Enlisted vs Officer

An officer gets a direct commission to command that is signed by the President upon graduation from college or officer candidate school. An enlisted non commissioned officer’s command authority is given and approved from within his own ranks and defers to and subordinates himself to the commissioned officers appointed above him.

Air Force

OFFICERS are trained to be the leaders and supervisors of enlisted personnel. Rank, pay and career opportunities for officers are commensurate with their elevated level of responsibility. To be commissioned as an officer, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required.


Enlisted Soldiers are the backbone of the Army. They have specific specialties within an Army unit. Officers act as managers to those Soldiers. They plan missions, give orders, and assign Soldiers to tasks.


This is just a response to the poster who said that it is hard to be a pilot in the AF without going to the AFA…that is COMPLETELY false. Pilot selection rates are at an all-time high. Only 10% of the officers in the USAF are from the Academy. 20% are OTS grads and the other 70% are all ROTC grads. There are more Pilot/Navigator slots than any other AFSC in the AF.