Not a problem taking a few moments explaining the timeline. Always glad to help young men and women chasing their dream...
Please understand that my experience may be dated (I went 20 years ago. Ouch!), but the timeline from pilot school to fuly qualified fighter pilot has remained constant over that time. Also, please understand that my experience is AF-centric (nothing against my brothers and sisters in the sister services; their experiences may differ slightly...).
Flight school (UPT for the AF) has a limited number of slots for each class (usually 60 - 80 per class). With most new "butter bars" getting thier commissions in the May/June timeframe, you know have a huge number of kids waiting to start UPT at one time. UPT classes start year round, so most kids end up waiting a few months after Academy graduation before they start UPT. (Don't forget, you also have all those ROTC and OTS cadets! That was my route). Academy grads usually have first priority to start right away, but they may end up waiting a while for their first availble UPT slot. Many end up working at a CONUS base on "casual" status. They work around the squadrons, helping out with day to day activities, waiting for their UPT time. (Not a bad deal. I know most want to start days after getting their commission, but at least you got a paying job, and some military experience, while your waiting.)
Once you get to UPT, you can expect it to be about 10 months to a year from start to the day you get your wings. UPT is learning the basics, but at a fast and furious pace (aerobatics, instruments, cross country flying, etc.) You'll also get intruction in areas the civilian pilot won't experience (like formation flying; keep in a position a few feet from jet next to you. Think "Blue Angels" or the "Thunderbirds".) Everyone starts out flying a basic trainer. Easy to handle, very forgiving. After the first few months, the ones performing the best usually get to choose first as to what "specialty" they want to fly in; fighters, heavys (tankers and transports), etc.). Those selected for a the fighter track will go onto a more advanced jet for the rest of their training (the T-38 for the AF. A nimble and fun litle jet. They'll love it!) Near the end of your advanced flying stage, the class is ranked and each guy gets to choose what assignment they want. Based on number of requirements each air frame needs. Highest ranking guy usually gets his first choice, then down the line, trying to match what weach new pilot want with what left avaialble. DON'T WORRY, EVERY FIGHTER PILOT THINKS HIS OR HER AIRFRAME IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. YO MAY NOT GET YOUR FIRST CHOICE, BUT YOU'LL ED UP LOVING WHERE YOUR AT. A typical class at UPT may get a few F-16s, a few F-15Cs (the air-to-air kind), and now a few F-22s (very limited number now, usually the top guy will get it, if their avaialble. Again, all of UPT lasts from 10 months to a year.
After UPT, new fighter pilots have to go to some specialized training. Survival (if they haven't done this at the Academy), Lead-in Fighter Training (I beleive its now called "contact". You'll learn the basics of flying fighters; (bombing, ait-to-air manuevering, etc. Lasts about three months), Water Survival, and Aerospace Physiology (they put you in the centrifuge and teach you how to pull up to 9 Gs.). All this extra training can take up to 5-6 months. Again, class sizes are limited, so you may end up waiting a few weeks for an open slot.
So after a year and a half, finally end up at the location that teaches you to fly the plane you've been selected for. Teaching you to fly the jet is the easy part, usually the first few weeks. You'll get simulator time, learn emergency procedures, and get a few flights in before yo're considered "basic qualified" in the jet (you can take off and land safely!) You'll then go on to learn how to "Employ" your fighter in combat. This is the tough part. The amount of information you'll learn on aircraft systems, tactics, threats, etc. i STAGGERING! This Initial Qualification Training can take anywhere from 8 months to a year, depending on airframe.
So, after 2 - 2 1/2 years, you finally arrive at your first "Operational" squadron. Only to go through another 4- 6 month advanced check out (Mission Qualification). Here you'll learn how your squadron prepares for war (advanced tactics on all thier types of missions).
Congratulations! After almost 2 1/2 - 3 years of beig evaluated on every thing you do, you finally get to call yourself a qualified fighter pilot. Its a long journey, but isn't every dream worth the struggle?
BTW, Jamzmom, we have flight doctors in every squadron. Fully qualified docs who apply to the AF to become aeropace specialists. They even get to fly with us a few times a month. Why not convince your S to fill both your dreams!