Marine Helicopter Pilot Requirements


Some young men and women want a career that is exciting and different from a position in the typical office environment. Others want to be able to make their mark in the world or make a difference in the lives of others. Becoming a Marine helicopter pilot can fulfill these desires and more. To become a Marine helicopter pilot, there are some specific requirements that must be met as a new recruit moves from civilian life to Marine helicopter pilot.

Personal Commitment

  • The first requirement is the willingness to commit to the Marines. A career in the Marines is much more that just choosing what type of skill to pursue. It is a commitment to a lifestyle of service. As a Marine pilot the young man or woman will be a Marine officer and will be called on to lead troops in combat conditions. Also, a Marine officer has little choice in where she will be stationed. Any hot spot in the world could be your home.

Physical requirements

  • Before being selected to train in helicopters, new prospective recruits must pass two physicals and a conditioning test. A basic Marine entry physical and a flight physical must be successfully completed. The candidate also must pass a conditioning test that includes tests for body strength and aerobic fitness. Excellent vision is a requirement and must be at least 20/40 corrected to 20/20 with good color vision.


  • All Marine helicopter pilots are officers and must have a four-year college degree to be considered. The specific major is not necessarily a factor in selection--most any major is acceptable.

Officer training

  • The new Marine helicopter candidate must be a Marine officer first. This can be accomplished by going to the Naval Academy, Reserve Officer Training Course, Officer Training School or the Platoon Leader Course. After being commissioned through any of these schools the officer must then go to The Basic School. This is six months of training to teach each new officer how to lead Marines in combat.

Flight training

  • After being commissioned as an officer and completing The Basic School, the candidate reports to flight school. Flight school consists of ground school and primary flight training. In ground school, the new pilot will learn learn the theory of flight, flight physiology, navigation and weather for aviators. In primary flight school, the aviator will learn how to fly in one of several basic flight trainers. The candidate is then selected to go to advanced training in either jet, helicopter or turboprops. After completing this training the Marine helicopter trainee will earn his wings.

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