Below we cover how to join Air Force Special Warfare career fields. These jobs include: Combat Control, Pararescue, TACP, Special Reconnaissance, Combat Rescue Officer, Special Tactics Officer and TACP Officer. We cover:
- Active Duty Enlistment for Non Prior Service and Prior Service
- Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve enlistment
- Crosstraining/Retraining for current Active Duty Airmen
- Officer Assessments for CRO, STO and TACPO
Active Duty Non Prior Service and Prior Service (Enlisted)
Non-Prior Service = Never been in the military before
Prior Service = Been in the military before but not the Air Force
To become an Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) active duty operator, you need to contact a recruiter to begin the process (ASVAB, screening, medical tests, enlist, etc). Enlisted Special Warfare jobs include Combat Control, Pararescue, Special Reconnaissance and Tactical Air Control Party.
Prior and non-prior service applicants may not sign up for an individual job in Special Warfare. Instead, you may sign up for Special Warfare Operator Enlistment (aka SWOE) and may compete for the specific job that you desire. Find out more about SWOE; HERE.
On the active duty side there are differences between a regular Air Force recruiter and an AFSPECWAR recruiter- ensure whoever you are speaking to is the right one. AFSPECWAR recruiters are trained to ensure you receive the right info and are prepped appropriately before BMT. If by chance you contact a regular AF recruiter and need the AFSPECWAR flavor, the regular AF recruiter should be able to put you in contact with an AFSPECWAR recruiter.
ANG and AF Reserve recruiters work differently and will put you in touch with the teams directly to try out.
Ways to Find an Active Duty Enlisted Recruiter
- Stop by your community’s local Air Force recruiting office
- Click the application tool on the Air Force recruiting website, provided on our Links page.
After making contact, the recruiter will refer you to a Special Warfare developer that will help you train before basic training starts. This mentor is an ex-operator that will ensure your PAST test numbers are where they need to be prior to shipping out.
ANG or Air Force Reserve Recruiters
Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve units work with potential candidates directly prior to BMT to assess whether they are a good fit for that unit. To start the process, check out the AFSPECWAR Overview page to find a specific unit or location you have interest in. Then head over to the Links page and check out the ANG or Reserve recruiting websites to find a local recruiter for that base/area. If you are having difficulty finding a good contact, drop a request in the AFSPECWAR Forums and we will find you someone.
- Successful completion of the Physical ability and stamina test (PAST)
- ASVAB Score: General – 49
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Possess a High School Diploma or GED
- PULHES Medical Profile Score of 111111.
- Physical qualification for aircrew, parachute, and marine diving duty according to AFI 48-123, Medical Examinations and Standards. (For more information, visit our Medical Eligibility Page.)
- Vision: 20/200, correctable to 20/20
- Note: Some medical conditions may be waiverable depending on severity and mission impact.
- Meet general Air Force enlistment requirements, outlined in Air Force Manual 36-2032
For current Active Duty Airmen that want to switch career fields. Refer to our AFSPECWAR retraining page for specific guidance.
Follow the procedures in the attached Assessment Program Guides (pdf):
- For Combat Rescue Officer (CRO) / Special Tactics Officer (STO) assessment, click HERE (FY 20/21)
- For Tactical Air Control Party Officer (TACPO) assessment, click HERE
For additional questions or concerns, visit the AFSPECWAR community forums to collaborate with current, future and prior operators.