. Although there are similar requirements for all pilots, a military pilot is very different from other careers in aviation.
Becoming a military pilot requires much planning. You must be commissioned as an officer into any of the branches of the military which includes the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, and Marine Corps. There are two ways to do this: you can either attend a military academy or go to officer training school.
Each branch of the military has its own academy, which is similar to a college or university. These academies are the United States Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, West point, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy. When you graduate from an academy, you automatically become commissioned as an officer.
The second option is to go to a college or university and earn a degree in an aviation related field which will prepare you for one of many careers in aviation. As an international student, your chances of acceptance at a civilian college or university are greater than at an Academy. From there you can talk with a recruiter from the specific branch of the military you want to join about the steps it takes to apply to Officer Training School. The military will select you according to its needs. Officer Training School lasts 90 days. After graduation you become commissioned as an officer.
After you are commissioned as an officer you then begin earning your wings. Each branch may have different protocol you follow to do this. Most likely you will be taking classes in a ground school as well as getting flight time. You will also learn the specific aircraft you will be flying when on active duty. Once all this is completed, you will begin your career in aviation as a military pilot.
International students who join the military as an officer can be trained for one of many careers in aviation through hard work, discipline and responsibility.