If you are interested in joining the Air Force Reserve, please fill out the application form linked below and one of our advisors will contact you. You may also call 800-257-1212

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Select from the topics below for a submenu of frequently asked questions. If you don't see an answer to your questions, you can submit your question by filling out the form below.

  • Joining+
    • What is MEPS?
    • As a reservist, may I work more than one weekend a month?

      Reservists also participate for 14 (usually consecutive) days of Annual Training; and they are permitted to work for additional periods if the unit commander determines a need exists for extra support.

    • Can I get a full-time job with the Air Force Reserve?

      The great majority of jobs in the Air Force Reserve are part-time (one weekend a month and two weeks a year); however there are a small number of full-time members who provide continuity for our program between weekend drills.

      These full-time positions open up from time to time, and after you are fully trained and established in your Reserve unit, you may be in a position to apply for one of those jobs as they become available.

      Occasionally, the Wing has not been able to fill a vacant full-time position from within, and on such occasions, new enlistees in the Reserve are able to fill them.

    • Can I see my family while at basic training and technical school?

      An Air Force Reserve job is similar to other jobs: people work normal hours, allowing for short visits and breaks, and go home at the end of the day. However, during Basic Training and Technical School, visitation is limited due to mandatory schedules.

      Basic Training Visitation:

      Graduation week is the ONLY time basic trainees are allowed to have visitors. Visitation will be Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Please see the following web site for exact visitation times:

      You are required to sign in and request visitation at the times indicated on the schedule.

      Airmen may NOT be available for visitation during all visiting hours due to training requirements. Every effort will be made to allow you to spend the maximum allowable time together. However, training requirements must always take precedence. Also, Base Liberty and Town Passes are privileges that must be EARNED by airmen and can be denied AT ANY TIME for disciplinary reasons. We appreciate your understanding of the importance of this.

      Technical Training School Visitation:

      Visitation while students are attending Technical Training School is not limited as far as the friends and family visiting.

      The following guidelines do pertain to the first few weeks:

      For the first two weeks, airmen cannot leave base.

      During weeks three and four, airmen can go off base with visitors, but they must be in uniform.

      After week four, airmen are not required to wear uniforms off duty and can visit during any off-duty period.

      Note: All visitations are based on airmen progressing normally with their training.

      Permanent Station:

      Once you are stationed at your base it is very much like any other job. Visitors are not normally restricted, but as with any workers, airmen have priority work and required duty hours.

    • Do I always have to participate on weekends?

      No. Reserve members can participate in two ways; as a Traditional Reservist and as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA). Traditional Reservists participate one weekend per month, and two weeks per year. IMAs have a more flexible schedule, but serve approximately the same amount of time. In most cases, to become an IMA, they must already be trained in an Air Force Specialty.

    • Do Prior Service members have a choice in job selection?

      Yes. You may continue in your AFSC or retrain into another AFSC based on your ASVAB scores, medical profile, and job availability at a particular base.

    • Does it matter which branch of JROTC I attend?

      No, regardless of the branch of JROTC, all will be looked at equally for purposes of awarding rank.

    • How can I obtain copies of my military records?

      Individual military departments, including the Air Force Reserve, do not maintain files or records pertaining to individuals no longer serving. When an individual is separated from military service, his/her Field Personnel File (containing all military and health records) is forwarded for storage at the National Personnel Records Center. The Records Center is under the jurisdiction of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the United States Government. Request for these records can be made through your local Veteran's Administration Office, or you could try the website:

      National Personnel Record Center
      Military Personnel Records
      9700 Page Avenue
      St Louis, MO 63132

    • How do I contact my local recruiter?

      We'll be happy to provide local recruiter contact information, however we are required to first document your eligibility. Please give us a call at 800-257-1212 so we can run through some qualifying questions. Then, if appropriate, we'll get you in touch with the Reserve Recruiter for your area.

    • How do I find out if a specific job is available at my local Reserve Unit?

      AFRC advisors work at a national desk and don't have access to local job vacancy information. Your local Air Force Reserve recruiter would be able to tell you about specific jobs, especially once he or she has your aptitude scores and physical profile.

      To get your local recruiter's contact information, please give us a call at 800-257-1212 so we can cover qualifying questions. Then, if appropriate, we'll get you in touch with the recruiter for your area.

    • How do I secure a position at an Air Force Reserve unit?

      If you are new to the Air Force Reserve, your recruiter will help you select an Air Force Specialty as you complete your initial processing. If you are already a participating Air Force Reserve member, you will need to contact the Customer Service Branch of your Reserve Military Personnel Flight (MPF).

    • How many years will I have to serve?

      Your initial military service obligation (MSO) will be for six years of participation (one weekend a month and two weeks once a year), plus two years of inactive status (you are no longer expected to attend drills, but you could still be activated by the President). Subsequent enlistments can be from two to six years.

    • How often does the Air Force Reserve deploy?

      Deployment depends on your AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code), the unit you're assigned to, and the needs of the Air Force at any given time.

      Generally there is no set deployment schedule for the Air Force Reserve. It isn't unusual to not be deployed at all. If you get deployed once in six years, that would be typical, but it could be more than that.

      Most likely your mission will be of a logistical or support nature. However, there are some specialties, such as Security Forces, that are more combat-oriented; and all Air Force Reserve members have to be willing to bear arms as circumstances require: for example, if you were assigned to an installation that came under attack.

    • I'm new to the armed forces. How do I join the Air Force Reserve?

      We can answer some general questions here, but the first step would be to contact an Air Force Reserve recruiting advisor by calling 800-257-1212. They will run through some qualifying questions, then if appropriate, put you in touch with an Air Force Reserve recruiter in your area.

      The recruiter will meet with you to start paperwork and schedule you for the aptitude test (ASVAB) and a medical check up (MEPS physical). There is other paperwork, all of which takes one to two months to complete, at which time you select the specialty you want to be trained in, get scheduled for Basic Training and Technical Training, and then you sign your contract and take the oath.

      It's usually three to six months from the time you swear-in to the time you go to Basic Training and Tech School. Basic Training is eight and a half weeks and, depending on the job you select, Tech School could be anywhere from five weeks to a year.

      After you graduate from Tech School, you return home and start training at the Air Force Reserve Unit you are assigned to (within a reasonable commute of where you live). Training is then one weekend a month, and two weeks once a year. This continues for the rest of your six-year commitment.

      After the six years, you are no longer expected to attend monthly and yearly training, but for two more years you could still be activated by the President.

      At the end of your six years of participation, if you find you've enjoyed serving in the Air Force Reserve, you could reenlist for anywhere from two to six years, and keep reenlisting until you have completed at least 20 good years, at which time you would be eligible for retirement.

    • If I take Junior ROTC, will I earn my rank?

      JROTC in High School can help you earn entry level rank; the criteria is as follows:

      • One year completed JROTC = No Stripes (E-1/Airman Basic)
      • Two years with JROTC Commander letter = 1 Stripe (E-2/Airman)
      • Three or more years completed JROTC and commander's recommendation or certificate = 2 Stripes (E-3/Airman 1st Class)

      Note: E-3 is the maximum rank that can be earned for initial enlistment.

    • What are the participation requirements for a Reservist?

      An Air Force Reservist normally participates a minimum of one weekend per month and two weeks once per year. The weekend duty is called Inactive Duty For Training (IDT) and the two weeks per year are called Annual Tour (AT). Reservists must also be prepared to be deployed by Presidential authority as occasion requires. These activations are infrequent for most members. Chances of deployment depend on one's AFSC and current needs of the Air Force.

    • What are the ranks in the Air Force Reserve?

      The Air Force Reserve ranks are split into two tiers: Officer and Enlisted, with different grade designations. Commissioned Officers are college graduates who have demonstrated the ability to lead/command in the Air Force Reserve. Enlisted grades include Junior Enlisted and Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs). Non-commissioned Officers also lead/manage under the direction of senior NCOs and Commissioned Officers.

      The grades are:

      Commissioned Officers

      • Second Lieutenant (0-1)
      • First Lieutenant (0-2)
      • Captain (0-3)
      • Major (0-4)
      • Lieutenant Colonel (0-5)
      • Colonel (0-6)
      • Brigadier General (0-7)
      • Major General (0-8)
      • Lieutenant General (0-9)
      • General (0-10)


      • Airman Basic (E-1)
      • Airman (E-2)
      • Airman First Class (E-3)
      • Senior Airman (E-4)
      • Staff Sergeant (E-5)
      • Technical Sergeant (E-6)
      • Master Sergeant (E-7)
      • Senior Master Sergeant (E-8)
      • Chief Master Sergeant (E-9)
    • What is the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program?

      The AGR program gives reserve members the opportunity to serve a four-year active duty tour in a specified capacity. To be eligible, members must:

      • Be a member of the Selected Reserve for a minimum of one year
      • Possess the required Air Force Specialty Code
      • Hold the appropriate military grade
      • Have at least four years of military retainability
      • Meet physical as well as other job requirements
    • What is the Air Reserve Technician Program?

      The Air Reserve Technician (ART) program offers full-time employment with a reserve unit. This is a dual-duty position involving both Civil Service employment and Air Force Reserve Enlistment. You must meet all qualifications for both organizations. Your Air Force Reserve recruiter will have more information.

    • What's the time sequence for initial enlistment?

      Initial paperwork takes from one to two months, depending on how available you are to fill out forms and to get the test and physical completed.

      Once you are sworn in, it's usually three to six months before you actually go to Basic Training and Technical School.

      Basic Training is eight and a half weeks, and Tech School is from 5 weeks to a year, depending on the job you have selected.

      Once you graduate from Tech School, you return home and start drilling one weekend a month and two weeks a year at your Air Force Reserve unit.

    • Where will I be assigned (stationed)?

      The Air Force Reserve has units operating in locations across the United States and around the world. In most cases, reservists are assigned within commuting distance of their home. However, depending upon the availability of jobs and other factors, you may have an assignment farther away than the nearest Air Force Reserve unit.

    • Will I have to move to serve at a specific base?

      The Air Force Reserve does not require you to move. You will be assigned to an Air Force Reserve Unit close to where you live. If you need to move at a later date for personal reasons, you can transfer to another Air Force Reserve Unit.

    • What is the Air Force Reserve and how does it work?

      The Air Force Reserve is a component of the United States Air Force. It includes most of the same job specialties, and its members wear the same uniforms, hold the same ranks, and share a common culture. However, Air Force Reserve members serve on a part-time basis rather than full-time. True, this means on the one hand, reservists earn less money and have fewer benefits than those on active duty, but on the other, they are able to stay in their local communities (aren't required to move in order to serve), and they have time to pursue college or other educational and civilian opportunities.

      In spite of only serving an average of 39 days per year, Air Force Reserve members are entitled to an impressive number of benefits in exchange for their service.

      A major benefit is GI Bill money to help pay for college or trade school, along with use of base facilities, low-cost life insurance, dental insurance, and ultimately a full-pension retirement at age 60. There are training opportunities (being paid while you train), chances for travel, and the satisfaction of service to country; but all done on the side, so as not to interfere too much with one's civilian interests.

      It's really the best of both worlds (military and civilian) for those who don't need full-time employment, but can benefit from an additional paycheck and many other advantages serving only part-time.

    • What is the Officer Accessions process like?

      You have to be a U.S. citizen and have at least a bachelor's degree. To be practical, you would need to apply before you turn 39 because the process takes the better part of a year, and in most cases you have to be commissioned before you turn 40.

      There also needs to be a vacant position available. If there is, the Officer Accession recruiter will contact the applicable commander with your information (resume, etc.) and see if he/she is willing to sponsor you for that position. If so, you and your recruiter will put a package together and submit it to a board, which meets twice a year. If the board selects your package, it is sent through several levels of review, including Congress, and if all sign off, you are scheduled for OTS (Officer Training School) which is 12 weeks at Maxwell AFB, AL.

      Shorter officer schools are conducted for those who receive Direct Commissions (Medical Professionals, Chaplains and Attorneys).

    • What will a recruiter do to help me join the Air Force Reserve?

      The recruiter is the focal point for all of your processing into the Air Force Reserve. They will meet with you to determine your qualifications. You will be asked questions regarding your medical background, law infractions, drug use, education, family status and other issues relating to eligibility. It is imperative that you provide accurate and complete answers for efficient and effective processing. The recruiter will also assist you with paperwork, the selection of a particular AFSC and unit of assignment and advise you on entitlements and benefits.

      Your recruiter cannot help you resolve legal issues or influence attorneys, law enforcement agencies, or judicial authorities. They cannot represent you in establishing residency or U.S. citizenship. They also cannot assist you with completing educational requirements or studying for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). They cannot prescribe a weight-loss or physical fitness program. Finally, they cannot assist with corrections of military records.

    • What's the difference between Officer and Enlisted?

      Commissioned Officers (COs) require at least a bachelor's degree to apply and go through a demanding qualification process, including approval by Congress. They are similar to top management in the corporate world and focus on leadership and administration. COs have more administrative and social responsibilities, but enjoy higher status and more authority, pay and privileges in the overall chain of command.

      Enlisted members are not required to have as much prior education as COs, although many have college degrees. They focus more on the technical aspects of jobs and most are trained in an Air Force specialty. Enlisted members can become non-commissioned officers (NCOs), which puts them in positions comparable to civilian middle management. NCOs earn relatively less pay and have fewer privileges than COs, but form the backbone of the Air Force.  NCOs are greater in number and closer to daily operations, but always function under the direction of COs.

  • Eligibility+
    • What is the length of training for HSA for Medical Services Corps officers?
    • As a retired Air Force Reservist, can I participate again?

      Yes, there are limited opportunities available for retired Air Force Reserve members. However, if you are over the age of 60, or have already begun to receive retirement pay from the Air Force Reserve, you are no longer eligible. Retired members of other military branches and their reserves are not eligible.

    • Can conscientious objectors serve in the Air Force Reserve?

      A requirement for all military personnel, including those in the Air Force Reserve, is to be willing to bear arms in defense of our country. If for religious, moral or other personal reasons you will not or cannot use weapons in a military capacity, you would be ineligible for enlistment in the Air Force Reserve.

    • Can I go Active Duty Air Force after being in the Reserve?

      Active duty determines requirements for prior service personnel (including Air Force Reservists) based on their needs. For more information contact your nearest active duty recruiter.

    • I have a rod, pin, etc. in my body. Is this disqualifying?

      The Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) medical section must evaluate these cases. You will need to provide all pertinent medical documents to your recruiter and they can forward them for the first stage of the evaluation process.

    • I'm a single parent. Can I join?

      Applicants who have children and are single, divorced, or married to a military member are ineligible; however, they may request a family care determination if otherwise qualified. A family care determination involves having a third party sign a form that he or she will take care of your child or children while you are away for military duty. The local Air Force Reserve commander then has approval authority. To see if you are otherwise qualified call 1-800-257-1212.

    • What are the age requirements?

      If you haven't served in the military previously, you have to join before you turn 40. Exceptions would be for medical professionals, clergy and attorneys.

      If you have served before, you would have to join before you are 40, plus the time served. For example, if you served in a military branch for six years, you could join in an enlisted position up through about age 46.

      The idea is that you must be able to get 20 good years of service in before you turn 60.

    • What are the basic requirements to join?

      To join the Air Force Reserve, enlisted applicants with no prior military service must be between the ages of 17-39 years old and complete enlistment prior to their 40th birthday.

      Applicants can not have any serious law violations or drug use; no serious health problems; meet our height/weight standards; score sufficiently on the aptitude test (ASVAB); and pass a physical (medical checkup). It's easier if you're a high school graduate and a U.S. citizen, but we are able to work with some who aren't.

      Applicants must be fluent in English and qualify for at least a Secret-level security clearance.

    • I am a non-US citizen. Can I join?

      Enlistment into any branch of the U.S. military, including the Air Force Reserve, by citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess an Immigration and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card (INS Form I-151/551) - commonly known as a Green Card. Applicants must be between 17 and 39 years of age; meet the mental, moral, and physical standards for enlistment; and must speak, read and write English fluently. Applicants are eligible for accession into non-mobility position only.

      In order to become a Commissioned Officer in the Air Force Reserve, a candidate must be a U.S.-born or Naturalized U.S. Citizen.

      Note: Questions concerning immigration to the United States should be directed to the U.S. Embassy, or Immigration and Naturalization Service.

    • Is PRK or LASIK eye surgery disqualifying?

      The Department of Defense now allows individuals who have had photorefractive keratotomy (PRK) or laser-in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) to receive a medical waiver and enter military service. Waivers will be granted providing the following criteria are met:

      • Pre-Operative refractive error did not exceed +8.00 to -8.00 diopters in either eye.
      • Post-procedure best spectacle corrected visual acuity is 20/20 in each eye that had the procedure.
      • At least 12 months have elapsed since surgery
      • There is stable refraction defined by two refraction checks performed six months apart with no more than 0.5 diopters change in the spherical equivalent of either eye.
      • Opthalmologic exam reveals no lattice degeneration, retinal detachment or other ocular pathology associated with myopia.


      • Documentation of all of the above information from the surgeon.
      • Current comprehensive eye examination performed by an Opthalmogist. This evaluation must address each of the waiver criteria listed above.
      • Copies of all medical records including the pre-operative eye examination (noting refractive error and keratometry readings); all operative reports (or procedure notes); and all follow-up notes. These should be included in the health record.
    • What are the Chaplain candidate requirements?

      Chaplain candidates

      • Must have completed at least 120 semester hours of undergraduate work from an accredited college or university
      • Apply when enrolled full time in seminary at an accredited or recognized theological seminary or school of religion
      • Obtain ecclesiastical endorsing agency approval to enter the Chaplain Candidate Program
      • Must be appointed before age 40 (prior service, age 42)
      • Have an endorsement from the Chief of Chaplains
    • What are the general qualifications to be a Pilot or Navigator?

      To become a Pilot/Navigator Officer in the Air Force Reserve you must be a U.S. citizen and have a bachelor's degree (BA or BS in any major). Grade Point Average and Air Force Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT) scores are considered as part of a strongly competitive application process.

      Prior flight time is a major plus. Applicants must be in OTS prior to age 27-1/2, and in undergraduate flight training prior to age 30.

      Additional requirements:

      • Meet Air Force weight and physical conditioning requirements
      • Have standing height of 64 to 77 inches and sitting height of 34 to 40 inches
      • Normal color vision
      • Visual acuity not more than 20/70, correctable to 20/20
      • Meet refraction and astigmatism requirements
      • Corrective eye surgery could be a disqualifier
      • No history of asthma
      • No history of allergic, non-allergic, or vasomotor rhinitis after age 12
    • Will a specific medical condition disqualify me?

      Due to the rigorous and critical nature of so many Air Force Reserve assignments, a medical condition may disqualify you from service. However, a recruiter will address these matters on a case-by-case basis. Please call 800-257-1212 for further information.

    • Will Air Force Reserve time count against my military service obligation?

      Yes, participation in the Air Force Reserve will count toward the eight-year Military Service Obligation (MSO). Of course active military service also counts, and is credited by the Air Force Reserve as time, not only toward the MSO, but also toward ultimate retirement.

  • Pay & Benefits+
    • Are there any bonuses for prior service?

      The Air Force Reserve does offer bonuses to prior service members. These bonuses are available according to specific locations and the needs of the Air Force Reserve. Your Air Force Reserve recruiter can provide details.

    • Are there sign-on bonuses?

      Yes, there are bonuses of up to $20k, if you enlist into a bonus field and meet all eligibility requirements. Bonus AFSCs (Air Force Specialty Codes) are reevaluated and designated every six months. Your local recruiter will have information regarding what bonuses are available in your area.

    • As a Reservist, how much will I get paid?

      Pay for Air Force Reservists varies based on the days served. The rate of pay is determined by whether the service is performed on the weekends (inactive duty training), or active duty (two-week annual tour). Pay is also based on the rank that you hold and the number of years of your military service.

      Some additional pay is available in cases of special duty. Pay tables are available here.

    • Can I join the Air Force Reserve and still receive disability pay?

      Yes, providing you are otherwise qualified. As long as you can pass the entrance physical exam, you qualify medically for the Air Force Reserve. Just remember, you will not draw both Reserve Pay and Disability pay on the days you drill. All other days of the month you accrue disability pay as usual.

    • Do I get college credit for training in the Air Force Reserve?

      Earning college credits while enlisted in the Air Force Reserve starts with Basic Military Training (BMT). After completion you will have earned four semester hours in Physical Education. Then you earn college credits for your Technical School training. These credits are automatically applied towards an Associates of Applied Science Degree with the Community College of the Air Force, and are transferable to you local civilian college as well.

    • Can a Reserve member get medical insurance?

      TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) is a premium-based health plan that qualified Reserve members may purchase.

      Benefits of purchasing TRS:

      • Two types of coverage - TRS member-only and TRS member and family
      • Freedom to access covered services from any TRICARE-authorized provider or hospital
      • Access to military treatment facility (MTF) care on a space available basis

      To qualify you must:

      Be a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and not be eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program.

      Annual outpatient deductible:

      E-4 and below:

      • Member only $50.00
      • Member and family coverage $100.00

      E-5 and above:

      • Member only $150.00
      • Member and family coverage $300.00

      Outpatient costs – The amount you will pay for outpatient services after your annual deductible is met:

      TRICARE Network - 15% of the negotiated rate TRICARE Authorized (non-network) - 20% of the allowable charge plus fees up to 15% above the allowable charge

      Catastrophic cap – The maximum amount you will pay for healthcare out-of-pocket each federal fiscal year. The cap applies to all TRICARE covered services - annual deductible, outpatient and inpatient cost-shares, and pharmacy co-payments based on TRICARE-allowable charges. Monthly premiums and payments for non-covered services are not credited toward the TRS catastrophic cap. TRS catastrophic cap = $1,000.

      Covered services include but are not limited to:

      Annual eye exams, behavioral healthcare, emergency and urgent care, immunizations and health screenings, maternity care, and prescription drug coverage.

    • Do Reservists get dental benefits?

      Members of the Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve and/or their eligible family members may enroll in the TRICARE Dental Plan (TDP). Reserve component members who are ordered to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days are eligible for military dental care, same as active duty, and are temporarily disenrolled from the TDP. When they return to Reserve status, they are automatically reenrolled in the TDP. However, coverage is not reflected in DEERS until the month following deactivation.

      Reservists should ensure coverage is in effect by contacting the TDP Administrator, United Concordia Companies, Inc. (UCCI), at 1-800-866-8499. If the reservist does not ensure coverage is in effect and obtains dental care prior to the date of coverage as shown in DEERS, United Concordia will deny the claim. Reservists receiving a claims denial for services rendered between the time they are deactivated and the time coverage takes effect should contact the United Concordia claims department and have their claim reprocessed. The TDP requires a minimum 12-month enrollment period; however, that commitment is waived for families of reservists called to active duty for certain contingency operations, if they apply for the TDP within 30 days of entry on active duty.

    • Do you offer student loan repayment?

      Yes, in selected career fields. Your local recruiter will be able to provide details.

      We also offer Montgomery GI Bill benefits and Tuition Assistance, which can help considerably defray the costs of current college or trade school courses.

      There is also the possibility of earning a bonus if you enlist in a bonus field. Bonuses are up to $20,000 and are paid out over the six years of your enlistment.

    • How do I get paid during Basic Military Training?

      On the second or third day after arrival at basic training, you will receive a Stored Value Card (SVC) worth $250. This card is provided for you to make necessary purchases until you receive your first paycheck via direct deposit. The first direct deposit will occur during the third week of training, then you should start receiving your pay on the 1st and 15th of each month.

    • How soon after I enlist can I draw money for college?

      Upon your return home from successfully completing Basic and Technical Training, and registering for college, you may apply for college monies under the Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill (SR-MGIB). Full-time students are entitled to this benefit for 36 months as long as they are fulfilling their Military Service Obligation.

    • I have the Active Duty GI Bill. Am I eligible for the Reserve GIB?

      Yes, as long as your contract with the Air Force Reserve entitles you to Select Reserve Montgomery GI Bill (SR-MGIB) benefits. You may use either, but cannot use them concurrently.

    • When and how is my bonus paid?

      Having successfully completed your Basic and Technical Training, and assuming you fulfill your military service obligation (MSO), you will receive a bonus payment on the anniversaries of your enlistment every year up to your sixth year of service.

    • Will I be eligible for life insurance?

      Yes, participating members of the Air Force Reserve are eligible to purchase up to $400,000 of low-cost life insurance in increments of $50,000 through the Soldier's Group Life Insurance (SGLI).

    • Will my Air Force Reserve time count toward retirement?

      Yes, Air Force Reserve members are eligible to receive retirement benefits after completion of 20 satisfactory years of service. This can include any combination of Active Duty, Guard or Reserve time with any military branch. However, for Air Force Reserve retirement, your last six years must be creditable Reserve service.

      Please note that Air Force Reserve retirees may retire at an earlier age, but do not collect monetary benefits or full medical until they reach age 60.

    • What is the GI Bill Kicker, and how much does it pay?

      The Montgomery G.I. Bill Selective Reserve Kicker is an educational assistance program enacted by Congress to attract qualified men and women into selected career fields within reserve branches of the Armed Forces. This program provides you with up to:

      • 36 months of full-time attendance benefits or $12,600 for other than full-time attendance in pursuit of any degree program in college or vocational/technical school, or apprenticeship/on-the-job training, etc.

      Montgomery G.I. Bill Selective Reserve Kicker payments are in addition to any other educational assistance received.



      • Full time (12 or more semester hours) $350.00 per month
      • Three-Quarter (9-11 semester hours) $262.50 per month
      • One-Half (6-8 semester hours) $175.00 per month
      • Less than One-Half $87.50 per month


      • 55% of total charges Entitlement is charged at a rate of one month for each $350.00 paid

      This benefit is also available to members who are eligible for Active Duty G.I. Bill benefits. You may not use kicker benefits from both programs (must choose one or the other).

  • Training+
    • Can I train to be a doctor in the Air Force Reserve?

      There are many interesting enlisted medical jobs; however, none lead directly to medical school or a medical degree. To become a doctor, you must first complete an undergraduate college degree, and then a medical degree at a civilian institution. Upon licensure as a physician, you can then apply to be commissioned as a Medical Officer (doctor) in the Air Force Reserve. At that point, you will be in a position to use our financial incentives while attending your residency. These include loan repayment, bonuses, and stipends.

      There are many physicians in the Air Force Reserve who first served as enlisted members pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    • Can my spouse join me while in technical training?

      Although there are exceptions, it is not recommended that your spouse join you while in technical training. You would have to make special arrangements at your own expense, and there is no guarantee of the time you'll have to spend with him/her. After arriving at Tech School, you will be provided the school policies, over which the commander has final authority.

    • Do married individuals get a housing allowance during Basic?

      Yes, upon successful completion of Basic Training you get the remainder of your prorated Basic Pay plus a tax-free housing allowance if you are married or have dependents.

    • Do prior service members attend Air Force Basic Training?

      No. The Air Force Reserve honors your successful completion of basic training as a member of another branch of the U.S. Armed Services.

    • Does my Air Force Reserve specialty qualify me for a civilian job?

      Many if not most jobs in the Air Force Reserve provide skills, training, certifications, diplomas and even degrees that have application in the civilian sector. Service in the military, alone, makes a positive impression on most civilian employers.

    • Does the Air Force Reserve offer a Split Training Option (STO)?

      Not usually. Our first priority is to obtain CONCURRENT Basic Military Training and Technical Training dates. The AF Reserve uses the STO only when Tech School dates are not available at the time of enlistment. STO allows members to attend Basic Military Training (BMT), return to home station with a break in their Initial Active Duty Training following BMT, and attend Technical Training at a later date, but within 365 days of BMT graduation.

    • During Basic Training, when will I be able to see my child?

      This is an intense eight-week course. Trainees may not be contacted during BMT except for extreme emergencies, such as a death in the immediate family. However, trainees are allowed limited, supervised cell phone use. Families may correspond by letter, and in fact, this is encouraged. Positive letters from home are a great morale booster. Basic Trainees do not have access to the Internet, e-mail, or incoming phone calls.

      Should an emergency arise that requires contact, please call your local Red Cross office.

    • How long is Basic Military Training?

      Approximately 8-1/2 weeks at Joint Air Base San Antonio in San Antonio, TX.

    • How long is Technical Training School?

      Air Force Technical Training Schools vary in length from 4 to 52 weeks, depending on the AF specialty.

    • What are the fitness requirements for Basic Military Training?

      Physical Conditioning (PC) is scheduled at least six times during each week of training. PC consists of stretching exercises, running (amount depends on the week), strength training (for example: sit-ups, push-ups, deltoid lift, biceps curls, triceps extensions, and more).

      You must meet the following minimum PC standards to graduate BMT:


      • Run: 1.5 miles in 11:57 min.
      • Push-ups: 33
      • Sit-ups: 42
      • Ab Circumference: 35"


      • Run: 1.5 miles in 14:26 min.
      • Push-ups: 18
      • Sit-ups: 38
      • Ab Circumference: 31.5"


    • What is Air Force Officer Training School (OTS)?

      Air Force OTS (Officer Training School) is an elite and specialized school, located at Maxwell AFB, AL, that prepares college graduates for leadership roles in the Air Force and its reserves. The school's motto, Always With Honor, reflects the high ethical and professional standards expected of Air Force officers.

    • What is the Community College of the Air Force?

      The Community College of the Air Force, administered out of Maxwell AFB, AL, is Air Force-wide, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). There is no formal campus, but the degrees earned are genuine and recognized by Institutions of Higher Education everywhere. Reserve members may earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science with their combined AF technical training and civilian college credits.

    • What job training is available in the Air Force Reserve?

      The Air Force Reserve offers more than 190 different part-time job specialties, many of which teach skills that are directly transferable to civilian careers. We offer training in such specialties as Air Craft Maintenance, Air Transportation (Cargo), Civil Engineering (Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters, Heavy Equipment Operators, etc.), Food and other Services, Police, Office Administrative and Medical-Technical. Your aptitudes and experience will determine fitness for a given position, and your local AFR Recruiter will have more specific information. To reach him/her, please give us a call at 800-257-1212 so we can run through some qualifying questions.

    • What will training be like after BMT and Tech School?

      Your job specialty and unit of assignment will be established upon initial enlistment. Once you return from AF BMT and Tech School, your task as a Drilling Reservist will be to apply that training while serving one weekend a month and two weeks a year. You will participate in upgrade training to enhance your skills, and spend part of the time preparing yourself and your reserve unit for possible deployment.

    • Where do I go for Basic Military Training?

      All Air Force basic training is held at Joint Air Base San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.

    • What is Basic Military Training (BMT) all about?

      Basic Military Training is an eight-week program designed to prepare you for military life. In addition to intense physical conditioning, your studies and training will cover:

      • The Air Force's Mission and Heritage
      • Customs and Courtesies
      • Drill and Ceremonies
      • Uniform Code of Military Justice
      • Code of Conduct
      • Military Citizenship
      • Law of Armed Conflict
      • National Security
      • Career Information
      • Human Relations
      • Self-aid and Buddy Care
      • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare 
      • Weapons Training

      You will attend Basic Military Training with Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard enlistees.

    • Where are the Technical Training Schools?

      Technical Training Schools are located primarily at five bases:

      • Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX
      • Joint Air Base San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
      • Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS
      • Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, TX
      • Vandenburg AFB, CA

      The following only apply to a few career fields:

      • Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, MD
      • Hurlburt Field, Fort Walton, FL
      • Presidio, Monterey, CA
      • Altus AFB, Altus, OK
      • Fairchild AFB, Fairchild, WA
      • Brooks AFB, San Antonio, TX
      • Fort Leonard Wood, MO
      • Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL
  • Lifestyle+
    • Am I subject to drug testing?

      Yes, all Air Force Reserve members are subject to random drug testing, as well as commander directed drug testing. For those who are applying for enlistment or appointment to the Air Force Reserve, a drug test will be administered during the physical examination.

    • Do I have to get my hair cut at Basic Training?

      Close haircuts for males take place during initial processing at Basic Military Training. Females are not required to get haircuts, but hair cannot touch the bottom of their uniform shirt collars.

    • How do I locate someone in the Air Force?

      Active duty Air Force retirees, city, county, state offices and Federal Government agencies, as well as a parent or spouse, may call the locator for service (210-565-2660). All other family members must write for this free service:

      Air Force Worldwide Locator
      550 C Street West, Suite 50
      Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4752

      Civilians or representative of civilian businesses must write. Public Law requires a nonrefundable research fee of $3.50 per name.

      The locator also provides a certificate of record of military service used to substantiate an individual's service in the Air Force. The fee for this service is $5.20 per name.

      Public Law prohibits the locator from releasing address information of retirees or individuals assigned overseas. However, the locator can forward a letter to the individual upon request. If this service is desired, place the letter in a sealed envelope with a return address, postage affixed and the individual's name in the addressee portion of the envelope. That envelope should be placed in another envelope along with the request containing the individual's identifying information and a $3.50 check or money order (payable to DAO-DE RAFB), and then mailed to the Locator.

      If the member has separated, you'll need to go through the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis, our central repository for all military records. Or you can call the NPRC at (314) 538-4282 or write:

      9700 PAGE BLVD
      ST LOUIS MO 63132-5100

    • What do Air Force Reserve healthcare professionals do in peacetime?

      A majority of them work in civilian clinics, hospitals, and in private practice. Their Air Force Reserve mission is to look after the health, welfare and fitness of Air Force Reserve members. There are some exciting opportunities in many specialties, including humanitarian missions both at home and abroad. Some healthcare professionals pursue higher education or medical research during peacetime.

      Training will be primarily focused on how to use your medical specialty in the Air Force Reserve environment. For example, if you're a medical/surgical nurse in a civilian hospital, you will be assigned similar duties for triage and emergency care as an Air Force Reserve nurse. Thus you will broaden your knowledge and experience in various military situations.

    • What is the Air Force Reserve policy on tattoos?

      Any tattoos and/or brands that are prejudicial to good order and discipline or are of a nature that tends to bring discredit upon the Air Force Reserve are prohibited in and out of uniform. Tattoos/brands are considered excessive that exceed 25% coverage of the exposed body part, or are located above the collarbone.

    • What shopping privileges will I have as an Air Force Reservist?

      All participating reservists enjoy the savings and convenience of shopping at the Base/Post Exchange, and the Commissary. The BX or PX is like a large department store, and the Commissary is typical of many grocery stores. Based upon the fiscal 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, shopping at both facilities is unlimited for Reservists and their dependents.