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Joining Bangladesh Air Force as an officer: The preliminary process

Mahtab Jamil | Tuesday, 16 August 2022


Aircraft is one of the most fabulous inventions in history. Almost everyone wants a ride in an aircraft at least once in life. Apart from transportation, the advancement of modern science has made aircraft a lethal war weapon. Thus Air Force is at present one of the most important factors for securing the safety of a country. 

The fascinating prospect of flying a plane generally attracts all young men and women. One great way to live one’s dream and also serve the country is Bangladesh Air Force.

But the process of primary selection in the Bangladesh Air Force is comparatively more complex than in the other two forces. 

Firstly, we must know that there are many branches of the Air Force and not everyone joining the Air Force will get the opportunity to fly an aircraft. The branches that a candidate can join as an officer are as follows - 

  • General Duties (Pilot), abbreviation: GD(P)
  • General Duties (Navigator), abbreviation: GD(N)
  • Engineering
  • Air Defense Weapons Controlling (ADWC)
  • Air Traffic control (ATC)
  • Meteorology
  • Logistics
  • Administration
  • Finance/Accounts
  • Education
  • Legal
  • Medical (officers are seconded from the army)

Only the candidates joining GD(P) are going to fly aircraft. 

The preliminary process in the Air Force doesn’t happen on a specific day. They conduct preliminary tests throughout 2-3 months. There are different days allocated for the test. On average, a candidate gets almost 10 exam days in a month. 

Another plus point in the preliminary test of Air Force is that a candidate getting disqualified in one test can come the next day again by filling up another form. There is no limit on how many times a candidate can appear on the test. 

The preliminary test starts with an IQ test. There are 100 problems in the IQ test. Many books are available as well as free tests on the internet. After Passing the IQ test, candidates of all branches sit for the English test. It should be kept in mind that all the tests are taken in an objective form. There are 50 questions in the English test. 

The next phase of the exam is based on which branch the candidate has applied for. The candidates applying for GD(P), Engineering, ADWC, ATC and Meteorology face physics and higher math tests with 25 marks each in an objective format. 

The questions are from the HSC level textbooks. No use of a calculator or rough page is allowed during the exam which makes the test more difficult and students must take adequate preparation beforehand. 

No specific passing mark is revealed which requires the candidates to achieve as much as they can. The candidates in the administration branch face a general knowledge test of 50 marks which is an objective type. 

Finance and accounts branch candidates face the commerce background subjects in an objective format exam. The other branches are for direct entry short courses. 

A candidate passing all the tests is called for a preliminary medical test that very day or the next day. The physical requirements are a bit more for GD(P) branch compared to other branches. The candidates need to be in a good shape to be able to pass that phase. Then comes the viva. 

The requirements are more or less the same for all the defence forces for viva - confidence, boldness, good communication skill, an idea about the current world and some common sense. 

Again, as most people in our country are fascinated by the army, the Air Force candidates must be prepared to face the question of why they want to join the Bangladesh Air Force. 

This answer is pretty easy for GD(P) candidates that they want to fly in the sky. But for candidates of other branches, it might be a bit tricky. One easy way out could be the candidates lacking physical or academic qualifications for GD(P). But as they have a fascination for flying in the sky, they want to stay around the planes, maybe as an engineer or an air traffic controller.

Well, a candidate clearing all these steps is finally recommended for the ISSB. They can finally go for the training in the academy when they are selected in the ISSB and are qualified in the final medical and Chief of Air Force viva. 

Setting up a career in the Air force is quite a challenge as all those lengthy processes suggest. But those who are lucky enough to be there, get a life way beyond description. 

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