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Odds of Getting In

Let’s say you’ve got what it takes. You enlisted, became an officer, got into ridiculous shape, and passed all of the tests and training. As much as we hate to break it to you, kiddo, you still won’t even know what or where you’ll be flying. You could be piloting a jet escorting Air Force One, a bomber over Afghanistan, or a helicopter on a base in Alaska. If you’re only interested in becoming a fighter pilot, you not only have to excel in absolutely everything you do from day one, you’ve also got to hope that no one else in your training class did better than you, that you’ve got instructors that liked you enough to recommend you to fly a fighter, and that whatever branch of military you’re in is actually looking for fighters at the moment. The desires of your fellow trainees might even come into play; if the five people ahead of you in your class rankings have all joined to fly bombers or helicopters, you might be in luck, but if they all want to fly fighter jets, you’re gonna be on chopper duty. So yeah, getting in is tough.

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