9 Little-Known Facts About The Air Force That Might Come As A Surprise

What does it mean to serve your country in the United States Air Force? Why not ask the Airmen who do it themselves? In partnership with the Air Force, Thought Catalog is giving you answers to the most frequently asked questions about serving as an Airman.
United States Air Force

1. There are over 200 career fields in the Air Force and most of them don’t actually involve flying a plane. A few examples of the many varied career opportunities include aircraft mechanics and maintainers, security forces and law enforcement, cyber security, airborne and ground cryptologic language analyst, computer systems programmers, chaplains, clinical social workers and mental health technicians, avionics specialists, as well as many more.

2. Members of the Air Force may not be required to live only on base, outside of basic military training and some technical training programs. Though many do like to take advantage of the provided housing, plenty of service members live in independent apartments or houses they’ve rented or purchased off-base.

3. Participants have described Basic Training as a challenging experience that may push you to your limits, but also as a challenge anyone can get through as long as you’re dedicated. It also leads to a lot of personal growth, and even lifelong friends.

4. For those who have a family, the Air Force makes a conscious effort to keep them together as much as possible. The Air Force is also very helpful with childcare options for working parents.

5. The Air Force is very big on continuing education. You can even get a degree while serving. The wide-ranging degrees and certifications are focused in all sorts of areas, from transportation management, to software engineering, to criminal justice, to alcohol and drug counselor certifications, to medical degrees and beyond.

6. You can have pets in the Air Force. Some Air Force members even have multiple cats and dogs.

7. Dating is absolutely permitted in the Air Force. You just have to make sure that the person you’re dating in the Air Force is not in your direct line of leadership. Some service-members even use social dating apps.

8. Service members’ preferred locations are considered during the assignment process. Through what is called a ‘Dream Sheet,’ members of the Air Force can submit their top options of where they’d like to be stationed and the Air Force will try to accommodate members’ wants and needs as closely as possible.

9. When asked how the Air Force has changed their life, members have mentioned various positive effects, such as being provided with a sense of direction, developing a stronger discipline, having structure in their life, feeling like they have a sense of purpose, increasing their sense of responsibility, and having the opportunity to go to school. TC mark

This post was brought to you by the US Air Force

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Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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