Candidate Q: Female Aviation Contract

Candidate Question:

I am seriously considering going through the Aviation path of a Marine Officer, but I have a few questions before I decide:

  1. How long will your contract be when being in an Aviation Position?
  2. Do you have to have a Pilots License or anything specific before joining?
  3. What tests do you have to take to get into an Aviation position?
  4. I’m female, will that set any limits on me?

Thank you in advance, by the way this website has been really helpful and I’ve learned a lot from it!


  1. Eight years active duty from pinning the wings (probably 11 years total), 4 years reserve. Flight school takes a few years to get through.
  2. No training in flight whatsoever is required but it does help.
  3. Aviation Selection Test Battery, which currently has sections on math, reading, mechanical knowledge, spatial awareness, and naval aviation “jargon”
  4. Yes. Check on size, weight, height restrictions especially. Very few women are the right size/shape/whatever for minimum safety requirements of ejection seats in jets, so it’s much more likely you’d pilot an Osprey, helicopter, or C-130 eventually.

Lastly, I highly recommend you talk to as many USMC pilots as you can! Do NOT go into the 3 year flight school pipeline naively or ill-informed.

5 thoughts on “Candidate Q: Female Aviation Contract

  1. I was sent down to NAMI for my flight physical last month. At 5’2″ and 125 pounds, the only aircraft I was told that would not be available given my current weight are jets- I would need to gain 10 pounds if this was the route I desired.

  2. If you’re not compatible with a certain airframe, are you still allowed to become a pilot? i doubt i would be able to fly jets either but I’m interested in helicopters.

  3. What happens if I complete OCS and my degree and find out that I have physical limitations for flying? Would I get the option for ground or reserve with a shorter number of contracted years?

    1. Yes, your total contract could be as little as 4 years in fact depending on when you leave the flight path

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