About to make the biggest decision of my life... and I need to make it soon


New Member
Dec 24, 2016
Hey y'all I've been put into a situation where I simply can't find an answer that satisfies me completely.

So this is my problem. I am currently a Biology major with a desire to do something with my degree but ultimately do something for my country. I don't know if I want to fly, go ALO, or become a dentist. Each of these career fields have their merits and im absolutely torn deciding what I want to be. I know you all will probably say something like "well just do what you think is right we can't help you...", but the problem is that I think each of these is right for me and it is driving me absolutely nuts... I have talked to my peers, I have talked to cadre, each of them telling me different things and its come to a point where I just dont know where to turn to for help.

This is what is going through my head - I have been on several commercial flights before, I love the thrill of taking off and what the pilot life seems to be based off of the research I have done.

- I want to jump. I don't necessarily want to go into a combat airman job, but i'd like to do some support functionality job and ALO trains me to jump and it also gets me in the field.

- Now this is the hard part. I have this lingering thought in the back of my mind always saying what happens if pilot doesn't work out? What happens if robots come and take your job and the Air Force says "well we guess we don't need you anymore", or you go through ALO training only to not get picked? What is to happen to my life? Now you see, I have a good GPA and I could become a dentist. I could have a lucrative, simple, and meaningful job working as a dentist. But if I go pilot or ALO that life is gone for me. Forever. I will never be able to supply for my family as much as I could if I were working as a dentist. On top of that going pilot and ALO I won't be seeing them as much and thats a bummer as well.

So as you can see I am truly torn between choosing a job that will help my family more or chasing my dreams which could very possibly turn out sour. If I decide to go Dentist then I need to start taking my pre-req courses STAT, and I don't want to have to take all these difficult dental courses only to make the decision that I no longer want to be a dentist.

If any of you guys know anyone who has make a decision or have personally made this decision... please please please share how you did that and what was going through your head
Many veterans complete their military service obligation, then separate, and take advantage of their veteran education benefits to go back to graduate school, including business, medical, dental, veterinary, seminary, and so on. You will not be teetering at grave's edge in your late 20's. Graduate schools have robust programs and welcome vets. You might even decide to come back in as an AF dentist.

If you start a family while an officer, you will be just fine with the pay and benefits, if you are prudent. Meanwhile, you will be gaining much sought after job experience.

If you want to be a military pilot, go after it. Note I used military. Definitely not same as commercial. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that you want to serve as an officer, no matter what path you land on.

Do that, and stay flexible with your 10 and 15 year plans. Then, if you want to be a dentist, go after that. You have a good 40-50 years in the work force, and I am sure you can fit a few things in.

Focus on the journey at hand, and plan as best you can. Life has a way of just happening, and much you cannot control. You can control your performance right now, to give yourself the best leverage for your desired career path.

Even if you head toward dentistry right now, nothing prevents you from managing your money down the road, getting your PPL, buying a reliable used Cessna and piloting it. Dreams come in all sizes.
Oh, this is an easy day! Do the job you want to do now and first...if you want to fly, then fly. The window for that is open now and will close the day you commission or go to grad school. I promise you that you can always go back to med school or dental school. We love our prior service leaders who bring their 'line' experience to med school and the medical services. (I was a 'line guy' back when you were an egg...so I know these things.) If you want to learn more about this...call or read about the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (there is a med school and a post graduate school of dentistry). Also, there are HSCP scholarships...you can apply for one of those later too. The window for medical services does not close. You can never be a pilot again but you can always get a graduate degree. Will you take a cut in rank...yes, but it is temporary--we have Majors and Captains masquerading as 2LT students all the time--and they quickly regain their rank upon graduation. Don't worry about robots taking your job...that's not a plan. National Security is built upon leaders/decision makers...that will always be the job of the man or women in uniform.

Can you do your pre-reqs for dental school and still graduate on time and commission as planned? Only you know that but don't feel that you are being pigeon holed right now--you are not. As a Millennial we expect you to do four or five completely different jobs or more during your working life. Live the adventure while you are still able to do it--and then you can bring that skill set to graduate school and the next job.
There are so many people in the world that have had jobs in different areas. It's the work experience and not necessarily the work that sets you apart and can get you jobs down the line and some of the best work experience you can get is being an officer in one of the services. Go for your dreams now because it will all work out in the end. Go for pilot and ALO and if you do not make it you can still get a job in the AF that you could be interested in. You will be going for your dreams and at the same time setting yourself apart.
Go for your dreams now while you are young. Have faith in yourself; loving what you do makes it easy to work hard and succeed. Chasing high paying jobs just for the money, even with the noble purpose of supporting a family, will oftentimes lead to personal dissatisfaction. (My cousin attended an ivy league university, pursuing a major that he realized he did not enjoy, but at the urging of his parents decided to stick it out. In January of his senior year he was offered an extremely high paying job at a top high tech firm - a plum job that most college students can only wish they were so lucky to receive. After graduation, he worked - for four months and then quit, because he was miserable! He is now trying to come up with an idea to start his own company in a field that has nothing to do with high tech.) You will never regret following your dreams, but you most likely will regret ignoring them.