How to Become a Fighter Pilot

Have you seen Top Gun or any of the (objectively terrible) Iron Eagle movies more times than you’re willing to admit? Do you daydream of flying twice the speed of sound, pulling 9Gs, and dominating the airspace over any country on the planet, at will? Perhaps you’re motivated by the idea of protecting troops on […]

Military Pilot Retirement – Guard and Reserve

Welcome back to our series on Military Pilot Retirement pay. In Part 1 we discussed retirement for Active Duty pilots. In this part we’ll discuss retirement pay for Guard and Reserve pilots. Table of Contents Background Let’s Run The Numbers Marginal Utility What is an Hour of Your Life Worth? It’s Not All About the […]

BogiDope, T-1 Jayhawk inflight.

UPT Phases: Phase I – Academics

If you look at US Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) as a single year-long Hunger Game, it can seem pretty daunting. It doesn't have to be that way though. UPT can and should be a great year! It will challenge you, but it involves some of the most fun flying you'll ever do. Let's […]

BogiDope, a C-130 gets worked on while on the ramp.

An Inside Look Into a Rated Hiring Board

Interviews suck.  There’s no other way to describe them.  Sitting in front of a panel of judgmental pilots and getting grilled for an hour while trying to convince them that you’re the right fit for the next decade can be an intimidating task.  It can be even more intimidating if it’s in a squadron with […]

BogiDope, 4 T-38's rejoin prior to landing at Columbus AFB as part of the UPT syllabus.

Air Force vs Air National Guard: UPT Application Process (Part 1: Active Duty)

Although the prerequisites for attending Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) are virtually identical, the process of attaining a pilot training slot is one of the biggest differences between the active duty Air Force and Air National Guard (ANG). Disclaimer – This is intended to be a big picture comparison of the most common paths […]

BogiDope, a A-10 Thunderbolt taxis on the ramp with the canopy up.

Should I Give Up Retirement to Join the Airlines Now?

One of the things that made it frustrating trying to figure out whether to stay in the Air Force or get out was the lack of concrete information about the airline industry. I think we worry about making someone angry by asking directly and we don’t necessarily even know whom to ask in the first […]

BogiDope, T-38's taxi for an early morning takeoff at Sheppard AFB, TX Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) syllabus.

Air Force vs Air National Guard: UPT Application Process (Part 2: Air National Guard)

  There are over 100 flying squadrons within the Air National Guard (ANG).  Currently, the hiring process is handled independently by each individual squadron.   In contrast to seeking a UPT slot with the active duty, which requires applying to just the one selection board associated with your commissioning source, seeking a slot with the […]

BogiDope, an F-22 executing air-to-air refueling.

Who do I Call?

One of the best things you can do in order to obtain that coveted Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) or Guard/Reserve position off active duty is to pick up the phone and call the unit you’re interested in.  Many people don't like to call units directly; they are fearful of saying something wrong.  For some, their […]

BogiDope, a C-130 executes a takeoff on a dirt strip.

6 Important Questions That Determine Your Chances on a Rated Hiring Board

When you’re applying for a rated hiring board, we’re going to ask for a lot of paperwork: your resume, Officer Performance Reports (OPRs), SURF (personnel report), Form 8s (checkrides), etc.  Some of it may seem like overkill, but there’s a method to the madness.  This is our due diligence phase; we’re ultimately trying to use […]

BogiDope, an F-22 rejoins on the tanker prior to refueling.

5 Tips to Help You Succeed in the Rated Pilot Interview

Most active duty pilots have never sat through a formal interview in their life—they went straight from the Academy or ROTC to pilot training. Now, at the age of 35, they are trying to figure out something that most professionals learned when they left college in their mid-20’s: the importance of interview prep.  As is […]