There are four ways to join the Air Force as an officer. While each way differs slightly, they all ultimately allow you to begin your career as a leader.
Upon earning a college or postgraduate degree, you can take the steps to enter the Air Force as an officer.
See Steps below for more information.
Intensive and competitive, the prestigious United States Air Force Academy offers a world-class education with fully paid tuition, cost-free room and board, cost-free medical care and a monthly cash stipend in exchange for your commitment to serve.
Available at colleges and universities all over the country, Air Force ROTC offers tuition assistance while you earn your degree and experience college life.
The Air Force has unprecedented growth opportunities, and any enlisted Airman can take the steps necessary to work toward officer status.
To begin your career as an officer, you’ll either need to be a graduate of the Air Force Academy or AFROTC or go through additional training. Before you apply, take the time to make sure you meet all of the basic qualifications for the path that’s right for you.
For those joining with a college degree or enlisted Airmen who have worked toward becoming an officer, you must:
For healthcare, legal and ministry professionals only, you must:
Air Force Officers are evaluated on their leadership potential, moral standards and academic strengths. Each candidate must go through a selective process to ensure they meet our requirements and have what it takes to become an officer.
Anyone striving to be an Air Force Officer must pass the Air Force Qualifying Test—a multiple choice test with topics ranging from verbal and math skills to questions covering specific fields of interest. This test can only be taken twice, so it’s essential to study and prepare wisely.
*Does not apply to healthcare, legal and ministry professionals
Your recruiter will make an appointment for you at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to have your physical and moral standards assessed to ensure they are in line with the specifications set by the Air Force, Department of Defense and federal law.
Every officer application is reviewed by either the Officer Training School Selection Board or Air Force Recruiting Services, depending on your path and profession. Each committee evaluates both objective and subjective factors to determine if a candidate is a proper fit. No one factor can cause selection or rejection.
Selection boards are typically held biannually in February and August. However, the 2021 selection boards for Air Force and Space Force, including all programs, are completed for the remainder of the fiscal year. Contact your local Line Officer recruiter to learn more about the upcoming selection board schedule.
Scheduled boards are open to all Air Force Active Duty Enlisted, Air Force National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and Civilians.
WINTER BOARD SCHEDULE:
SUMMER BOARD SCHEDULE:
CRITICAL ACCESSIONS DEGREES (CAD)
Applications for Critical Accessions Degrees (CAD) are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please check with your local Line Officer recruiter to discuss which degrees are considered CAD.
Please note that all dates are based on U.S. Air Force total force needs and are subject to change.
Once you’ve passed all the necessary requirements and are accepted into the Air Force, you’ll enter the Delayed Entry Program while you wait for your departure date to either Officer Training School or—for medical, legal and ministry professionals—Commissioned Officer Training.
The USAF Delayed Entry Program App allows for self-improvement and preparation prior to entering the rigorous environment of Basic Military Training (BMT).