Would commercial pilots be automatically drafted into the Air Force?

Hey there everyone!

I was thinking the other day about my career, and options for my future. My current plan is to become a regional and then commercial pilot. I had a lot of thought about the US Air Force. Living in Colorado, there’s a pretty strong air force presence, as I see C117’s flying over almost daily. But here’s my question:

Suppose in 30 years I’m flying for Delta when suddenly WWIII starts. Would I be able to enter the Air Force at an accelerated pace since I already know how to fly?

(I apologize if I got any information wrong, I know very very little about the military)


Commercial Flights would need to continue even through war. It’s apart of daily life.

Now I don’t believe that you would be automatically drafted for being a pilot, but I believe that if they pull a draft; you would have the same chance as anyone else would to be drafted.

Don’t live in fear of a world war. Live life to the fullest and get that commercial license! :)


Oh ok!

However if I had the chance to join the Air Force would I start like everyone else, or would I be able to skip the basic training?

If you had the training done already you probably would if they saw proof but there would be more tests done

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I dont think this is helpful but: they could charter you and your airline to fly soldiers close to the warzone… no need to convert to jets. But if th U.S. Air Force would need pilots, they would definitely choose you rather than others with no flight experience to help.


Also, the United states can force you to go to war, but if you dont the penalties are insane

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Well the fact that any male as to enter the selective service from the age of 18-35 I’d say if you were needed during that time and you were between those ages than you would get drafted

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In college, I am taking a class called AS254 Aviation Legislation. The subject of the class is in the name. One of the primary outcomes of WWI and the invention of more powerful, useful aircraft, such as the DC3, C47, and DC4 was the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. It was proposed by great names such as Billy Mitchell around the 1940s. Voluntary Impressment is what it would later be called. In short, airlines would hand over 50% of their assets, to include planes and pilots, over to the military. The rest could be kept by the airlines, but could also be called up if necessary. To answer your question, this practice is still in use today, so in the event of world war 3 you could be called up. As an airline pilot, you HAVE to sign the agreement before you are allowed to fly for any airline. There are a few examples of airline pilots flying operations in WW2. The “Hump” operation is a good example and the D-day paradrop operation had a lot of airline pilots flying the aircraft. Hope this helped.
Here is a good video shared in class.


no - because the draft is not a thing anymore

No. The draft is here. That’s why any US citizen that is a male and over 18 must apply for it. It is a thing, it’s just not used as of now. Any pilot has a chance of being drafted like anyone else who applied.

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Not to get too detailed the answer is quiet simple.


You would require less training to fly for the armed forces if you already actively fly. If they had a choice between you (a commercial pilot) vs a reg citizen (zero flight experience) you would be selected before him or her.

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Well the draft lottery starts with 20 year olds then once 20 year olds are drafted it goes to 21 then so on until 25 year olds then goes to 19 year olds and 18 year olds so seeing as you’d be over 26 you wouldn’t be drafted unless they extended the range by amending the system.

Surprisingly it actually is still a thing, but with the size of the military its unlikely to be chosen or needed

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