Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by howacupcake, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    For the Air Force, can you major in engineering and then become a pilot? For example, if someone were to major in Electrical Engineering, could they commission as both an engineer and a pilot? Does being a pilot become a 100% of the time job? Thanks for your time! :thumb:
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    You will only have one Air Force Specialty Code at a time. Some people will cross-train part way through their career, but it is relatively rare. If you are a pilot, don't expect to be designing new systems for the Air Force.

    Your college major does not become your AFSC. Now, some AFSCs require certain majors (you won't become a civil engineer without a degree it that, but you could be a pilot with a CE degree).
     
  3. AHS74

    AHS74 Member

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    Any major can get a pilot slot from what we were told during a visit.
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Picture this...

    Flying over Falcon Stadium at USAFA prior to a home football game, low and from the south...

    A flight of F-15C's...eight tails and eight engines of thundering airpower!

    In the cockpits:

    Lead: USAFA Grad, English Major
    #2: USAFA Grad, Electrical Engineer
    #3: Embry Riddle, Aviation Studies
    #4: USAFA Grad, Social Sciences

    This is an actual "four ship" I knew and flew with...

    Academic major's didn't matter, the fact that they were selected for UPT mattered.

    Oh, FYI...I have trained 4 pilots in my career (USAF pilots) that were graduates of The US Merchant Marine Academy. They were evenly split: 2 were engine officers and 2 were deck officers.

    And fine pilots all!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As ramius said, being a pilot is your full time job. So no, you won't be part time engineer and part time pilot. As the others have said, you can have any degree major that the academy offers, and you can be a pilot. "Unless you want to be a test pilot, nasa, etc..."

    So, why get an engineering degree if you only want to be a pilot? Two reason. 1) Maybe later you do want to be a test pilot or similar. Normally, the social science major who is a pilot isn't qualified. 2) You don't stay in the military until you're 90 years old and die. You have a life 20-30 years later. Some people want a degree in what they're interested in for their next job.
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I can't agree with CC more!! :thumb:

    I planned a 30+ year on active duty; fly fighters, command, stars, the entire package! :worship:

    BUT...I didn't plan on marrying an AF pilot, being based apart and being on different jets/career paths, etc. Bottom line, I moved to the AF Reserve.

    Then...had to find a real job as the airlines were NOT hiring!! :eek:

    So...what do I do? I mean...I fly jets! I'm an aerial assassin, skilled in the art of war. What can I do???

    Enter that Academy engineering degree...interview at Motorola for, get this: "Staff Electrical Engineer in MEMS accelerometers!" For those not familiar with MEMS: Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems. Basically this was a position working on the accelerometers that told you car airbag system that you had either hit a rabbit (poor rabbit, no airbag needed) or another car at high speed (fire that airbag!)

    I got that job! And had an incredibly interesting job in a field I did NOT have a degree in! EE I am not!

    When I asked the many people why they hired me, a non-Electrical Engineer, for the job, here is what they told me (no kidding!)

    "Steve...you're a graduate of the USAF Academy...that's a superb school! You have an excellent engineering background; it may not be in EE, but you've had EE classes and MORE importantly, you have experiences as a pilot and a military officer that mean you know how to make decisions quickly and accurately. You have proven ability in logical thought processes under stress. THAT is what we need in this position!"

    I loved that job!!!

    My mantra after that was like the old TV commercial: "I'm not a Double E but I play one at Motorola!"

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Wow thanks for the great responses! I am glad to know that I can do both!:smile: Perhaps not at the same time, but one way or another!
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Just an add-on - Speaking to the AFROTC Admissions Officer at Auburn, she stated that the USAF (and subsequently the AFROTC Scholarship Board) are looking high and low for EE and Comp E majors this year...

    Best

    :biggrin:
     
  9. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    That's a great story! Thanks for sharing. It proves the value of a USAFA education goes beyond just academics or the degree with which you graduate.
     

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