Christian Fighter Pilot, Super Bowl Winner Mentors Officers
2Lt Ben Garland, a recent Academy graduate, apparently has an assignment to pilot training that he is reconsidering. If he changes his mind and does something else instead, he could avoid the 10 year minimum commitment to the Air Force for pilot training and do something else he loves: play in the NFL.
Garland has received counsel from at least one other person who was in a similar situation many years ago, a man who is famous in both the Air Force and the NFL: Chad Hennings, a Christian fighter pilot (or attack pilot, as he flew the A-10) and former member of the Dallas Cowboys. Because of his platform, Hennings has the opportunity to continue to mentor young officers many years after getting out of the Air Force.
For the record, the Air Force frowns on people “changing their mind” after being competitively-selected for a training course. After all, their selection prevented the Air Force from putting someone else in that slot; if they quit, the Air Force gets zero trained officers out of the deal. As a result, people who SIE (self-initiated elimination, or “quit”) from a course like pilot training often have a black mark placed on them that prevents them from attempting to enter similiar training programs.
That said, if one is not committed to their path in the Air Force, or if their passion is somewhere else, it is better to recognize and make that “course correction” earlier, rather than later.
The minimum commitment just for graduating the US military academies is 5 years, though some can do 2 years active duty and transfer to the reserves in order to pursue a professional sports career.