Pilot or Navigator (Rated Careers)

The Air Force seeks the highest-qualified applicants for Pilot, Navigator (Combat Systems Operator), and Air Battle Manager career fields. A selection board at AFROTC Headquarters - not at local detachments - determines rated positions.

Order of Merit Criteria

Selection for a rated position is based on a cadet's Order of Merit, which is determined by the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Fitness Assessment (FA) results
    Based on a 100-point scale and consisting of sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1 1/2-mile run.
  • Pilot Candidate Scoring Method (PCSM) results
    The PCSM results are comprised of:
    • Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) Pilot score
      A standardized, multiple-choice test similar to the SAT in format. AFOQTs are administered several times during the school year. Cadets may take the AFOQT twice (six months apart) with the most recent score being used toward the PCSM score.
    • Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) score
      Consists of five subtests that measure psychomotor skills, cognitive aptitude, and personality traits.
    • Total flying hours
      While flying hours contribute to the overall PCSM score, they constitute only a small percentage of the total. While helpful, it is not necessary to have flight hours to get a rated position.
  • Field Training 
    Cadets train and are selected for Field Training. This is a mandatory program designed to develop leadership and discipline and to determine the potential for entry into the Professional Officer Course. Field Training typically occurs between the sophomore and the junior year.
  • Commander's Ranking
    The Detachment Commander evaluates cadets based on the "whole person" concept and ranks them in relation to their peers. Overall officership potential is determined based on (but not limited to) a cadet's maturity, judgment, and overall performance within cadet corps.

NOTE: Academic major is not a factor for rated selection, contrary to popular belief. A cadet interested in a rated slot and majoring in Aeronautical Science or Aerospace Engineering, for example, is not given higher consideration over a cadet majoring in Psychology.