ALTERNATE ROUTE: The Runway to your Dream Job in Aviation

How the U.S. Air Force Reserve can help lift your pilot career to the next level
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Benefits of Joining the Air Force Reserve & Air National Guard to Become a Pilot

One of the best-kept secrets in aviation is an opportunity that provides training for current and future pilots in the world’s most sophisticated and powerful aircraft, while also allowing you to choose a location, aircraft, and/or mission as a military pilot before actually joining the military

The Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve may be your ticket to a rewarding career as a military pilot without the common deterrents of a routine military enlistment. The Air Reserve Component allows you to determine your own path in your military aviation career while preparing you to achieve your broader career goals. This is the Alternate Route.

My name is Jeffrey Van Orsow and my book,
Alternate Route: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pilot in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve provides in-depth details about the hiring process, requirements, answers to common questions, and helpful hints for each step of the way. If you are considering any kind of career in aviation, start by researching the Alternate Route.
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A career in the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve can provide:


  • Comprehensive training and flight hours to rapidly advance your aviation career

  • More flexibility and consistency with your location and aircraft than the active duty Air Force

  • Freedom to pursue a variety of aviation careers once your service commitment is complete

To learn more about how I accomplished this myself and how you can do it, too, check the links below.

Most pilots take one of two paths to earning their wings. They either follow the “Civilian Route,” and self-fund flight lessons and certifications one flight hour at a time, or they enlist in the US Air Force and receive training as a military pilot, serving as a member of the active duty Air Force. However, a third option exists; what I refer to as the Alternate Route. In the early years of my aviation career, a friend introduced me to the possibility of joining the Air National Guard to become a fully-trained military pilot and earn the flight hours necessary to reach my ultimate goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot. The best part about this opportunity was the ability to choose where I wanted to live and work, or which type of aircraft I wanted to fly. The Alternate Route is an ideal hybrid of advanced, fully-funded pilot training with the US Air Force, and the flexibility of a routine job application.

The best thing about the Alternate Route?
Almost anyone can do it.

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Are you interested in becoming a career pilot but aren’t sure where to start in arranging flying lessons, what kinds of pilot licenses and certifications you need, how to pay for all of it, and how--if possible--to get paid while doing so?
Read my book for answers.
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The shortage of pilots is there.
Are you ready to fill it?

Whether you’re an 18-year-old looking for an exciting career opportunity, or a 25-year-old pilot-in-training wondering if you missed the chance to chase your passion, Alternate Route: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Pilot in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve can help answer some important questions. Joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve provides world-class training and flight opportunities while serving your country, with flexibility that just isn’t part of the traditional active duty Air Force. Read more to find out, or contact me directly. The world is facing an unprecedented pilot shortage, and now is the time to position yourself to help fill that void.
Guide to becoming a pilot

Additional Resources

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