The Air Force Public Affairs Agency and Air Force Recruiting Service hosted a tweet chat with Lt. Col. (Dr.) David Duval, Air Education and Training Command’s medical standards branch chief and senior flight surgeon, Mar. 20 and received 29 questions from Twitter followers. During the 45-minute Web event, Duval answered questions about becoming an Air Force flight surgeon and nurse practitioner as well as and other medical career field-specific questions. The first 13 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, and follow us on Twitter.
Q1: Do you accept applications from other nations to join the Air Force? How do I get a Reserve recruiter to call me back? I’ve called six times and left messages.
A1: Yes, provided the individual has been residing legally in the U.S. for 2 years or longer, and possesses a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Registration Card, commonly called a “Green Card” (INS Form I-151/551). Applicants must be between 17-27, meet the mental, moral and physical standards for enlistment and speak, read and write English fluently. To apply for officer programs, you must be a U.S. citizen. You may contact the Air National Guard at http://bit.ly/15P3wjP and Air Force Reserve at http://bit.ly/13d58AD. Both have live-chat options on their website to answer your questions.
Q2: What are the qualifications to becoming an Air Force surgeon?
A2: You must not exceed 48 years of age, be credentialed in your specialized area and be otherwise qualified. Please talk to an Air Force health professions recruiter for more guidance and information.
Q3: For an upcoming high school senior, what is the best route to become a nurse practitioner in the Air Force?
A3: While serving in the Air Force, you can apply for our Nurse Education and Commissioning Program (NECP).
Q4: What are some good classes to take if I want to pursue this career field?
A4: Medical schools publish their prerequisites, and accept various types of degrees to apply. Courses in math and science are good.
Q5: Are tattoos on forearms and wrists a deal breaker?
A5: No, as long as the tattoo does not exceed 25 percent or more of an exposed area, and is not offensive in nature. Your recruiter will evaluate your tattoo(s) to determine eligibility.
Q6: Are there scholarships other than AFROTC?
A6: There are not any other scholarship programs for undergraduate degrees.
Q7: Dr. Duval, what other fields/AFSCs have you been in and how did you get to where you are today?
A7: I’ve been a physical therapy technician, nurse’s aide, lab technician and anesthesia technician. I earned my undergraduate degree on my own, and received a scholarship from the Health Professions Scholarship Program.
Q8: What is the most realistic, achievable way of commissioning after enlistment?
A8: Graduate from college, then apply for Officers Training School.
Q9: Is an astigmatism a deal breaker?
A9: No, it is not a deal breaker. However, your vision will be evaluated to determine your enlistment eligibility.
Q10: Can you join the Air Force as an officer if you are a single parent? How about as an enlisted member?
A10: Yes, you can be a single parent joining as an officer or enlisted member if you are otherwise qualified.
Q11: How do I study for the DLAB?
A11: There is no study material for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.
Q12: What is the demand for medical jobs in the Air Force right now?
A12: The need for medical jobs is ever-changing, so there is no way of knowing. Check with you recruiter for your best options.
Q13: What’s better – ground or airborne linguist?
A13: It’s up to you to decide if you prefer cryptologic linguist apprentice or an airborne cryptologic language analyst apprentice.
Q14: Is the Air Force downsizing like the Army?
A14: Yes, we are downsizing using various force management programs.
Q15: If you can physically pass the PT test, but you’re overweight, can you still become an officer?
A15: You must meet weight requirements based upon your height to qualify.
Q16: Could I commission in the Reserves as a public health officer or is active duty the only option for this career field?
A16: You must contact the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to learn more about their specific eligibility requirements. Regular Air Force offers opportunities in the public health officer career field provided you are otherwise qualified.
Q17: My recruiter said there’s a zero tolerance policy on single parents joining the Air Force. Is this true?
A17: Recent changes have been made it possible for single parents to join the Air Force. Please contact an Air Force recruiter, chat with an Air Force advisor on http://www.airforce.com, or call our National Toll Free Call Center at 1-800-423-USAF.
Q18: Are there any extra benefits to entering the Air Force with a master’s degree as compared to a bachelor’s degree?
A18: Officer Training School boards have been suspended until fiscal year 2015. You may contact an Air Force line officer recruiter for mmore information and guidance. Applying for OTS requires a bachelor’s degree with a qualifying GPA of 3.0 or better. http://bit.ly/15P53GT
Q19: Why can’t you get any recruiters in the Kansas City area to return a phone call?
A19: You may call our National Toll Free Call Center at 1-800-423-USAF, or visit login to http://www.airforce.com and chat with an advisor who will assist you in locating and contacting an Air Force recruiter nearest to you.
Q20: Why aren’t there fighters at Hanscom Air Force Base?
A20: Strategic decisions to place fighter aircraft units in specific areas is made by the Pentagon and our elected officials.
Q21: What ASVAB score do I need in order to qualify for Special Missions Aviation?
A21: You will need to qualify with an Armed Forces Qualification Test score of 50, a mechanical aptitude score of 60 and a general aptitude score of 57.
Q22: How does it work if a recruit wanted to change residency to a different state?
A22: If you are in the Delayed Entry Program, please notify your recruiter you are moving, and that you would like to request a courtesy ship. Your recruiter will obtain the information, and your files can be transferred to your new location.
Q23: I’m 14 years old and I’m interested in joining the U.S. Air Force. How can I join?
A23: While you are still too young to enlist, it’s never too early to start preparing. Study hard, graduate from high school and get the best grades you can. Say no to drugs, and get an early start on meeting our physical fitness requirements.
Q24: Does the Air Force even “need” more medical personnel? I was thinking of joining after this semester, but I was thinking of doing something in the infantry field.
A24: The Air Force is always looking for the best qualified people to join our service. If you meet the requirements, and the job you want is available, you can have that job. The Air Force does not offer “infantry,” but it does have over 140 jobs to choose from.
Q25: I have a master’s degree in history and I served in the Air Force in the mid-90s. Is there a historian position in the Air Force Reserves for someone under the age of 40?
A25: To apply for the Reserves, please contact the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve. They both have qualified recruiters to assist you.
Q26: I’m British and I tried to join the Air Force when I lived in El Paso, Texas. I was told I couldn’t work on aircraft because I’m not a U.S. citizen. Is this true?
A26: You must meet U.S. citizenship requirements. If you meet the requirements to apply, not being a U.S. citizen will limit you to jobs you may qualify to train and serve in.
Q27: My daughter wants to be a military nurse and help those with PTSD. Should she join the Air Force or Army?
A27: To find out if your daughter meets the requirements to apply as nurse in the Air Force, please ask her to contact an Air Force health professions recruiter. She will need to contact the U.S. Army to apply for their nursing program.
Q28: What are the chances of getting one of the 10 AFSCs you’ve chosen at MEPS?
A28: After meeting our ASVAB and physical requirements, and the job you qualify for is available, then you can have that job.
Q29: I’m an associate graduate of Aeronautics here in the Philippines, and I want to be part of the U.S. Air Force. How do I join?
A29: You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for Officers Training School. If you are a U.S. citizen, OTS selection boards have been suspended until fiscal year 2015. Please contact an Air Force line officer recruiter near you for future OTS boards.