By the Air Force Public Affairs Agency
The Air Force Recruiting Service and the AF social media team participated in their 12th tweet chat on August 6 and received 90 recruitment questions from Twitter followers. During the hour-long Web event, the teams answered questions about assignments, enlistment requirements, the Delayed Enlistment Program and other career field-specific questions. In case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat.
Q1: Is patience a big thing when waiting to join?
A1: Yes, it is. It may take three to nine months to go to BMT.
Q2: Are you still able to compete in international athletic competitions like the Olympics while in the Air Force?
A2: You sure are! Check out http://bit.ly/1sdjv8k.
Q3: To what degree is college paid for by the USAF?
A3: Tuition Assistance pays up to 100% of tuition for college classes you take in off-duty time. This is not a loan.
Q4: What is the commissioned program, also, the difference between officer and commissioned officer?
A4: It’s the officer training program; the terms mean the same thing.
Q5: At BMT, I heard there is a family day. How many family members can show up and how do they get there?
A5: You can see your family the last Thursday through Sunday of BMT. Up to 10 visitors can attend. Visit http://www.basictraining.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=15725 for more info.
Q6: What does it take and how long does it take to get promoted?
A6: Depends whether you’re an officer or enlisted. Each rank has its own requirements.
Q7: Do you get stationed where they would need you the most after basic training or do you get stationed close to where you live?
A7: You will be able to select locations which will be taken into consideration based on Air Force needs. http://Bit.ly/15KYpPs
Q8: What are some of the benefits of joining the USAF instead from the Coast Guard?
A8: Depends on your goals. Check with a recruiter Oct 1 for FY 2015 prior service program goals and info.
Q9: Why is it difficult to get a hold of a recruiter?
A9: AF Recruiters are few in numbers and not always in the office. Please contact 1-800-423-USAF and an AF Advisor will assist you.
Q10: To enlist, do you have to have any college credits if you have a HS diploma?
A10: No, if you have a high school diploma, college credits are not required.
Q11: Do you have to be a US citizen to sign up? What are the entry requirements?
A11: You must meet the requirements here: http://bit.ly/12yNTco and legally reside in the US with a “Green Card.”
Q12: How long does it take for a recruiter to schedule an appointment to MEPS?
A12: The length it takes to process depends on the number of individuals a recruiter may process at the Military Entrance Processing Station, as well as testing, and physical processing irregularities.
Q13: I’m red-green colorblind can I still fly jets if I decide to go into the Air Force?
A13: Sorry, but pilots cannot be color blind. See more at http://bit.ly/12KwCAu.
Q14:What’s the intensity of basic training?
A14: Each individual has different experiences at Basic Military Training, but it should not be considered easy.
Q15: I weigh 193 but my recruiter says I have to weigh 187, but online it says max weight is 197, who’s right? (I’m 71 inches tall).
A15: You must be at least 5 lbs. under your max weight for your recruiter to process you. Your max for 5’11” is 197 lbs.
Q16: Which is better, active or reserves?
A16: Depends on what you are trying to achieve. Recommend you contact recruiter for both.
Q17: How long is the entry process once you meet with the recruiter for the first time?
A17: After you have met all the requirements to enlist, from the date you enlist, until the day you depart for Basic Military Training is approximately three to nine months.
Q18: How hard is it really to go from enlisted to officer?
A18: Each person’s experience is different, depending on your degree, the job you want and the needs of the AF.
Q19: If I am in the reserves can I still take online classes while deployed if I’m in college?
A19: This is an active duty site. You would need to contact the Reserve to inquire. http://bit.ly/13d58AD
Q20: How tall do you have to be to be a pilot? Is the height a “must”?
A20: The height range is 5 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 5 inches. Yes, it’s a must.
Q21: Is biomedical engineering a career option in the Air Force?
A21: There are biomedical environmental Engineering careers. Find out more information here: http://bit.ly/1m81vV9.
Q22:Why kick out a 12 yearr Tech Sgt. to let in a 35 yr old Airman Basic?
A22: It’s a complicated issue. Our recruiting needs are different from force management decisions.
Q23: I’m a senior in college, what kind of organizations should I be involved in this year if I’m considering OTS after graduation?
A23: Civic involvement and employment endorsements will increase your chances for selection. http://bit.ly/15P53GT
Q24: Is it more beneficial to enlist after getting an associates or to try to get a ROTC scholarship and go 2 a 4-year school for ROTC?
A24: That is up to you. The AF can pay up to 100% of your continued education.
Q25: What all do I take to MEPS?
A25: Bring all required documents and wear proper attire. Your recruiter will brief more details.
Q26: Can you be a firefighter in the Air Force Reserve?
A26: Possibly, please contact the AF Reserve for information.
Q27: I want one job. Cyber security. Why is it required to list 8? Could I just wait for an opening for the job I want?
A27: You must list 4 or more careers and an aptitude area. Yes, you may ask your recruiter to wait, but remember that you are in the Delayed Entry Program for 365 days, and if the job is not available, you may be discharged.
Q28: What is the next step after BMT?
A28: After BMT you then go to tech school to learn your career.
Q29: What is the likelihood of being accepted with a 48 ASVAB score?
A29: Min AFQT score required is 36, but the majority of those waiting for BMT scored at 50 or better. Contact your recruiter to discuss your scores.
Q30: How old do you need to be to join?
A30: At least 17 with parental consent.
Q31: When could I get a dog when in the Air Force?
A31: You may have pets while living in base housing or off-base. You may not have pets during training or living in the dorm.
Q32: Whats the minimum contract for the guard?
A32: This is an active-duty site. Please contact the Air National Guard for more info.
Q33: What’s best to study up on if i want to be a pilot? Do I need prior experience?
A33: Along with meeting requirements to apply for OTS and pilot training, a technical degree and private pilot’s license will increase your chances.
Q34: Can I still join the service if I have had knee surgery?
A34: Take all medical records to your recruiter and they’ll submit to the doctor at MEPS to review. It takes approximately 30 days for a decision.
Q35: At what point in time during ROTC do you attend BMT? Are you commissioned at graduation?
A35: Contact ROTC at the college you plan to attend. Or visit http://www.afrotc.com/ for info.
Q36: Is the Air Force for people born in the United States only?
A36: You must meet the requirements here: http://bit.ly/12yNTco and legally reside in the US with a “Green Card.”
Q37: What training/schooling is needed in order to be an optometrist?
A37: You must have received your Doctorate in Optometry and related credentials to apply as an optometrist for the U.S. Air Force.
Q38: What are the actual eye sight requirements for CCT?
A38: Uncorrected vision of 20/70 – 20/200; corrected vision 20/20 for both eyes.
Q39: What are some ways to go in to active duty/reserves as enlisted, and later become an officer?
A39: Must meet the requirements to enlist in the Air Force, and earn the educational requirements to apply for Basic Officer Training. Air National Guard and AF Reserve may apply for Officer Training School, provided they are otherwise qualified to apply.
Q40: How many OTS slots are there for FY 2015.
A40: This information changes frequently and is based on the needs of the Air Force.
Q41: What would I need to do in order to be eligible to join up if I have ADHD?
A41: If you have been diagnosed by a doctor as having ADD/ADHD, you must meet the following requirements in order to apply: Be off medication for a minimum of two years, have a current note from primary care provider validating stable status with condition, must summarize the diagnosis, history of treatment, and should rule out any residual of ADD/ADHD. Show evidence of successful academic and work endeavors while off medication. Show evidence applicant was not provided classroom aids such as private study area, special tutors and additional time to complete assignments or tests.
Q42: Do you have to reach a certain rank before applying to the pararescueman pipeline?
A42: No, you do not have to be a specific rank to apply for pararescue. You must meet the requirements to enlist, pass a Physical Abilities Stamina Test (PAST), and a physical examination.
Q43: Why don’t you have training for people that are 15 or 16 that want to be in the Air Force?
A43: The age for enlistment is 17 years old with parental consent.
Q44: Will I be tested on things like engineering/mechanics on the ASVAB and will the score matter if I want to do security forces?
A44: Yes, you will be tested in the Mechanical Aptitude area. You must qualify in the General Aptitude area with a 33 to train and serve in security forces. It is recommended studying to obtain a higher competitive score. Visit http://bit.ly/111XwCy for more info.
Q45: If a person join the Air Force with a 2-year degree what rank would they receive?
A45: Earning an Associates of Applied Science Degree from an accredited college will earn you advanced rank up to E-3.
Q46: What careers are available for officers who want to have their boots on the ground in the fight?
A46: Security forces and special operations-related careers have an increased operations tempo.
Q47: Is it difficult to get a college education while enlisted?
A47: The Air Force provides you the means, it is up to you take advantage of educational opportunities.
Q48: Do your certifications follow you out of the Air Force? If so, which ones or do they all?
A48: Examples of certifications are Airframe and Power-Plant to Diagnostic Imaging; most all careers in the U.S. Air Force provide specialized certifications.
Q49: Why does it take so long to go to BMT, and are there shorter wait times for certain jobs?
A49: Due to the high volume of individuals who are qualified and waiting, it is taking approximately 3 to 9 months to depart for Basic Military Training. The date your technical training begins, determines the date you depart for Basic Military Training.
Q50: Could you be in fire protection if you are an officer?
A50: No, fire protection personnel are enlisted Airmen under the management of a base civil engineering officer.
Q51: How long is the current wait to get into OTS and is there any way to speed up the process?
A51: OTS Boards are based on the needs of the U.S. Air Force and change frequently. Ensuring that you provide all documents requested by your line officer recruiter in timely manner is beneficial in the application process. If selected for OTS, the date your class begins will determine how fast the process is.
Q52: What all do I take to MEPS?
A52: Bring all required documents and wear proper attire. Your Air Force recruiter will provide you an in-depth briefing of what to take with you when you have been scheduled for processing at the MEPS.
Q53: What decides the type of jet/plane you fly?
A53: Class ranking, commander’s recommendation, ratings and needs of the Air Force determine the type of aircraft you will fly.
Q54: I heard that only a certain amount of people can show up for you at your BMT graduation. Is that true?
A54: You may have up to 10 individuals attend your BMT Graduation. Visit http://www.basictraining.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=15725 for more info.
Q55: Should I meet with a recruiter before or after I take the ASVAB? Or does it matter?
A55: Both. You will meet with your recruiter to be scheduled to take the ASVAB, and meet with your recruiter after your results are back, so that you can be scheduled to take a physical examination at a later date.
Q56: I am prior service Army combat arms looking to go TACP, but I have two full sleeve tattoos, will that disqualify me?
A56: Yes, as tattoos cannot exceed 25% of an exposed body part. Check out http://bit.ly/111YFdA for more info.
Q57: If you join as enlisted, how do you go about becoming an officer?
A57: You may apply as long as you meet the requirements for Basic Officer Training (BOT). You may apply one year after you have been assigned to your duty station.
Q58: Is it easy to get a waiver for having taken ADHD medication?
A58: If you have been diagnosed by a doctor as having ADD/ADHD, you must meet the following requirements in order to apply: Be off medication for minimum two years, have a current note from primary care provider validating stable status with condition, must summarize the diagnosis, history of treatment, and should rule out any residual of ADD/ADHD. Show evidence of successful academic and work endeavors while off medication. Show evidence applicant was not provided classroom aids such as private study area, special tutors and additional time to complete assignments or tests.
Q59: I was arrested when I was 16 for domestic violence but was not convicted. Does that disqualify me?
A59: Domestic violence is disqualifying. Please contact an Air Force recruiter to have your history evaluated.
Q60: My wife is prior enlisted with 10 years of service. Is she eligible to rejoin?
A60: If your wife has been out of the military for six years or longer, she will not be qualified. Otherwise, she may contact an Air Force recruiter to discuss applying for our prior service program.
Q61: Is BMT for a ROTC cadet any different than enlisted?
A61: AFROTC training is a four-year program. They have a version of BMT known as field training during the summer between their sophomore and junior years which serves as their transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen. Their program focuses on leadership, customs and courtesies of the U.S. Air Force, etc.
Q62: Where can someone with a disability find out how the Air Force provides accommodation through the recruiting process?
A62: By contacting an Air Force recruiter nearest to you, a recruiter will ask qualifying questions, to ensure you meet the requirements to enlist into the U.S. Air Force.
Q63: What’s an ideal way to prepare for BMT?
A63: Check out this link for BMT workout prep: http://1.usa.gov/14ARYDs.
Q64: I got my AFSC as firefighter, what’s the usual wait to switch into TACP?
A64: If you enlist for four years, you must serve three years to apply, and if you enlisted for six years, you must serve five years to apply.
Q65: What is the tattoo policy to enlist?
A65: It varies based on the imagery, message, size, as well as location. Check out http://bit.ly/111YFdA for more info.
Q66: Do some tech schools in the PJ pipeline give weekends off?
A66: Time off, including weekends, is determined by your training schedule and commander’s leave policy.
Q67: What does it take to become a recruiter?
A67: You are selected for recruiting duty through a non-volunteer selection process. You must be nominated by your commander for recruiting duty and special duty assignment.
Q68: Is it an absolute minimum of three months to be shipped to BMT?
A68: No, you may also ask your recruiter about a “quick ship.” Other factors, such as a cancellation of a job, etc., may increase your chances of departing for BMT sooner.
Q69: How many times is the limit for trying to enlist?
A69: Ask your recruiter if you have been permanently disqualified. Each applicant has unique circumstances which may disqualify him/her.
Q70: I plan on getting my BA in geography. Would this be useful in the Air Force?
A70: You may apply for Officer Training School with most any type of college degree.
Q71: Are there any bases that have GEODDS?
A71: If you are referring to Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS), the U.S. Air Force has three locations; they are: Socorro, New Mexico; Maui, Hawaii; and Diego Garcia, Indian Ocean.
Q72: What do I need to get on the ASVAB for missile and space facility maintenance?
A72: You must make a qualifying Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score of 36 to enlist, and an Electronic Aptitude area score of 70 to train and serve as a missile and space facilities apprentice. Learn more at http://www.airforce.com/careers.
Q73: What are the requirements for pararescue?
A73: AFQT-36, General-41. You must also pass the PAST test. Check out the PJ page on http://www.airforce.com/careers for more info.
Q74: What jobs would you not recommend going into now due to the 30-year plan if you want to stay and retire?
A74: There are over 140 jobs which you may choose from to train and serve in. There is not any one job I would recommend to you.
Q75: Are my chances of being a fighter pilot increased by joining the ROTC program during college as an engineering student?
A75: Engineering is considered a technical degree by the Air Force, and the more technical the degree you have earned, the better your chances are of being selected. Also, earning a private pilot’s license and instrumentation ratings will increase your chances of being selected.
Q76: What are the minimum physical requirements to become a TACP Airman?
A76: Calisthenics minimums: Eight chin-ups in two minutes, 60 sit-ups in two minutes and 45 push-ups in two minutes. Run minimum: 3 miles, non-stop, completed within 24:00 minutes. A Combat Water Survival Test and a 12-mile road march with 55-pound rucksack, weapon, LCE and helmet in less than three hours. Click here http://1.usa.gov/1j83V93 to learn more.
Q77: Do y’all take prior service members? If not, why? If so, who can I talk to?
A77: Yes, we do accept prior service members though the number of positions are limited. Please contact an Air Force recruiter nearest to you for more information.
Q78: What is the worst vision you can have in order to join the Air Force?
A78: You can have an eye refraction level of no worse than + or – 8.0. When applying, your vision will be fully evaluated at your pre-entry qualification physical. Certain jobs may have stricter vision requirements.
Q79: What is the minimum score required on the ASVAB to be in security forces?
A79: The minimum is a General Aptitude area score of 33. We recommend studying for a higher score to be competitive. Visit http://bit.ly/111XwCy for more info.
Q80: Any need for a school psychologist?
A80: If you have earned your PhD as a clinical psychologist, please contact an Air Force health professions recruiter. You may locate one here: http://www.airforce.com/contact-us/recruiter-locator/.
Q81: What is the weight requirement for a 5’1″ woman?
A81: With a height of 61 inches (5ft 1in), your max weight must not exceed 145lbs.
Q82: How do you become a pararescueman?
A82: The requirements are AFQT-36, General-41. You must also pass the PAST test. Check out the PJ page on http://www.airforce.com/careers for more info.
Q83: How likely is it to get the job you want if you qualify with your ASVAB scores?
A83: If you meet the requirements to enlist in the Air Force, successfully qualify on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and physical examination, and the job you want is available, you can have that job.
Q84: Once you are at your first duty station, how do you join the honor guard?
A84: The Air Force Honor Guard is through an application process. Visit http://www.honorguard.af.mil/ for more information. You can also sign up to help with your base honor guard program.
Q85: I was told by a Marine recruiter you have to have 20/20 vision to be a pilot, is this also required for the Air Force?
A85: Distance vision cannot exceed 20/200 uncorrected, must correct to 20/20 or better to meet standards.
Q86: After basic are you allowed to live in on-base houses and does the Air Force help with paying the housing bills?
A86: After Basic Military Training you will go directly to your technical training. After tech. school, and if you are legally married, you may reside in base housing where most utilities are paid. Single military members reside in single member housing where most utilities are also paid.
Q87: If I am a Canadian citizen am I eligible for engineering jobs that require security clearance?
A87: You must be a United States citizen to apply for officer programs. If you are a legal resident, you may enlist, provided you are otherwise qualified. All jobs in the U.S. Air Force require a security clearance.
Q88: What has higher demand: security forces or fire protection?
A88: Demand for specific jobs in the Air Force is ever changing, and it’s difficult to answer which jobs are in demand.
Q89: If I get above a 50 on the ASVAB and do well my senior year and in college will y’all look over my 9th-11th grade year?
A89: If you earn a high school diploma, you will meet the educational requirements to enlist. However, if you did not earn a high school diploma, but you have earned 15 college credits or more from an accredited college in the U.S. then you will meet the educational requirements to enlist.
Q90: If the job you are wanting to do has multiple bases for tech school do you go to those bases for different parts of tech school?
A90: If your job requires you attending different locations to complete your training, then yes, you will go to those locations.