As a Marine Corps fighter pilot, you will not only provide air support to troops on the ground, you will also conduct reconnaissance and assault missions and serve as an operations or maintenance officer to squadrons on the ground Both women and men receive the same training and must meet stringent requirements to become aviators. Competition for pilot positions is tough.
To start a career as a Marine Corps officer and fighter pilot, you must be at least 20 years old, but not yet 29, and a United States citizen. All officers must have at least a bachelor's degree. Before beginning flight training, you must first complete Basic School for officers. You will learn hand-to-hand combat, survival, weapons, communications, leadership and command skills you need as a Marine and an officer.
You must meet the minimum on standardized tests to become an officer. You must score at least 1000 on the math and English sections of the SATs or a composite ACT Score of at least 22. As an alternative, you may take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and receive a minimum AFQT score of 74 on this exam. To become a pilot, you must also take the Aviation Selection Test Battery.
You must be in excellent health and able to pass a naval flight physical exam. Your eyesight must be correctable to 20/20 with normal field of vision, color vision and depth perception. The physical also includes a dental exam, hearing test, blood work and EKG to check for any conditions that could harm you flying at altitude.
Your training begins with six weeks of pre-flight training in Florida. You will learn the basics of aviation, including aerodynamics, turbine engines and flight rules. Next is 22 weeks of primary flight training where you learn to fly a propeller plane. Finally, you will complete between 14 and 42 weeks of advanced flight training where you will master your aircraft. As a fighter pilot, you will not only master flying, you also learn to operate the jet's weapons systems.
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