Jet pilots in the military serve within the armed forces and are responsible for flying jet-powered military aircraft as assigned by superior officers and command-structures. Most of these jet pilots specialize in some area of duty, such as escort missions, ground attack/support duties, or surveillance and reconnaissance. In addition to specializing in these mission types, in most armed forces a military jet pilot is also assigned to specific aircraft to ensure maximum effectiveness in performance of essential duties.
Pilots may be assigned to duties in either domestic or foreign theaters which cover a variety of scenarios. Pilots are normally based at ground facilities, while military pilots who fly in naval aviation may also find themselves assigned to aircraft carriers at sea. The types of duties required by the armed forces are typically specialized to the bases where a military jet pilot is assigned. In many cases during peacetime, these duties are arranged around practice and repetition of typical mission types in order to maintain full preparation.
Jet pilots in the military may also be required to perform a variety of pre-mission checklist duties and after-action reports. These after-mission logs are often submitted to superior officers and squadron commanders and can include data from fuel usage, observations, and even hostile engagements.
Military jet pilots are normally commissioned officers and assigned to pilot military hardware that can cost millions of dollars to replace if neglected or destroyed. Therefore, most military organizations require a college education and extensive specialized military training for all front-line pilots. The pilot may also be in charge of a flight crew and even have authority over the ground crew who prepares his/her craft. Most jet pilots in the military work a variety of hours, and irregular shifts are a hallmark of the profession.
Military Pilot, Jet Tasks
- Operate aircraft.
- Train and oversee crews.
- Keep accurate documents and records.