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Air Force Airman First Class

E-3 Enlisted Airman, U.S. Air Force
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Air Force Ranks » Airman First Class RankA1C PayA1C Rank HistoryPromotion Information

How to get promoted to Airman First Class Air Force Promotion to E-3 Airman First Class

A Airman First Class is a Enlisted Airman in the United States Air Force at DoD paygrade E-3. This page describes how the Air Force determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Airman First Class.

An airman is typically promoted to airman first class after just ten months as an airman. Assuming the airman has maintained standards and not committed any striking offenses, the promotion is guaranteed. Some specialties allow airman to be promoted quicker.

However, many enlistees can be promoted to airman first class immediately after basic training if they meet any of the following qualifications:

  • Completed three years of Junior ROTC during high school.
  • Completed two years of ROTC in college.
  • Received the Billy Mitchell Award in Civil Air Patrol.
  • Completed 45 or more college credit hours.
  • Agreed to a longer enlistment than typical.

Any airman that meets any of those criteria while on active duty can also be promoted to airman first class immediately.

Want to learn more? Read about the Air Force's Airman First Class rank on