Exploring Careers in the Air Force for McGraw-Hill's ASVAB
Your choice to join the military is a personal one. You may wish to join because it is an honorable family tradition. You may wish to join because the military offers you the best training and education opportunities available to you or anyone. You may wish to join because the military is the largest employer of young people just starting their careers. You may wish to join because you have a deep desire to give back to your country what it has given you, your family, and your friends.
Regardless of your motivation, the decision to join the military is a serious and important one that will influence your life in many ways.
One of your first decisions will be to identify the branch of the armed services you wish to join. Your decision will determine what you do, where you live, what training you will receive, and your future opportunities.
The following article give you an overview of the four branches of military service and the benefits you will obtain by joining.
Opportunities in the Air Force
The mission of the Air Force is to defend the United States through control and exploitation of air and space. The Air Force flies and maintains aircraft, such as long-range bombers, supersonic fighters, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, and many others, whenever and wherever necessary, to protect the interests of America and American allies. Almost 400,000 highly trained officers and airmen make up today's Air Force. Some pilot aircraft-everything from helicopters to the space shuttle. Many others do the jobs that support the Air Force's flying mission; they may work as firefighters, aircraft mechanics, security police, or air traffic controllers, or in many other Air Force career fields. The Air Force currently recruits about 30,000 to 40,000 men and women each year to fill openings in hundreds of challenging Air Force careers.
Applicants for enlistment in the Air Force must be in good health, possess good moral character, and make the minimum scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) required for Air Force enlistment. They must also be at least 18 years of age. (Individuals who are 17 years of age may enlist if they are married, have parental consent to enlist, or have been emancipated by the courts.)
Prior to taking the oath of enlistment, qualified applicants may be guaranteed either to receive training in a specific skill or to be assigned within a selected aptitude area. The Guaranteed Training Enlistment Program guarantees training and initial assignment in a specific job skill. The Aptitude Area Program guarantees classification into one of four aptitude areas (mechanical, administrative, general, or electronic); specific skills within these aptitude areas are selected during basic training.
After choosing one of these programs, applicants will enter the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). DEP enlistees become members of the Air Force Inactive Reserve with a delayed date for active-duty enlistment. They do not participate in any military activities or earn pay or benefits while in the DEP. The individual agrees to enter active duty on a certain date, and the Air Force agrees to accept him or her (if still qualified) and provide training and initial assignment in the aptitude area or job specified.
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