It takes several steps to become an Air Force intelligence officer. Initially, you need the appropriate level of education to become an air force officer, and you must apply and meet the requirements to join the Air Force. Upon reviewing your application, the Air Force might or might not select you for duty in the intelligence field, depending on staffing needs. Prior to going on active duty, you must receive an officer’s commission, be granted a security clearance and successfully complete intelligence technical school training. If you live outside the United States, it is a good idea to visit a military recruiter in your country who will be familiar with the requirements to become an intelligence officer in your country.
A bachelor’s degree is required to become an Air Force intelligence officer in the United States. You might earn your degree in three ways: independently, as part of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program available at many institutions of higher education, or by attending the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). The intelligence career field draws officers from diverse academic backgrounds, with the majority having non-technical undergraduate degrees in one of the social sciences, the arts, education or the humanities.
There is an application process to join the U.S. Air Force. You must be a United States citizen to apply. As part of the process, you must pass a physical, satisfy age and weight requirements, and take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test. The applications of individuals who did not obtain a commission through ROTC or the USAFA are evaluated by a selection board for Officer Training School (OTS).
If selected for OTS, you will attend a rigorous, 12-week program called “Basic Officer Training.” At the end of this program, you will be commissioned a second lieutenant. While at OTS, those selected for intelligence training will have been the subject of a special background investigation to determine whether they can obtain a security clearance. The ability to get a security clearance will be the final determining factor in your eligibility to become an Air Force intelligence officer.
You must then attend and pass a demanding, seven-month entry level course. At this technical school, you will gain competence in four major areas: targeting; battle planning for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle space analysis; and unit/Air Operations Center. After you have completed this course, you can begin active duty as an Air Force intelligence officer.