GaleT
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I'm 14 years old, and I'm am thinking of joining the armed forces as a pilot, just not sure whether to go for the RAF, FAA or the AAC. Is there anyone that know how different they are operationally?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by GaleT)
I'm 14 years old, and I'm am thinking of joining the armed forces as a pilot, just not sure whether to go for the RAF, FAA or the AAC. Is there anyone that know how different they are operationally?
Start off with looking at the aircraft they operate, the fleets are very different. unless you definitely want to fly battlefield helicopters or off carriers, join the RAF (and even then you can effectively do both of those other roles).

Yes, they operate differently, in the FAA you are likely to spend long periods at sea.

Besides which, you can apply for all three, though they have different approaches to selection.

The best thing you can do at the moment in join one of the cadet organisations, if you haven't already, and the Air Cadets is the one that might get you the best chance of flying.
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Ikaruss
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Hi, to answer your direct question first, exactly as 3PD has said, all 3 air ams have different assets and therefore bring different capabilities to the party. However, all provide the right defence effect in support of the UK strategic policy of the time. It would take a big tactical document to explain the differences. Instead, why don't you see about reading a selection of the many books written by RAF, Navy and Army pilots from recent times. These will give you a flavour of what each service air arm does, and may help to focus your ambitions.

Second, you were five when I retired from the RAF as aircrew. The service has changed out of all recognition from when I was in, and has undergone major reviews of its equipment, training and basing since then. Assuming you go to Uni, it is likely to be between 7-8 years before you start thinking about applying for one of the services, so just imagine what changes could happen in that time? Already, long term planning indicates the world of manned military flight is decreasing, with a much greater emphasis on remote technology and cyber warfare. I'm sure there'll still be a need for pilots in the immediate future, but making a career decision at age 14 when the world is changing so rapidly, is not the wisest choice. Your generation will have to be a lot smarter and more agile than mine was. I lived and worked at a time when you could actually plan a career and see it through to the end. The world wide web and a globally connected society has revolutionised everything.

My advice to you would be to concentrate hard on your STEM subjects, join the cadets (if not already) and grab as many opportunities to demonstrate your leadership ability as you can - and there are many ways of doing that.

To succeed as a pilot you have to be determined and resilient, as it is incredibly competitive to get through the front door, let alone get a seat in a cockpit. For that reason, you should have at least two back-up plans to fall back on, if your primary ambition can't be achieved for whatever reason. Your remaining time at school, and three / four years at Uni, should give you the breathing space to come up with a personal plan.

But for the meantime, enjoy your life. You really are young just once, and once you start work and settle down, that life is often directed by others.

Good luck

Ikky
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