International Cadets

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by LovroG, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. LovroG

    LovroG New Member

    Aug 19, 2016
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    My name is Lovro, I am 17 and I come from Slovenia. I have been actively researching the possibility to attend the Air Force Academy as an international cadet for the past 2 years or so. I got plenty of answers from the American side, Ive talked to multiple cadets via Skype and have a very clear picture of how the application process for internationals works. However, I could not get one answer. Can an international student, if he excels and shows commitment, serve in the USAF once he graduates? A lot of people I have spoken to said yes, but some said they had no idea... Has anyone encountered a question like this before?

    Thank you.
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    I do not believe so. When you apply your country will provide its own contract and service obligations you will have after you graduate. This can vary country to country. I had several international Mids in company. Their commitments ranged from 8-20 years depending on their country. To be a USAFA officer you have to be a US citizen. So between a contract and citizenship, I don't see that happening.
  3. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

    Mar 14, 2014
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    I agree with NavyHoops. It is highly doubtful that you can be eligible to commission as a USAF officer after graduating USAFA as an international cadet. You will first and foremost be required to serve your home country as an officer.
    However, there are cases where other countries have a mutual agreement to assign officers to each others country's armed forces.

    For example here is an article where a Canadian officer served as a foreign exchange officer with the USAF.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  4. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

    Jul 25, 2010
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    Here's the relevant passage from U.S. Code (

    "10 U.S. Code § 532 - Qualifications for original appointment as a commissioned officer:

    (a) Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, an original appointment as a commissioned officer (other than as a commissioned warrant officer) in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps may be given only to a person who—

    (1) is a citizen of the United States;

    (2) is able to complete 20 years of active commissioned service before his sixty-second birthday;

    (3) is of good moral character;

    (4) is physically qualified for active service; and

    (5) has such other special qualifications as the Secretary of the military department concerned may prescribe by regulation."

    You must be a U.S. citizen (native-born or naturalized) by the day you enter the commissioning source, whether a service academy, senior military academy, ROTC, or OCS. Sorry to disappoint you.
  5. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know Member

    Jul 31, 2013
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    The definitive answer is no. USAFA requires all international cadets to sign an agreement acknowledging that they will not earn a commission in the United States military.
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    It's already been answered, but I thought I'd throw in some personal experience. In my son's academy class; 2012; one of his friends was an international student at the air force academy. I won't mention name or country, but close to graduation day, his country had some major political/military issues, and lets just say he couldn't really go back home. At least not immediately. Not being a US citizen, he couldn't become an officer in the US Air Force. One option was, with a legal visa, he could go into the air force as enlisted, and work towards obtaining his citizenship that way. Then, once in the air force and after gaining citizenship, apply to become an officer. I won't say what direction or path he took, because that's not important. But as has been stated, you need to be a US citizen to be an officer in the US Military.

    And has been pointed out, the US Air Force Academy doesn't choose the international students, it's the home country who has arrangements with the US Air Force who are paying for and chooses who attends the US Air Force Academy.

    On a side note, and this is just a "Conspiracy Theory Pet Peeve" of mine. Take it for what it's worth!!!

    "When an individual JOINS this or any forum; makes their first post on that same day; seems sincere about their inquiry; has numerous replies to their inquiry; yet doesn't respond in over a week..... I find it dubious".

    So, why did I reply to this thread? Everyone who knows me and my postings, know that I always post in the third person. Meaning, having been involved with forums, websites, bulletin boards, etc. for more than 30 years, I know that MORE people READ threads and posts than who actually post. Doesn't matter what type of forum or media. Therefor, I post to help answer for the individual who hasn't joined the forum or is simply lurking and searching for certain answers.
    AROTC-dad likes this.

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