Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

How do you get in reserve w/ no prior?

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Nov 27, 2001
I am currently furloughed form a regional, and was thinking about the AF Reserves. The last time I taked to a recruiter (about a year ago in Phoenix) they said that they got all the pilots they needed from guys coming off of active duty, and therefore would not be sending anyone to flight school. Is this the same situation everywhere? Are there units that will send you to flight school? Can you sign up with a unit even if you are not a local? I have always liked the idea of the reserves, but I'm wondering if there is any way in if I'm not prior military?

Any info would be appreciatied.

Guard and Reserve

The reason you were turned away in PHX is that the reserves there are instructors in the F-16. You have to have a lot of Viper experience to get hired there.

Most Guard and Reserve units hire civillians for flight school. They require a 4 year degree, a series of tests to be taken, the ability to pass an intense physical, and probably a few unit dependent requirements. Most units look for previous flight time, but it's not a requirement.

Several units want you to be from the area for obvious reasons but this is not a hard and fast rule. Also, some units will only hire those that enlist in their unit prior to applying. This is also not the norm, however they'd all like to see it.

There's a great book called "Flying in the Guard and Reserve" it's by Bob Black of Air Inc. It has more info about all flying Guard and Reserve units than any other source.

For a furloughed guy you might be disappointed to know that from the time you apply it can take up to 2 years to start training.

Good luck!
flyboy321: Are you talking about the KC-135 unit at Phoenix, or the F-16 unit in Tucson? The Tucson F-16 unit is a training unit that only hires F-16 instructors, however, I know a civilan that is close to getting hired at the KC-135 in Phoenix.
If you really want to fly in the guard or reserves, you need to send resumes to units all over the country rather than just one unit, as you severely limit your chances of getting picked up with just one. I sent out over thirty packages and got about six calls within a five month period (with no prior mil experience with 200 hours tt) though this was back in the 'good ole days' of 98. Another thing I found was that you're a lot more likely to get in a unit located in Podunk, KS versus major metro areas or sexy locations like Phoenix. It's definitely worth trying but I found those places always have a lot more ex mil airline pilots who live there so the units have no problem filling their pilot demands. Podunk, KS may not sound exciting but put in two or three years there then switch to where you want...it's still a lot shorter time frame than active duty. You mentioned you are furloughed...just be aware that the whole training proces just to get through flight school and the RTU is at least two years, not to mention the unit will want some time to "season" you in the aircraft. I know I know....why go through flight school when you have all that flight time? Someone decided that's just the way it is and there's no way around it. It's a great way to go though and it's the ace in the hole in case of furlough as it keeps you busy and paid flying real airplanes. Let me know if you need any further help and good luck!
I am in a reserve unit and am currently trying to help a furloughed airline friend get hired, so I'm pretty up on what is required.

First, contact a Reserve Recruiter (note, RESERVE, not ACTIVE DUTY) in the state where you live. The recruiter will set you up to take the AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualification Test), the BAT (Basic Aptitude Test), and an Air Force Class 1 Flight Physical.

You also have to find a unit willing to hire you -- living local or willingness to move is a big plus. Every unit has different procedures, so start with professional looking letters and resumes, as well as network to the max extent possible.

The whole process could take 6-12 months or more. You would have to start Air Force Pilot Training before your 30th birthday, and that would be after Officer Training School.

That's the basics of it as I understand it. Good luck.

You seem to be very knowledgeable on military flying. I am debating on active duty or ANG. I plan on getting the books for the AFOQT and Flight Apptitude Test to study. I am getting ready to go to school in the fall and was considering ROTC. I have heard that ANG get the most flight time and have the better military life style. I want to fly transports so would you recomend sending a package to havy units all over the country? What should the package consist of? I was also considering joing a unit in TN where I am going to school and when I complete my 4 year degree, apply for a flight slot. What do you think of this?

Thanks for your help
Not a good reason...

What are you going to tell the unit when you get an interview?

"Well I'm furlouged so I figured I'd work for you guys for a while. You know, until I'm recalled."

Having sat on the other side of the table, let me tell you, that won't fly. You need to sound a little more motivated.

Like I'll live anywhere!! Which means you'll have to leave good old PHX.

Trying to get a job at an F-16 RTU unit shows rather low SA.

Latest resources