Do I need to do ROTC in college if I want to be an astronaut pilot?

This is probably going to sound stupid… but I have to ask. And sorry if I don’t sound professional or confident when I write or whatever…

So I’ve been playing with the idea of becoming an astronaut pilot for a while now. After doing some research I found that most astronaut pilots were in the military before, and I need 1000 hours of being a pilot in command flying a jet.

Do I need to do ROTC in college to become a pilot for the Air Force to be an astronaut pilot? Or what do I have to do? (I’m still in high school so lots of choices, plenty of time…)

Just a side note, it seems like it would take a long, long, long time before I would even get to be an astronaut CANDIDATE. But I’m willing to commit however many years it takes to be an astronaut pilot. And I’m more than willing to do whatever it takes to be an astronaut. I don’t care, whatever it takes, even joining the military, because that’s what you do when you love somehthin.

Yes, the Air Force is one way. Navy as well. It is good of you for thinking ahead, but be careful, especially with a decision like this. First, ROTC. You have to make it through the program in order to commission. This means you have to be fit, pass the military classes, your college classes and earn a degree. Usually, it will be a hard science or engineering. Very few if any liberal arts majors would get a pilot slot. For Air Force, you need to be selected for Field Training between your sophomore and junior years. If you are not, you cannot commission through ROTC.

Second, being a pilot. It is said to be easier to become a pilot through the Navy than the Air Force. But this does not mean that if you say you want to be one, you will get it. It is unlikely that you would be selected for a pilot slot. That is just the fact. Of course there is the possibility, but you have to face the fact that you will probably be chosen to do something else. And if you’re in the military, you have to like that. The needs of the service come first, and then maybe your preferences will play into their decision.

Are you willing to serve your country in any capacity, whether you like what you do or not? The truth is you will probably not be an astronaut, or even a pilot. A whole slew of things can go wrong. I’m currently in AFROTC, and just recently found out I’m not eligible to be a pilot because my eyes are slightly out of regs. I really wanted to fly C-17s, but I accept that I won’t and am willing and proud to serve in another field. Can you say the same? If yes, then I respect you that you have chosen this honorable path. If not, then I still respect you because it does take a certain type of person to be in the armed services, and not everyone can. This is the choice you make when being in the ROTC, service academies, OTS or even enlisting. Your first choice should be “Do I want to serve in the military?”. Then all the rest can follow. But it is the first question that is really most important here.