What is Air Force Officer Training?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Air force officer training is an educational program to prepare people for service as officers in a nation's air force. There are several career paths to becoming an officer, each with its own training. Officer candidates can go to a service academy, attend an officer candidate school, or go through commissioned officer training, depending on how and when they start service with the air force. This training includes physical conditioning, learning about the history of the air force, developing skills and strategies for the battlefield, and learning to manage lower ranking personnel.

Woman posing
Woman posing

One form of air force officer training is available through a service academy. Students attend a service academy for four years to receive a higher education while also learning about how to be an officer. Students can take degrees in a wide variety of fields including engineering and history, and can apply their education to their service in the air force. At a service academy, instructors hold students to high standards of behavior and academic rigor, and dismissal from the academy results in rejection as an officer candidate.

Professionals entering the air force, like doctors, lawyers, and clergy, receive a direct commission. They attend a commissioned officer training, usually lasting a little over a month, to get familiar with the basics of working in the air force. They learn about policies, procedures, and traditions while getting in physical shape. This training is usually available at an officer candidate school and there are multiple sessions year round to accommodate incoming officers.

Officer candidate school is an air force officer training opportunity available to enlisted personnel who want to become officers, as well as civilians who want to enlist as officers. The program may last between 12 and 16 weeks, depending on the policies of the air force, and provides people with a grounding in a variety of topics. This air force officer training prepares people for duty as officers, and as with the service academy, failure to abide by performance standards can result in expulsion.

People who want to attend air force officer training can discuss their options with an air force recruiter or senior officer, in the case of an enlisted member of the air force. Candidates usually need to have excellent records and recommendations to serve as officers. Like other members of the military, officers represent not just their service branch but the nation as a whole, and the nation needs officers with integrity and high personal standards to supervise lower ranking personnel.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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