THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN
What is the Air Force's policy on tattoos?
For Air Force members, tattoos and/or brands anywhere on the body that are obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination are prohibited in and out of uniform. Any tattoos and/or brand prejudicial to good order and discipline or of a nature that tends to bring discredit upon the Air Force are prohibited in and out of uniform. An Air Force member is not allowed to display excessive tattoos that would detract from an appropriate professional image while in uniform. Excessive tattoos are tattoos which cover over 25% of the body part.
What are the qualifying scores for Air Force jobs?
Every career field does in fact require more than just an overall ASVAB qualifying score, which is a 36 if you are a high school senior or have already graduated from High School, and a 65 if you have a GED. The ASVAB is broken down into four main categories (Mechanical, Administrative, General and Electronic), and all enlisted career fields have a minimum score requirement that fall under one or more of these categories. These scores, along with the results of your physical examination, will be reviewed when you undergo job counseling during the enlistment process at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
Besides the four main categories, the ASVAB is divided into eight parts (for the high school version) or nine parts (for the production version). The high school version is structured as follows:
The production version now includes a subtest called "Assembling Objects." This 20 question, 20 minute subtest tests your ability to choose how an object (shown flat) will look once assembled. For example: Imagine a cardboard box unfolded and then put together.
Where is the ASVAB Administered?
The ASVAB is offered at many high schools across the nation. If it is not offered at your school, ask your guidance counselor for alternatives.
Military recruiters also offer the ASVAB. Your recruiter will set you up to take the ASVAB at either the local Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or at a satellite test site known as a MET Site. The ASVAB given at the MET Site is in the paper version (as is the high school version). The version at the MEPS, however, is a computer version. This version has a disadvantage because the tester cannot skip questions and return later to answer them.
ASVAB TEST TIPS: http://www.military.com/ASVAB
ASVAB Practice Test: http://www.petersons.com/airforce/testprep.asp
Minimum scores by Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC): http://www.military.com/ASVAB/0,,ASVAB_MOS_USAF.html
What is the cut-off age to join the Air Force?
Non-prior service applicants must be at least 17 to apply and in Basic Military Training before their 28th birthday.
Officer Training School (OTS) applicants must be at least 17 to apply and commissioned before their 35th birthday.
Physician, Nurse and Allied Health applicants need to contact a recruiter, as the age criteria may vary by profession.
Note: Prior service applicants should contact their local recruiter for age cut-offs.
What must I score on the entrance test, titled Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), to join?
A 36 AFQT (overall score) is the minimum qualifying score for a high school senior or high school graduate, and a 65 is required for a GED to enlist in the Air Force. The ASVAB is not required for a commission.
How bad can my vision be to qualify for the Air Force?
You can have an eye refraction level of no worse than + or - 8.0. When applying for enlistment or commission, your vision will be fully evaluated when getting your pre-entry qualification physical. Individual jobs have stricter vision requirements in many cases. (See Pilot section of the FAQ.)
Does the Air Force have a weight-reduction program?
The Air Force does not offer a weight-reduction program. Currently, all applicants must meet a weight requirement based on their height. For a copy of the height and weight chart click on the link below.
Can I enlist with a GED?
The answer is yes. However, there are many additional criteria for enlisting with a GED as opposed to enlisting with a traditional High School diploma.
If I have a health problem, am I ineligible to join the Air Force?
Your local Air Force recruiter has a general guideline of medical conditions that can render someone ineligible for entrance into the Air Force. The doctor at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is the source for making a determination on the condition. If you are interested in joining and are otherwise eligible, your local recruiter can have the medical records for your condition prescreened by the doctor at the MEPS for you to find a preliminary ruling in your particular situation.
What are the general qualifications to fly?
Note: To become a Pilot/Combat Systems Officer (CSO) in the Air Force you must have or be within 365 days of receiving a baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) awarded in any major.
To apply for the Pilot/CSO Officer program you must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and take the AFOQT.
If you have prior flight time, this is a major plus in being selected for a pilot or CSO slot. An applicant must apply and meet the selection board prior to age 28. There are strict vision and other physical requirements that an applicant must meet for selection as a pilot or CSO.
I had traffic tickets; will this stop me from joining?
An excessive number of traffic-related law violations within a 365-day period could impact your enlistment qualifications. It is best that you contact your local Air Force recruiter who is qualified to answer questions on your specific situation.
What law violations will disqualify me?
Law violations have an impact on qualifying for Air Force enlistment. It is best that you contact your local Air Force recruiter who is qualified to answer questions on your specific situation.
What is the Air Force's policy on homosexuality?
As enacted, the law allows a person with a homosexual orientation to serve in the Armed Services so long as that person does not engage in homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct is defined as making a statement of homosexuality, committing a homosexual act or marrying or attempting to marry a person of the same sex.
If I have done drugs, am I disqualified to join?
In most cases, substance abuse is disqualifying. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with your recruiter for an accurate determination to be made.
I am a non-U.S. citizen. Can I join?
Enlistment into the U.S. Air Force by citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess an Immigrations and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card (INS Form I-151/551, commonly known as a "Green Card"). Applicants must be between 17 and 27; meet the mental, moral and physical standards for enlistment; and must speak, read and write English fluently.
Note: The U.S. military branches cannot assist foreign nationals in obtaining admittance into the United States. Questions concerning immigration to the United States should be asked of the U.S. Embassy. Only after immigration procedures are completed and an applicant is legally residing in the United States may an application for enlistment be accepted. Furthermore, in order to be commissioned an officer in the U.S. Air Force, one must be a native-born or naturalized United States citizen.
Can I give up custody of my dependent(s) to join the Air Force?
The Air Force recognizes that some individuals, for personal reasons, have given up custody of a child or children. Transferring custody of family members for the purpose of entering the Air Force is prohibited and renders the enlisted program applicant "permanently disqualified". It is not the intent or desire of the Air Force to require any person to relinquish custody of his/her children to qualify for enlistment.
Single member parent applicants who, at the time of initial processing for enlistment, indicate he/she has a child or children in the custody of the other parent or another adult will be advised and required to acknowledge by certification that his/her intent at the time of enlistment was not to enter the Air Force with the express intention of regaining custody after enlistment. These applicants must execute an Air Education and Training Command Form 1328, Statement of Understanding for Single Member Parent Having Dependents in the Custody of Another.
Do I need college credits to join?
If you are applying for a commission (as an Air Force officer) you must have a four-year degree as a minimum. No college is required for enlistment. However, you may be qualified for advanced rank with 20 or more semester hours of credit from a degree granting college or university.
If I sign up, and war breaks out, do I have to go?
Part of the screening process to join the Air Force asks "Are you now or have you ever been a conscientious objector? (That is do you have or have you ever had a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or to the bearing of arms because of religious belief or training?) A requirement for all Air Force personnel is to be able to bear arms in defense of our country.
I have a rod, pin, etc. in my body; is this disqualifying?
In these cases, the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) medical section must evaluate. You will need to provide all medical documents pertaining to the injury to your recruiter and they will forward them for the first stage of the evaluation process.
What are the qualifications to apply for the National Call to Service (NCS) two-year enlistment program?
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria (NO WAIVERS AUTHORIZED):
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