21+ Pros and Cons of Joining the Air Force

The U.S. Air Force is the aeronautical service branch of the United States Armed Forces, which has seven uniformed services.

The Air Force is one of the most prestigious branches of the military.

Additionally, it is one of the most scientifically and technologically advanced air forces globally.

Key points

  • The U.S. Air Force is a prestigious the United States Armed Forces branch.
  • There are many benefits associated with joining the Air Force.
  • You will also face several challenges when you join the Air Force.
  • Considering these pros and cons would be best before deciding whether to join the Air Force.

Are you thinking about joining the Air Force?

This article breaks down the pros and cons of the Air Force to help you make an informed choice.

Functions of the Air Force


Before we look at why you should join the Air Force, it would help to know what they do. The core functions of the U.S. Air Force include:

  • Global integrated ISR
  • Nuclear Deterrence Operations
  • Global Precision Attack
  • Special Operations
  • Rapid Global Mobility
  • Personnel Recovery
  • Space Superiority
  • Air Superiority

This military branch’s responsibility is to provide air support for land and water forces. It also helps to recover troops in the field. Apart from handling national security matters, the Air Force also provides U.S. citizens with many job opportunities.

Furthermore, being part of the Air Force is a matter of enormous pride.

Your job will touch many lives and have extensive consequences. Like any other job, the U.S. Air Force has its pros and cons. Let’s start by looking at the ten pros of joining the Air Force.

Pros of the Air Force (Benefits)

What benefits will you get from joining the Air Force?

Better living accommodation

The Air Force boasts some of the best programs regarding the quality of life. For example, the force has the best dormitories for its officers.

It also has better family housing, on-base shopping, recreation, and services. This is probably because they have a bigger budget which helps them establish and maintain better quality of life programs.

Free healthcare and housing

When you join the Air Force, you will enjoy top-of-the-range insurance plans with your family. Furthermore, you will receive low-cost, full medical and dental care at civilian and military facilities.

The Airmen also enjoy full pay and allowances even during sick days.

Regarding housing, if you have dependents, they can live on base in the military family housing for free. Alternatively, you can live off-base and enjoy a considerable monthly housing allowance.

Post career opportunities

As an Airman, you will be given opportunities to pursue different career paths interrelated to the Air Force. These opportunities will enable you to achieve your real potential.

For example, on your first day, you will be enrolled in Community College, an accredited Air Force college. Here, you will study Basic Military Training.

Furthermore, if you are an outstanding Airman, the Air Force will give you the scholarship to complete your college education.

As if that is not enough, the Airmen can get up to 100% tuition assistance through their Tuition Assistance Program.

The Air Force gives you a chance to better yourself

While at the Air Force, you will get valuable training in multiple fields, including engineering and aviation. The Air Force will also train you to have a balance in life as regards having the right blend of independence and support.

In this regard, despite being in the Air Force, you will also know where you fit in society. This allows Airmen to focus on themselves and improve their lives.

Access to the GI Bill

The GI Bill is the educational benefit that Members of Active Duty, Selected Reserve, and National Armed Forces earn. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers the GI Bill.

This benefit aims to help service members and chosen veterans care for all training and education-related costs.

The moment you join the Air Force, the Tuition Assistance Programs the Air Force offers to take over your tuition costs for academy classes you attend in your off-duty time.

Leadership skills

Airmen learn their primary duty skills at the tactical level. Moreover, they develop experiences in applying these skills.

They also gain knowledge to showcase competencies critical to effective leadership. This means you will learn how to influence and motivate others to achieve a particular mission.

You will gain new skills at no cost

When you join the Air Force, you will enjoy different sponsorship programs, such as the Air Force Tuition Assistance and GI Bill funds programs. All these programs allow you to learn new skills without paying any fees. As a result, you will get valuable training in various fields for free!

Guaranteed paycheck

Salaries at the Air Force are structured based on rank and experience. Your paycheck will only have base pay if you don’t have any dependents. Nonetheless, you have a guaranteed paycheck if you meet all your contract requirements.

You get to retire young!

You are eligible for retirement after 20 years of service as an Airman. After that, you will begin to receive your benefits. Air Force provides a generous retirement plan that does not require payroll deductions.

This is a massive benefit as you retire early and enjoy all retirement benefits.

In this era, many corporations optimize their income by removing employee benefits. Moreover, they don’t offer job security. But, the Air Force offers secure benefits, which makes it appealing to many people.

It is a prestigious branch of the military

The Air Force is admired by its sister branches because of the numerous luxuries it offers. For example, it has the most significant budget per person, and those who enlist get halfway to a 2-year degree.

Moreover, the Air Force boasts an accredited community college that offers basic military training.

Cons of joining the Air Force?


It isn’t easy to join

The physical requirements, training, medicals, and other attributes make it challenging to join the Air Force. As a result, not everyone can join the Air Force.

You might not get the job you want

After training, the Air Force will assess you to determine your strengths and weaknesses. If your recruiting officer thinks you are better at aviation engineering than piloting, you will work in aviation engineering. As a result, your desires and choices don’t matter concerning job placement.

Rank overrides age

As stated earlier, ranks and experience determine salaries and remuneration. As a result, a younger Air Force officer can receive better pay than you because of rank. However, the years you have been in service will be considered when computing salaries.

You have very little choice where to live

You have the option of staying off-base, especially if you have dependents. However, you might be forced to live on base for easy accessibility in case of emergency. Also, those residing off-base must live closer to their military operation base for accessibility in case they are needed.

There is a lack of individuality

When you join the Air Force, you are not free to do whatever you like regarding your appearance. All Airmen must live according to the set rules. For example, you cannot don whatever outfit you like or cut your hair in any style.

Airmen operate under set rules in respect of their appearance. Therefore, you need to look and act as a member of the Air Force.


Most Air Force officers are usually deployed in counties that need air attacks. While you can volunteer for such missions at certain times, in others, your commanding officer will order you to go. Deployments usually are worrying for the officers and their families.

You cannot quit

You cannot quit the service once you are on active duty. All Airmen are under contract, and the Air Force expects them to see their contracts through with respect and commitment.

But, there are unique circumstances where you can be released from duty. For example, if you are physically or psychologically unable to perform your duties.

You are separated from your family

As an Airman, you will travel out of the country regularly. As a result, being in the Air force can be challenging for your family. For instance, you will likely miss birthdays, anniversaries, and family reunions. The Air Force does not offer the kind of flexibility civilian jobs offer.

What are the chances of losing life in the Air Force?

The Air Force job comes with the risk of casualty. However, this risk is minimal if your assignments are on the ground and away from the battlefield. But, international delegations and times of conflict usually increase the risk of being a casualty.

The Air Force operations are very well coordinated to ensure everything goes to plan. Nonetheless, there are surprises on the battlefield. Therefore, when you go to war as an Air Force officer, there is a chance you might not make it back home because of the nature of the job.

“It depends upon war or no war. Your job and your assignment. “– said Dennis ONeal, a former flight simulator technician at U.S. Air Force.

“It depends upon war or no war. Your job and your assignment. “

Dennis ONeal, a former flight simulator technician at U.S. Air Force.

Final Thoughts

So, should you join the Air Force?

Before answering that question, ensure you understand what you, your family, and your friends can expect from the move you are but to make.

Fortunately, this article has broken down the pros and cons of the Air Force. In our opinion, the benefits of joining the USAF outweigh the cons. Therefore, if you are disciplined and want to serve your country, there is no better way to do it than joining the Air Force!

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