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ROTC and Commercial Pilot University Programs


Good Morning/Evening,

I am interested in pursuing a career as military pilot, as well as an airline pilot. My question is, does it make sense for me to go through and get all my ratings at a university while doing ROTC, then fly for the military, and then go to the airlines? Or would it make more sense to just go to ROTC and hope I get a pilot slot without any other ratings?




Staff member
Getting your PPL probably wouldn’t hurt. And definitely don’t skip college. I’m not sure about the other ratings and licenses. The point is to have your training covered by the military if you are gonna go that route, right?


Almost all US military programs require that you become a commissioned officer which needs a degree. There is only one exception that I know of and that is an Army warrant officer program that is focused on rotary wing aircraft. I generally recommend that people who are interested in aviation get a degree in something they enjoy unrelated to being a pilot. That provides another career path if being a professional pilot ends up not being possible.

Good luck!


New member
Agreed with the above. While I was at Griffin AFB, I was performing some inspection techniques on the B-52. After I was done, I decided to take a look inside the cockpit. Where the pilots sit, the buttons and dials all looked the same for those with college degrees. The bomber position which was manned by a NCO (or Non-College educated) each button or dial were different shapes and colors. LMFAO!!!!
I guess they didn't trust us Non-Edjumacated. 🤔


A couple of years ago I was at an airshow with a B-25. The crew from a B-52 wandered over and wanted to check out the cockpit of our plane. I responded with something like, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours!" and before you know it, I got to climb into the cockpit of the B-52. For such a large plane, I was surprised at how cramped the crew compartment was. It is still hard to imagine what it must be like on one of their long-duration flights. Still, what an amazing plane!