What does it
take to become a Pilot?
To compete for a pilot or
navigator allocation you need to:
Be enrolled full-time
in a school offering Air Force ROTC and qualify for the program
Meet all physical
scores on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
Maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average
Receive a waiver for
any civil involvement (for example, speeding tickets, minor
Be commissioned prior
to reaching your 29th birthday
If you are interested in
becoming an Air Force pilot or navigator, start talking to your
detachment admissions officer (for college students) or Regional
Director of Admissions (for high school students) as soon as possible.
If you are medically qualified and desire a flying career, you must
compete for pilot and/or navigator allocations about 15 months prior to
graduation and commissioning. Your junior year in college is when things
really take off.
Order of Merit
is the process by which AFROTC cadets are
selected for rated slots (e.g. Pilot, Navigator, Air Battle Managers).
Categorization occurs the Spring prior to graduation. Competition for
rated slots is based on an "order of merit" numeric score and is very
competitive. A selection board at AFROTC Headquarters determines
rated positions based on nationwide scores. A cadet's order of
merit score is made up of the following:
Commander's Ranking (also known as your Relative Standing Score, or
GPA, Physical Fitness Test (PFT)
3. Field Training Score
Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM)
5. AFOQT-Navigator (AFOQT-N) or your AFOQT-Academic Aptitude (AFOQT-AA)
1. Relative Standing Score (RSS)
Just like the Professional Officer's Course (POC) selection process,
your RSS is computed based on your AFROTC Detachment Unit Commanderís
Ranking (UCR). Based on that ranking and the size of the class,
AFROTC computes a RSS. The RSS ranges from 5-10 and is multiplied
by 5 to arrive at up to 50 maximum possible OM points. This is the
single-most important factor in your Order of Merit score. The
significance of your Commander's Ranking cannot be overstated.
Your RSS is based on the "whole person" concept and is based on you
being racked and stacked against all of your classmates. Your
class ranking includes all of the members of your class, regardless of
whether or not they are competing for rated slots. Your AFROTC
Dommander determines your class ranking, then applies the following
formula. For example, if you are ranked #3 and your class size is
25, then you are number 23 in your class. Using that example, view this
RSS calculating formula: (23/25)*50 = 46 points. The #10 person in
your class would have an RSS of: (16/25)*50 = 32 points.
Your Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) , on a 4.0 scale will be
computed to include ROTC courses. Next, your GPA will be
multiplied by a factor 3.75 to give you up to 15 maximum possible OM
points. You must also meet a GPA minimum of 2.0 in order to get
commissioned in AFROTC.
3. Physical Fitness Test (PFT)
You must pass the Air Force Physical Fitness Test (minimum score of 75)
given every fall and spring while youíre in the POC. Your PFT
score ranges from 75 to 100 and can earn you a maximum of 10 OM points.
During Field Training, your PFT score will also factor into your Field
Training performance rating.
4. Field Training (FT)
Field Training is the four or six week AFROTC training camp usually
accomplished the summer after your sophomore year in college. Your Field
Training rating translates to the following score:
Distinguished Graduate, top 10% - 10 Points
Superior Performer, next 10% - 9 Points
Top Third (not including DG or SP) - 8 Points
Middle Third - 7 Points
Bottom Third - 6 Points
Not yet attended Field Training - 5 Points
5. Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) Score
Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) score
(applies to pilot candidates only) is worth up to 15 maximum OM points.
The PCSM is an index that is supposed to quantify a pilot candidate's
aptitude for success at Undergraduate Flying Training (UFT). It
incorporates your AFOQT Pilot score, the results from your TBAS test,
and your flying hours. (For more on the TBAS, see below). Click
here for more PCSM information.
After you have taken the AFOQT and TBAS tests, you can check your PCSM
online. Along with your PCSM score, you are given a scale
indicating what your PCSM would be with additional flight hours. If you
can afford to spend time and money, we recommend achieving more flight
hours to not online increase your PCSM, but also to get more practice
and become a better aviator.
After flying, make sure you formally log your flight hours and submit
them to the PCSM office at HQAETC no later than January 15 of your
categorization year. That is the last point at which you can
update your PCSM.
6. Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) Score
Work hard, prepare for the AFOQT. Your AFOQT score is factored
into your overall score differently depending on whether you are
competing for a pilot, navigator or ABM slot. All candidates must
have a minimum score of 15 (Verbal) and 10 (Quantitative). These
are absolute minimums and not waiverable for categorization even if you
were able to get a waiver to get into the POC.
Pilot candidates must have a minimum score of 25 (Pilot), 10 (Navigator)
and cumulative 50 (Pilot + Navigator). Also, your AFOQT Pilot
score will factor into your PCSM score for OM purposes.
Navigator candidates must achieve a minimum score of 10 (Pilot), 25
(Navigator) and cumulative 50 (Pilot + Navigator). Also, you will
receive up to 15 maximum OM points from your AFOQT Navigator score.
For ABM candidates, your AFOQT Academic Aptitude score will count for up
to 15 maximum OM points.
You can take the AFOQT twice with a 180-day minimum interval between
tests. You cannot take this test more than twice. Regardless
of which test scores are higher, the most recent AFOQT scores are what
count - so be careful when you decide to re-take the test.
Study hard, review
the study guides and spend the time preparing for
Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS)
The Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) replaced the Basic Attributes
Test (BAT) as of August 2006. All pilot candidates must take the TBAS,
which just like the BAT, is a computer-based test designed to aid in
pilot selection. Typically, you are offered an opportunity to take it at
field training. It will be incorporated into your PCSM score and thus
into your OM score. You can take the TBAS twice as long as there is a
180-day interval between tests.
You will never receive an official TBAS score. But there are
indicators that can tell you whether you scored low on the test.
If when you check your PCSM score online, and it is low despite a decent
AFOQT Pilot score, you might want to consider a TBAS retake because this
may be an indication your first TBAS attempt scored low. Only the
most recent TBAS score is the one that counts.
You will not receive an additionally physical prior to the
categorization board. Instead, whatever physical you used to enter onto
contract status will be screened for PPQ (Potential Pilot Qualification)
and/or PNQ (Potential Navigator Qualification) status. The requirements
for PPQ/PNQ are:
PPQ 20/70 (distant vision), 20/20 (near), refractive limits +2.00/-1.50,
PNQ 20/200 (distant vision), 20/40 (near), refractive limits
+3.00/-2.75, 2.00 astigmatism
Source: AFOATSI 36-2011, para. 3.11
Once you have been selected you will have to complete a Flying Class I
(pilot) or IA (navigator) physical prior to commissioning. Check our
Aerospace Medicine Archive
for FAQs or join our
online discussion forums and ask a Flight Doc a question.
Because pilot and navigator candidates must enter training prior to
their 30th birthdays, you must be scheduled to graduate and receive your
commission prior to your 29th birthday. This cannot be waived (refernce:
AFROTCI 36-2013 paragraph 3.2.4).
Categorization Order of
50% (50 points)
15% (15 points)
10% (10 points)
10% (10 points)
15% (15 points)
15% (15 points)
15% (15 points)
1. The formula for calculating the RSS is
(10*((1-R/C)+0.5/C)) where R=UCR and C=Class Size
2. The PCSM is used for categorization processing if
applying for pilot slot. The
AFOQT-N is used for categorization processing if applying
for CSO slot. The
AFOQT-AA is used for categorization processing if applying
for ABM slot.
Pilot/CSO/ABM Categorization Processing.
9.7.1. The Det/CC will assign each individual a UCR based on the
entire Fiscal Year (FY)
commissioning class, regardless if the individual is competing for a
pilot/CSO/ABM slot. As
with PSP selection, consider the cadetís potential based on performance
as a cadet before
assigning the UCR. WINGS will compute the RSS based upon the UCR and
class size based
on formula in Table 9.2.
Table 9.2. Pilot/CSO/ABM Order of Merit
FACTOR RANGE MULTIPLIED BY WEIGHT
RSS (Note 1) 5-10 5 50%
Cumulative GPA 2.0-4.0 3.75 15%
PFT 75-100 0.15 10%
FT 5-10 1 10%
AFOQT-N (Note 2) 1-99 0.1516 15%
PCSM (Note 2) 1-99 0.1516 15%
AFOQT-AA 1-99 0.1516 15%
9.7.2. Submit pilot/CSO/ABM candidates to HQ AFROTC/RRFP by entering
data into WINGS prior to nomination cut-off. Wings will compute each
score using the most current information available. Once the OM is
calculated and the
applicant has met the categorization process, the OM will not be
Cadets not completing FT prior to the March board will automatically
receive FT score of
ď0.Ē Once FT is complete, upward adjustment to the OM is authorized
based on FT results
only and happens automatically.
9.7.3. Cadets: Must submit preferences via memorandum to the
commander prior to the
established cut-off date.
22.214.171.124. Cadets competing for pilot must indicate their Undergraduate
(UPT) preference (Figure 9.4). Preferences must be updated in WINGS
nomination cut-off. NOTE: Cadetís volunteering for ENJJPT must
ENJJPT is a fighter-oriented program and if successfully completed, will
result in a fighter or bomber assignment based on Air Force needs; and
eliminated from ENJJPT, they will not be eligible for any other UPT.
126.96.36.199. All cadets competing for CSO must provide their track
preference: Heavy or
Strike/Strike Fighter track (Figure 9.4). Track preferences must be
updated in WINGS
prior to nomination cut-off.
Check out this handy
Order of Merit Calculator
|AFOQT Test Advice
would highly recommend the
ARCO book. There is one called
Officer Candidate Tests and another called
Military Flight Aptitude Tests I studied for about four
weeks and did a few full strictly timed practice tests and ended
up making a 98 on Pilot and 95 on Nav when I took the real one
last July. I found that many of the practice problems were more
difficult than those on the test. The book was a great asset to
my scores. Good luck!"
"Study advice: The
Military Flight Aptitude exam book is good for mazes, mechanical comp,
word knowledge etc. However study the
Officer Candidate Tests book, it is much better and more challenging in
the math and arithmetic knowledge sections (spelling is obviously not my
strength). Study to realistic times ONCE YOU HAVE mastered the
Air Force Pilot Training Topics
Typical Training Day in
Life as an Officer in
Undergraduate Pilot Training
Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training
Physical Fitness and the
Welcome Letter & What to Bring
Acronyms & Terms Glossary
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