Daniel Coggins United States Air Force

United States Air Force - Pilot

My future career will to be an Officer of the United States Air Force. In this position, I will be a pilot flying some form of fighter aircraft. Like many young children, I wanted to be a police officer or a fire fighter or many other things but when I got into the third grade, everything changed. From a young age, the armed forces have always peaked my interest. For a solid 10 years in a row, I wanted to join the military but I did not know what I wanted to do when joining. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be infantry or armored division or what not. Then sometime down the road, my dad told me that the military wasn't worth it and from then I drifted from the idea. But deep down, I kept that interest in the very back of my mind, where I could still grab it. During my time away from these thoughts, I became interested in game design and then coding and then business. It wasn't until senior year where I began to drift back to the idea. Without really knowing it, the games I played consistently had jets in them. From simulators to popular first-person-shooters, many of them were military oriented but involved jets. I know have the extreme passion to join the armed forces and serve my country through the USAF.

USAF - A10 Worthog

What does it take to be an Airman?

In order to be a pilot you must pass a number of physical and mental tests, as well as be willing and able to commit to the required years of service (for pilot 10 years). After passing all of the physical exams, you must be required to complete some form of officer training program, whether it be ROTC or OTS. There is also, for the USAF, the Air Force Academy. You must at least attend 4 years of college. Although it is not required for the major to be related to the selected service choice (if they qualify), it does help to study that field.

Air Force ROTC curriculum is separated into four major areas:

Profession of Arms—Cadets gain knowledge in military officership, military law, laws of armed conflict and military customs and courtesies.

Communication Skills—Cadets develop enhanced oral and written communication skills critical to military leadership.

Leadership Studies—Cadets are taught leadership and management skills through a better understanding of the different functions of military leadership.

Military Studies/International Security Studies—Cadets learn about the nature of conflict and how the United States military forces, particularly aerospace forces, are developed, organized and employed.


  • Normal color vision
  • Uncorrected distant vision cannot exceed 20/200
  • Uncorrected near vision cannot exceed 20/40
  • Both distance and near vision must correct to 20/20 or better
  • Meet refraction, accommodation and astigmatism requirements
  • Corrective eye surgery could be a disqualifier
  • No history of hay fever, asthma or allergies after age 12
  • Meet Air Force weight and physical conditioning requirements
  • Standing height of 64 to 77 inches and sitting height of 34 to 40 inches

Where is this taking me?

I am unsure where exactly I will be stationed. There are many places over seas that need pilots, whether it be close air support or transportation. Not only over seas are there pilots that need to be overs seas, but back in the United States they also need pilots. The United States Government needs pilots for defense of the states in the event of an attack, transportation, training, and many other purposes. There is benefits to both being deployed over seas and on home territory. Being deployed over seas, you do not have to worry about be taxed like in the states but you are deployed, likely somewhere not too comfortable and always on edge because you are in harms way. Back in the states, you probably will have nicer living quarters and maybe even get to live at home, depending on the circumstances.

It won't be easy...

To become an airman is simple. You just enlist and become a solider. However, if you want to be a pilot or a tank operator then you must become an officer before doing so. This take 4 years because you must have a bachelors degree in order to be a officer. This is only the beginning. There are only so many slots in the military for certain positions and the demand depends on the number of people in those slots. There might be some openings for certain things and demand might be higher. There are really limited positions for pilots. This is one of the more difficult positions to get into but I fully intend on achieving my dream to be a pilot for the air force.

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