An Air Force 1st Lieutenant is the U.S. Air Force's second-lowest Commissioned Officer rank, above 2nd Lieutenant and below Captain. Usually, a 1st Lieutenant is promoted from 2nd Lieutenant after a minimum time of 24 months as a commissioned officer.
To become a commissioned officer in the Air Force, candidates must obtain at least a bachelor's degree. However, some fields, such as dental and medical, require specific majors or specialized degrees. Candidates then must obtain a commission as an officer, which can only be given to someone selected for the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Program (ROTC), someone who attended the Air Force Academy, or someone who graduated from Officer Training School (OTS). The Air Force 1st Lieutenant's area of expertise and experience, such as civil engineering, healthcare, or combat, influences the work environment and the specific duties. In a flying unit, for example, one must be a pilot, navigator, or air battle manager in order to become 1st Lieutenant, and some of the work conditions involve flying at great altitudes.
An Air Force 1st Lieutenant might have supervisory duties. The Air Force offers very diverse work environments, from offices to test labs to combat zones. No matter the location, though, the workplace will be highly structured, and all employees must follow instructions well and possess high degrees of discipline, focus, and dedication. The Air Force has mandatory physical fitness programs and conducts random drug testing, so all staff must remain physically fit at all times.