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  • The Air Force began as a subdivision of the U.S. Army and was declared an official combatant arm in 1920. It wasn't until 1947, following World War II, that the Air Force was recognized as its own military branch.

    Today's Air Force operates in keeping with a three-part vision: global vigilance, reach and power. This vision empowers a technologically advanced force of more than 300,000 troops focused on air, space and cyberspace superiority.

  • Before Serving in the Air Force

  • Before Serving in the Air Force

    Before Serving in the Air Force

    To join the Air Force, you must be between 18 and 27 years old (17 with parental consent). While exceptions are sometimes made for candidates with GEDs or other high school equivalents, high school diplomas are preferred. As in most Service branches, the ASVAB test is used to match recruits with jobs. Officer candidates are required to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). Qualified college students wishing to train as officers should consider Air Force ROTC or the U.S. Air Force Academy.

    All Air Force recruits spend eight and a half weeks in Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During this time, trainees develop the discipline, confidence and skills to grow into Airmen.

  • Air Force Benefits

  • Air Force Benefits

    Air Force Benefits

    A good salary, full health benefits and a fulfilling career — could you ask for more? For the right person, the Air Force can be a very rewarding experience, and not all of the benefits are as tangible as those listed here. Explore how compensation combines with travel, character-building experiences and more to make the Air Force experience unique.

  • Air Force Careers

  • Air Force Careers

    Air Force Careers

    The Air Force provides advanced, hands-on training for hundreds of careers. Pilots and flight crew are just the tip of the iceberg. The Air Force relies on mechanics, electronics technicians, air traffic controllers, medical staff and other personnel to fulfill its objectives. Find out which Air Force opportunities are right for you.

  • Air Force Videos

    Air Force Videos

    Get an inside look at the Air Force with selections from our Air Force Videos collection.

    • An Air Force Mechanic

      An Air Force Mechanic

      Airman 1st Class Laura Lund talks about working as a aircraft engine mechanic at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
    • An Air Force Doctor

      An Air Force Doctor

      Capt. Maria DeArman, a family medicine physician in the Air Force, explains why she decided to bring her skills to the Military.
    • Thunderbirds in Action

      Thunderbirds in Action

      The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, known as the "Thunderbirds," performs aerial stunts at an air show.
    • Resources

      Contact a Recruiter

      Schedule a meeting with a recruiter and learn what to expect from your visit.

      Request Info

      Get a free DVD and magazine, plus additional information from each Service, sent to your home.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      View answers to commonly asked questions about the Military.

      The Next Step: Training

      The Next Step: Training

      Once someone has committed to serving in the Military, it's time for them to get the training they need to succeed.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Poulliot: I would absolutely recommend military service to anybody that is graduating high school. It’s probably been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Capt. Ryan McHugh: Being a pediatrician in the Air Force is, I think, a really neat experience. For me, it’s also a great chance to get to go fly as part of my job.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Poulliot: Today was one of our more typical days, I would say. Everyone’s always doing training; everyone’s always planning training, trying to stay the step ahead.

Capt. Ryan McHugh: You get a lot of responsibility from a very early time, and I really enjoyed the challenges. And I enjoyed the chance to have that responsibility.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Poulliot: You can always learn something, you can always advance your career in a different way. So, I plan on staying with the Air Force for a while.

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