Although pursuing an Air Force will be incredibly admirable and rewarding, it requires strict discipline and high standards. If you wish to be an Airman, ensure that you meet all enlistment requirements for the U.S. Air Force now and maintain your eligibility over time. Let’s check it out right away!


1. Age Requirements


Depending on the career path you pursue, the age requirements that you need to meet will vary. More specifically,

  • To become a new enlisted recruit, you  must be at least 17 years old (18 for GED holders) or not older than 39 years of age. 
  • To become as an Officer, you must be in a range of age from 18 to 39
  • To work as a Healthcare or Ministry Professional, you must be older than 18 or younger than 48 years of age. 

Despite the path that  you choose to take, plan the timing of your application beforehand to make sure your age is eligible for service.


2. Height & Weight Requirements


U.S. Air Force Height and Weight Requirements have been met by all their personnel. Therefore, if you wish to become an elite Airman, let’s check whether your height and weight match the acceptable range. If you are a little bit overweight, let’s manage your weight to meet the Air Force standards by going on a diet and doing exercise frequently. However, it should be noted that your physician allows you to take vigorous exercise prior to undertaking any intense physical activity or weight reduction program. 

Especially, for those who want to apply for pilot and aircrew positions, the height standards will vary by aircraft. Unless you meet the height requirement because you are significantly taller or shorter than average, you are required to take a special screening so as to ensure they can safely perform operational duties. 


3. Sexuality Requirements 


You sexual orientation will not be asked or required to reveal. Additionally, no matter what your sexual orientation is, you might access into military service, admission to service academies, ROTC or any other accession program. Therefore, if you are an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender applicant, you will be assessed according to the same criteria and requirements applied to all others seeking entry into the military.


4. Health Requirements 


To perform well to the strict standards of the U.S. Air Force, you must be in physical and mental well-being. You might ask your recruiter to consider the general guidelines for medical conditions and your eligibility for joining the AirForce if you have a pre-existing health condition but still aspire to become a uniformed member.

>>>Read more: Medical Standards for The U.S. Military

Depending on a case-by-case basis, your pre-existing medical conditions and eligibility will be determined and evaluated by the doctor at the MEPs (Military Entrance Processing Station). Additionally,  all relevant medical documentation for the illness that your recruiter takes into account should be provided to prove your eligibility for health requirements. 


5. Vision Requirements


Vision Requirements for Airmen
Vision Requirements for Airmen

Your vision will be thoroughly assessed during your physical examination for military pre-entry. More specifically, to become an Officer in the Air Force, your eyes’ refraction level cannot be worse than + or – 8.0. Furthermore, some strict vision requirements that might impact applicants’ career placement have been set for those who wish to work as pilots. 


6. Citizenship Requirements


To join the U.S. military as a foreigner, you must hold a legal permanent resident with a valid Green Card. However, if you want to be an Officer, you must be a native-born or naturalized United States citizen. 


6.1.  Green Cards


US Airforce Citizenship Requirements
Air Force members must hold a valid “Green Card”


Non-U.S. citizens might enter into the Air Force workforce if they are legally residing in the United States and have a valid “Green Card” which is known as Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551). Besides, your Green Card must be valid in more than 2 years prior to its expiration so as to meet the citizenship requirements. Additionally, non-citizen applicants must 

  • Be between 17 and 39 years of age
  • Meet the mental, moral and physical standard for enlistment
  • Speak English fluently. 

Keep in mind that prior to entering service, all lawful permanent residents must successfully complete a background check and earn a positive Military Security Suitability Determination (MSSD).


6.2. Troubleshooting  


Prior to submitting an application to join the Air Force, you must apply for U.S. citizenship if you intend to do so. An application for enlisting cannot be considered until immigration formalities have been resolved and the candidate is lawfully existing in the United States. Please be aware that U.S. military branches cannot help foreigners apply for entry into the country if they are not citizens. It is appropriate to ask the U.S. Embassy the questions about immigration. 


7. Education Requirements


You can enlist in the Air Force with a high school diploma or a GED. However, GED holders must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Be under 18 years of age
  • Must achieve a 65 score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Have 15 or more semester hours of qualifying college credit to obtain the same eligibility as a high school graduate

Note that GED holders must wait for GED applicant slots to become available, and this can sometimes mean waiting periods of up to one year. Under normal circumstances, 1% of our enlisted force accessions are GED holders during a one-year period.

Those who wish to join as an Air Force Officer must be within 365 days of attaining their bachelor’s degree or have a 4-year college degree. If you want to attend college or are already in college and commit to serve in the Airforce, you might get financial assistance

>>>Read More: Is The ASVAB Hard To Ace With A High Score?


8.  Marriage & Dependent Requirements 


At the time of joining, both officer and enlisted Air Force recruits are permitted to be married. However, you must plan to be away  from your spouse while in military training and, in the case of enlisted airmen, while in technical training. After that, you are allowed to bring your spouse to reside with you on the Air Force base where you are designated. Assignment to the same base is not assured if your spouse is an Airman as well.


marriage and dependence requirements for the air force military
 Military Wedding – Airman is typing the knot 

The Air Force finds that some people have abandoned custody of a child or children in the past for personal reasons. However, keep in mind that the Air Force does not intend or require anybody to give up custody of their children in order to be eligible for recruitment.

  • Provided that you are otherwise qualified, you may join as a married person with up to two children under the age of 18 and/or who are incapable of self care. For married people with three kids, a waiver will be necessary to allow you to enroll.
  • For single, divorced or separated parents or those in common law marriages who have legal, physical custody of up to three children under the age of 18 and/or incapable of self care, they might be eligible for enlisting, however, a waiver will be required to permit you to enlist. 

Take note: Those with four or more dependent children will not receive any waiver. 

Keep in mind that transferring custody of family members for the purpose of entering the Air Force is strictly banned and might make enlisted applicants “permanently disqualified.” Those who are single parents are not permitted to enroll in the Air Force with the specific purpose of obtaining custody following separation. You will be advised and required to carry out Air Education and Training Command Form 1328, Statement of Understanding for Single Member Parents Having Dependents in the Custody of Another, if you state during initial processing that you have a child or children in the custody of another parent or guardian.


9. Tattoo, Brand and Piercing Requirements


Regarding bodily modifications, airmen are subject to stringent regulations. Hence, consider the placement, size, and content carefully before getting a tattoo or doing other bodily changes.

It is forbidden in or out of uniform to have any tattoos, marks, or body piercings that could compromise good order and discipline or bring discredit upon the Air Force. This modifications that are obscene or those that support discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or religion. Even if remedied, excessive scarring resulting from tattoo removal, can also disqualify someone.

However, having a tattoo does not absolutely disqualify you. Authorized tattoos may be placed anywhere on the back, arms, legs, or chest (below an open collar). The head, neck, face, tongue, lips, and scalp are all barred from having tattoos, branding, or other bodily marks. One single-band ring tattoo may only be placed on one finger of one hand.


10. Drug Use Requirements 


In most cases, substance abuse is disqualifying. However, pre-service marijuana use without exposure to legal proceedings is in itself not disqualifying. Your specific circumstances may be discussed with your recruiter for an accurate determination to be made about your eligibility.

Drug usage is incompatible with a professional career in the military. If you aspire to join the Air Force, choose sobriety, moderate legal drug usage, and abstain from substance misuse. Although substance overuse usually disqualifies, pre-service marijuana usage irrelevant to legal proceedings is still qualified. For a precise evaluation of your eligibility, your recruiter may speak with you about your particular circumstances.


11. Criminal Record Requirements 


Lawbreaking might affect one’s ability to join the Air Force. Even too many traffic-related infractions during a 365-day period might have a detrimental effect on your eligibility. Therefore, contact your recruiter to talk about your circumstances if you have concerns about your record.


12. Personal Belief Requirements 


All Air Force members must be able to bear arms in order to defend our nation. You might not be allowed to bear arms if you currently have—or have ever had—a firm and fixed objection to engaging in combat of any kind or to the wearing of weapons due to a religious conviction or background.

You will be asked if you are or have ever been a conscientious objector during the Air Force recruitment process. Before starting your application, give this question some thought, and be ready to provide an honest response.


13. Test score requirements 


13.1. ASVAB Score


You will take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) entrance exam when you submit an application to join the Air Force as an enlisted Airman. The minimal qualifying score for high school seniors or graduates is a 31 AFQT (overall score). Holders with a GED must get a 50 AFQT. You should take more time to prepare for your ASVAB exam. Don’t forget to take our ASVAB Practice Test Test. 


13.2. AFQT Score


To become an officer in the Air Force, the ASVAB is not necessary; rather, the majority of officer applicants must pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). With a multiple-choice format and covers topics from verbal and mathematical abilities to pilot and navigator ability for individuals with an interest in flying, this test is comparable to the SAT. Percentiles of the scores, ranging from 1 to 99, are presented. Minimum AFOQT criteria have been established by the Air Force. Contact your recruiter to learn more about the specifics of how competitive your individual scores will be during the selection process.