By Tanya Schusler
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
The Air Force Recruiting Service participated in its seventh “office hours” tweet chat, #AsktheAF on @usairforce, Feb. 6 and received 121 recruitment questions from Twitter followers. During the hour-long Web event, AFRS officials and the Air Force Social Media Team answered questions about enlistment eligibility requirements, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test scores and other career field-specific questions. The first 40 questions were answered during the tweet chat, but in case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat. Stay tuned for our next event!
Q1: How long is the contract for an AF Reserve officer/nurse with no prior military background? Is it negotiable?
A1: This is an active duty chat. Please contact the Reserve for their qualifications: http://www.afreserve.com.
Q2: What happens if I have a family member/spouse in a different branch. Can I still enlist?
A2: Yes, if you meet the requirements then you can enlist.
Q3: What are the chances of traveling with my husband after he finishes BMT?
A3: It is possible to travel with your husband after BMT. He should talk to his MTL at tech school for more information.
Q4: Is the #AirForce going to tighten its requirements for those trying to enlist?
A4: No, you can check out enlistment requirements at http://tiny.cc/bwgf0w.
Q5: I want to be in security forces but my recruiter tells me it’s overpopulated. How long would I have to wait?
A5: Depends on where you are in line and what is available when you book a job.
Q6: Are there opportunities for someone who has graduated from the conservatory for the arts & sciences?
A6: There are enlistment opportunities. However, officer selection boards are suspended until FY2015.
Q7: What is the job outlook when it comes to Air Force JAG? Is it still possible to pursue this path?
A7: Please go to the JAG page on airforce.com for available opportunities. http://bit.ly/18mMOZJ
Q8: Is the MAVNI program open for Air Force? If yes, what languages are available, and how many slots are in there?
A8: MAVNI is open for French (from African countries) & Persian (Farsi & Darsi) languages only. Talk to a recruiter for more info.
Q9: Where will I train for the job I’ve been given? It’s aerospace control and warning systems. How long will I train?
A9: It’s now called Command and Control Battle Management Ops. Training is at Keesler AFB, MS for 30 training days (6 weeks).
Q10: I got my job (aerospace medical service) two months ago. How long does tech school take and at which base?
A10: Tech school takes 68 days at Ft. Sam Houston, TX. You’ll complete 30 days of additional training at your designated base.
Q11: Why join the Air Force and not the other branches?
A11: Why not join? The AF has a number of opportunities where you are able to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Q12: I would like to join, but I’m not sure. I am kinda scared.
A12: Many felt the same way and have been very successful in the AF. Chat with our AF reps for more info. http://bit.ly/14epz4G
Q13: Does the Air Force take people with Lasik surgery?
A13: Applicants with LASIK surgery may be considered to join 1 year from the date of the operation.
Q14: What are some common commissioning AFSCs for chem majors in AFROTC?
A14: With a STEM degree you can do just about anything. Check out officer careers available here: http://bit.ly/17rfLpa.
Q15: After boot camp are girls allowed to pierce their nose?
A15: No, you can’t. Check out the FAQ about tattoos and piercings at http://bit.ly/15KYpPs.
Q16: I have one more year with braces, is it too early to start the enlistment process?
A16: Once you get a letter from your dentist with an actual removal date, take it to a recruiter to begin.
Q17: Would security forces be a good job choice to prepare for a career in the FBI?
A17: Yes, SF is a great choice. Check out http://bit.ly/147JvSE for more info.
Q18: Heard the AF is doing a lot of medical stuff lately. Is this true?
A18: We don’t understand your question. Can you please clarify? Call us at 1-800-423-USAF so we can better answer your question.
Q19: Can I gain a commission and serve in spec ops or is that only for enlisted personnel?
A19: Most opportunities are enlisted, but you can get a commission through AFROTC, AF Academy or by getting a degree and applying for OTS.
Q20: What is the job availability for the aerial gunner career?
A20: Special Missions Aviation encompasses 3 AFSCs including aerial gunner. SMA jobs are available if you qualify.
Q21: I’m enlisted, can I still apply for admission to the Air Force Academy?
A21: Yes, you can go through the Academy Prep School. Talk to the education office for more info.
Q22: What are the requirements to join the Air Force? What is the AFQT passing score?
A22: Min AFQT score is 36, but most of those waiting for BMT scored > 50. Contact your recruiter to discuss your scores.
Q23: I’m just spit balling here, but what do you think the odds are of me being in the next AF recruiting commercial?
A23: We typically only seek active duty Airmen to participate in commercials.
Q24: Does an Army prior service keep pay grade/rank from previous service if he were to sign up for the Air Force?
A24: Rank is set by an AF liaison counselor at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) based on current AF instruction.
Q25: My friend has a student visa and is currently residing in California. Can he join the military?
A25: Your friend must meet the requirements and legally reside in the U.S. with a “Green Card.” http://bit.ly/12yNTco
Q26: If you decide to join the Air Force after your contract is over with the Army, do you still have to go through Air Force BMT?
A26: You will complete a 2 week course at Lackland AFB to familiarize yourself with AF information and lingo.
Q27: How long will I have to wait to get my ship date? I’m ready for BMT!
A27: 3-9 months. Depends on what jobs you list and when they are available.
Q28: Does one’s enlistment options/opportunities vary depending upon which state you are enlisting from?A28: It is based on your qualifications. Options and opportunities are the same no matter where you are enlisting from.
Q29: What are the chances of getting a pilot slot by going through officer candidate school?
A29: You need to meet a rated board. However, boards are suspended until FY2015. Recruiters will have more info in Oct 2014.
Q30: Can I switch from Army infantry to security in the AF or would I need to join something closer to my job in the Army?
A30: We’re only taking prior AF CAT I Direct Duty applicants certified in 9 specific career fields, and we’re not cross training.
Q31: What are the basic requirements for Fire Protection?
A31: Must score ASVAB General 38, pass color vision, have a driver’s license and more. Please contact a recruiter for more info.
Q32: Can I bring my dog, Marmaduke, with me to technical school and my first base?
A32: You have to leave him behind until the point in your career where you live off base or in base housing (not the dorms).
Q33: Which AFSCs are currently offering enlistment bonuses?
A33: There are 9. Please call us at 1-800-423-USAF for more information.
Q34: If my local AFNG does not have the job I want, what can I do to get that job? Do I have to relocate?
A34: This is an active duty chat. Please contact the Air National Guard for questions: http://bit.ly/15P3wjP.
Q35: Can I be a sniper in the Air Force?
A35: Yes. You must be in a security forces career field, try out and be accepted. You can inquire at your active duty station.
Q36: What is the minimum enlistment for a sensor operator? For example air traffic control is a minimum of 6 years active duty.
A36: The minimum enlistment for a sensor operator is 4 years.
Q37: How long is aerospace physiology tech school?
A37: The tech school is at Wright Patterson AFB, OH for 42 days (8.2 weeks).
Q38: About how many special tactics officer and combat rescue officer slots are earned (sent to phase II) per application period?
A38: That information isn’t available to Air Force recruiting.
Q39: What are the chances of me getting the base I want? I’ll be going into security forces.
A39: You’ll have the chance to fill out a dream sheet . They’ll consider your request and the needs of the AF.
Q40: What are the chances of becoming a combat controller?
A40: If you have the drive and determination, it’s attainable. Check out http://1.usa.gov/15E3PMP for more information.
Q41: What are the average GPA and ACT scores for the AFROTC scholarship?
A41: Go to the AFROTC site for more information. bit.ly/13d5048.
Q42: If I’m in the DEP now, how long will I have to wait before leaving for BMT?
A42: 3-9 months. It depends on what jobs you list and when they are available.
Q43: How long is intelligence tech school at Goodfellow AFB for an officer?
A43: There are many intel fields and it varies. bit.ly/17rfLpa.
Q44: Do you provide tuition reimbursement for college graduates who join after they finish their degree?
A44: No, the Air Force doesn’t provide reimbursement retroactively.
Q45: I dislocated my shoulder in a sport in high school. What is the chance that the Air Force would still let me in?
A45: Take all medical records to your recruiter, and he’ll submit it to MEPS for review. It takes approximately 30 days for decision.
Q46: My daughter is a physician assistant student at UAB Birmingham. She said the AF is not offering PA scholarships anymore? Why?
A46: She can contact a health professions recruiter and ask about Allied Health HPSP program. Find an HP recruiter at bit.ly/11uA68V.
Q47: I recently received my job as aircraft loadmaster. Where is survival training and what does it entail?
A47: You will go to Lackland AFB, TX for 14 days. You will learn the basics of survival, evasion, resistance and escape.
Q48: I want to get into pararescue. What score do I need to get on my ASVAB?
A48: You will need a minimum AFQT 50 and a 44 in the General Aptitude Area.
Q49: Is the pararescue jumper position over populated?
A49: No, the Air Force is always looking for the best qualified people to fill this job.
Q50: I’m going into in-flight refueling, how long does the tech school for that career field last?
A50: It’s approximately 28 days of training at Lackland AFB TX. Follow-on training, location and length vary.
Q51: What should I do if I want to become a pararescue officer?
A51: Go to http://www.afsoc.af.mil/specialtactics/ for more info.
Q52: Do I have to go through OTS to become a fighter pilot?
A52: Yes, all pilots are officers and must apply to OTS.
Q53: What is the current ASVAB score to be able to join?
A53: The minimum AFQT score is 36, but the majority of those waiting for BMT scored > 50. Contact your recruiter to discuss your scores.
Q54: I haven’t had an asthma symptom since I was 12 (15 now), but it is still on my record. Am I still able to join?
Q54: Asthma is a potentially disqualifying condition, but a doctor at MEPS will make that determination. Ask your recruiter to have a MEPS doctor prescreen your medical records for a preliminary ruling.
Q55: My step daughter wants to join so bad. MEPS has her stuff, and we are waiting to hear back. Why does it take so long?
A55: This is due to a high number of individuals who are already qualified and waiting, and the recruiter being limited in # of appointments to schedule an applicant.
Q56: Are you automatically turned away from joining the AF if you don’t meet the height/weight requirements?
A56: The recruiter cannot start the process until you are under the maximum allowable weight.
Q57: I want to study aerospace engineering and later go to the AF. Is that a wise choice, or is there a better plan?
A57: Earning an engineering degree with ABET certification is a great way to serve.
Q58: If I get my 4-year degree and then enlist, will I be guaranteed an officer job, or will I be subject to selection committee?
A58: No single factor leads to selection. Selection is competitive and is based on desires, qualifications and specific AF manpower needs.
Q59: I am 26. What’s the maximum age to enlist?
A59: You must be in BMT before turning 28. You can enlist for 4 or 6 years at a time.
Q60: Can we have tattoos?
A60: Tattoos vary based on the imagery, message, size, as well as location. Check out bit.ly/111YFdA for more info.
Q61: How can I prepare for the Air Force?
A61: Stay out of trouble, stay off drugs, stay in school and graduate. For more info and guidance, refer to http://www.basictraining.af.mil/questions/index.asp.
Q62: Are fighter pilots still in high demand?
A62: The Air Force is always looking for the best qualified to serve.
Q63: What jobs in the AF work with military working dogs? Also is it hard to get a job as a handler?
A63: Our security forces personnel use working dogs. You must already be serving as a fully qualified security forces apprentice, and a vacancy must exist to apply as a dog handler.
Q64: How do I reenlist through the USAF after being in USN?
A64: The prior service program is currently suspended. Please contact your recruiter for more info. bit.ly/11uA68V
Q65: Do you need 20/20 vision to be in pararescue?
A65: Vision requirements are: pass color vision test, have uncorrected vision 20/70-20/200, corrected vision 20/20 each eye.
Q66: Why am I disqualified for joining for being a single parent?
A66: Dependency requirements have changed. See your Air Force recruiter for information and guidance.
Q67: Do SOWTs still go to CCSC/CCOC, or do they go to their own indoc?
A67: Special Operations Weather Team Specialists attend the same 10-day indoctrination course as others.
Q68: Does the Air Force have any scholarships for high school students graduating in 2014? I know the Army had a type of scholarship.
A68: We offer Air Force ROTC scholarships, to which you may apply directly, no later than Dec. 1 of your senior year in high school.
Q69: Does my job, radio frequency transmission systems, have an opportunity to be deployed overseas?
A69: Yes, every job and person in the Air Force can be deployed.
Q70: What is the big difference between a commissioned officer and a non-commissioned officer?
A:70: Officers must have a bachelor’s degree to apply and serve in more leadership positions. Non-commissioned officers don’t require a bachelor’s Degree and are promoted to their positions.
Q71: What is the best degree to have to become an Air Liaison Officer (13L) upon graduation from college?
A71: You can apply for Officer Training School (OTS) with most any type of college degree. However, the more technical the degree you earn, the better your chances are of being accepted to serve.
Q72: Can you join the AF if you have a peanut allergy?
A72: Peanut allergies are medically disqualifying.
Q73: What are the qualifications for becoming a pilot in the AF, and if I meet those qualifications, what would I have to do to be a pilot?
A73: To become a pilot you must meet the general requirements, obtain a degree on your own or earn one after enlisting, and then apply for commission. Learn more about general requirements here: bit.ly/12KwCAu.
Q74: My nephew is attending college. Could he enlist first and become an officer later?
A74: Your nephew could enlist and take advantage of our tuition assistance and educational opportunities. Once he has obtained his bachelor’s degree, he may apply to become officer.
Q75: How long can one be a commissioned officer? What are the requirements? Can we major in anything we prefer?
A75: 20 satisfactory years qualify you for retirement at this time. Anything above 20 years is based upon recommendations and meeting rank tenure requirements. Minimum requirements to apply, one must be under 35, have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA 3.0 or better, unless applying for pilot training, where age and GPA requirements are different. You can apply with most any type of college degree; however, the more technical the degree, the better your chances are of being selected. Please see an AF recruiter for more info.
Q76: How is the availability for pararescue?
A76: Provided you meet the requirements, we are always looking for the best qualified. Please see an AF recruiter for more information & guidance.
Q77: Is aircraft armament a particularly dangerous job?
A77: Any job can be particularly dangerous. However, the training one receives to serve as an aircraft Armament focuses on safety at all times.
Q78: How in depth is the credit check?
A78: Credit checks are completed on all applicants 18 and older to ensure an applicant is not entering into the AF with financial difficulties or a situation that would affect their job or AF mission. A financial review is required for all applicants.
Q79: What are the requirements to be a fighter pilot?
A79: Gen requirements to be a pilot: US citizen; any 4-yEAR college degree; if a rated applicant is 28 by the board convening date, they are too old; between 64-77 inches in height; distance vision cannot exceed 20/200 uncorrected, must correct to 20/20 or better to meet standards; near vision cannot exceed 20/40 uncorrected, must correct to 20/20 or better to meet standards; and color vision is required.
Q80: What are the chances of being deployed as a TACP?
A80: Any job or person in the USAF can be deployed.
Q81: Can I wear colored hair bands with my uniform?
A81: Hair bands are permitted, so long as they are the same color as your hair, neat and conservative in appearance.
Q82: Is the AF downsizing? If so, are they giving less medical waivers?
A82: The Air Force is ever-changing to optimize resources and its personnel. Medical waivers are based on the nature of the medical condition and not by force management issues.
Q83: Is there a set number of years you have to enlist for the Air Force to pay for your college?
A83: No, there is not. Tuition assistance is provided whether you enlist for 4 or 6 years.
Q84: If I have very minor asthma, can I get a waiver to enlist?
A84: Asthma is a potentially medically disqualifying condition, but the doctor at MEPS will make that determination. Ask your recruiter to have the MEPS doctor prescreen your asthma medical records for a preliminary ruling.
Q85: What is the minimum enlistment time someone can serve?
A85: 4 years. Individuals who are qualified to enlist in the Air Force will incur an overall 8 year Military Service Obligation. Qualified individuals who enlist for 4 years active duty will incur an additional 4 year Inactive Ready Reserve obligation.
Q86: I’m 31 with a BA in aeronautics, and I have a private pilot’s license. Is there any chance I could fly in the Air Force?
A86: Yes, provided you meet the requirements. Having earned a private pilot’s license and a technical degree will increase your chances of being selected.
Q87: Why is the age limit 27 for the Air Force?
A87: The Air Force is committed to maintaining a younger, fit force.
Q88: What are my chances of being a firefighter?
A88: Provided you meet the requirements to enlist, qualify on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), pass a physical examination, and if the job you want is available, you can have that job.
Q89: Is the Air Force really downsizing?
A89: The Air Force is ever-changing to optimize its resources and personnel.
Q90: Is Lasik mandatory in the Air Force?
A90: No, Lasik is not mandatory, but may qualify you for a specific job, if you have a vision deficiency.
Q91: What if one of my guests for BMT graduation doesn’t have a driver’s license or permit? What do I fill in for them?
A91: Due to security concerns on Lackland AFB, please sure all your guests have a valid form of ID and valid passes, as these are mandatory. http://www.basictraining.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=18245
Q92: What are the weight requirements to join the Air Force?
A92: Please visit bit.ly/13I6Tq4 for height and weight requirements.
Q93: What type of training does the Air Force provide?
A93: There are technical and leadership schools taught by the Air Force and joint services for all career fields.
Q94: How could I go about obtaining a medical waiver if I wish to enlist?
A94: Take all medical records to your recruiter, who will submit for the doctor at MEPS to review. It takes about 30 days for a decision.
Q95: I got a 79 on my ASVAB and got single digit scores on the mechanical and electrical parts. What are the chances of getting a combat job?
A95: As long as you make a qualifying Armed Forces Qualifying Test score, you must also qualify in one of the four aptitude areas to qualify for the job you will train and serve in. Please see an AF recruiter near you for info and guidance.
Q96: What’s the highest rank you can achieve in the Air Force?
A96: The highest rank in the AF for officers is 0-10, 4-star general, and for enlisted it’s E-9, Chief Master Sergeant.
Q97: What are some good ways to help our Airmen? I’d love to be a part of that.
A97: You can search online for organizations such as the USO.
Q98: What are the basic requirements to be an aerial gunner?
A98: Must meet the requirements to enlist in the AF, including ASVAB aptitude area scores of mechanical 60 “or” a general 57. You must also be physically qualified.
Q99: Is being lactose intolerant a disqualifying factor in joining the Air Force?
A99: This is a potentially medically disqualifying condition. However, the doctor at MEPS will make that determination. Your local recruiter can have your medical records for this condition prescreened by the doctor at MEPS for you to find a preliminary ruling in your situation.
Q100: What does my ASVAB score need to be in order to work in cyber security?
A100: You must score a 64 or higher on the general aptitude area and meet additional qualifications.
Q101: How hard is it to get into JAG School after ROTC?
A101: The judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force handles its own recruiting & can be reached at http://www.jagusaf.hq.af.mil
Q102: What college degrees is the Air Force most actively seeking? What’s the five year forecast for most wanted degrees?
A102: The more technical the degree, the better your chances are of applying & being selected, i.e., Electrical Engineering. There is no five-year forecast as the Air Force is ever-changing.
Q103: Do you have to be in shape to join the Air Force?
A103: You must be within height & weight standards, as well as able to pass a fitness examination to successfully complete Basic Military Training.
Q104: What career fields need people right now?
A104: Jobs in demand are ever-changing based upon needs of the #AirForce. Critical career fields include special ops & linguists.
Q105: Is it beneficial to join the AFJROTC in college if I’m planning on being a pilot after college?
A105: AF ROTC is one of three sources of commissioning we have in addition to Officers Training School & the Air Force Academy.
Q106: Can you wear contact lenses while on duty?
A106: Yes, you can wear contacts while on duty. They may not be worn while at Basic Military Training.
Q107: How do you join the Air Force honor guard?
A107: The Air Force Honor Guard is through an application process. http://www.honorguard.af.mil/
Q108: How much development and design does a developmental engineer do in the Air Force?
A108: You can read all our Officer Careers on www.airforce.com under the Officer Careers section.
Q109: Can you be a space or missile operations officer if you are colorblind?
A109: You must have normal color vision to serve as a space or missile operations officer.
Q110: What steps should I take to transition from Reserve to active duty?
A110: You would contact an AF Recruiter to ask about our Prior Service Program. However, it’s on hold at this time, with the exception of Special Tactics jobs. Please see an AF Recruiter for info & guidance.
Q111: Who gets to run the twitter accounts for the Air Force? How do I get that job?
A111: Twitter accounts are normally run by public affairs offices so you would need to be an AF photojournalist. You can also apply for civilian jobs at www.usajobs.gov.
Q112: What is the possibility of being accepted into security forces?
A112: SF is one of our largest career fields, so your chances are good if you qualify and a spot is open.
Q113: Are there recruitment offices in Riverside, CA?
A113: Yes, you can visit an AF Recruiting Office in Riverside, CA. You can locate an Air Force Recruiter at: http://www.airforce.com/contact-us/recruiter-locator/
Q114: What’s the process in getting into special operations?
A114: You must meet the requirements to enlist in the AF, as well as be mentally & physically qualified. Please see an Air Force Recruiter for info & guidance.
Q115: What classes should I take to help me get accepted into the Air Force Academy?
A115: Acceptance into the AF Academy is extremely competitive. Please see your high school guidance counselor to ensure you are taking courses, which will help you in being accepted. http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/
Q116: What’s the possibility of being a SERE instructor?
A116: You must excel serving in your current career field, where you can later apply for a special duty assignment as a SERE Instructor.
Q117: Why are the rated boards suspended until 2015?
A117: Due to force management measures the rated boards are suspended until 2015.
Q118: How long is the training to be an aerial gunner?
A118: The school is located at Lackland AFB, TX and it’s approximately 28 day, but then you’ll have follow on training, which will vary in length.
Q119: Can I join if I have a metal plate in my shoulder?
A119: Take all medical records to your recruiter & they’ll submit it to a doctor at MEPs to review. You should receive an answer in about 30 days or so.
Q120: What opportunity is there for someone who graduated from the conservatory for the arts and sciences?
A120: You may contact an AF Recruiter nearest you to discuss qualifying, options & opportunities. Based upon your education level, accreditation & GPA, you may apply for the highest program offered, when beginning the application process.
Q121: What is the process and duration of officer training?
A121: Officers Training School is nine and a half weeks and it’s located at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL. http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/OTS/index.asp