Career: Air Force-Officer
If you dream of flying an airplane off into the wild blue yonder in the service of your country, this is the place to start. The United States Air Force ranks among the finest in the world – some debate whether the U.S. or Israeli Air Force is the best and most prepared. All astronauts come from the Air Force, and many of the U.S.'s finest pilots train here as well. In the Air Force, you could find yourself flying a bomber, fighter, a helicopter or an experimental plane that no one else has ever flown. Being an officer in the Air Force can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it carries heavy responsibilities as well. You must be willing to take orders and to give them, and those without very strong leadership abilities will probably not be able to handle a commission.
There are several ways to become a commissioned officer in the Air Force. One is to attend the US Air Force Academy, a four-year college that trains cadets to be scholars as well as leaders. Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) allows enrolled college students to become officers. Finally, for those out of college who want to enlist, there is Officer Training School. Some of these paths are shorter than others, but they are all arduous.
Air Force Officers spend time with pilots, electricians, engineers, fellow officers, doctors, and administrators. Joining the armed forces is like joining an enormous corporation, and all sections work in cooperation with the others. The Air Force works in conjunction with all other branches of the armed forces.