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Came across this job on LM's website

https://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/job/luke-air-force-base/f-35-instructor-pilot/694/10202293008#anchor-responsibilties

Since the organizations hiring you is a company, can a civilian aviator apply even of he or she has no background in any military capacity? Although chances are slim, is it not impossible to be hired for a military aircraft role?

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  • $\begingroup$ There is a mismatch between the question in the title (pilot status) and the actual question (candidate experience). $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Aug 12 '21 at 14:30
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Some of the requirements are:

Must have a minimum of 1000 hours experience in tactical fighter aircraft as a pilot.

and

Must have experience as a multi-ship flight lead in tactical fighter aircraft.

So yes, it is impossible to get this job as a civilian without any military fighter experience, although nothing stops you from applying, your application would be rejected as "not qualified".

As for the title question, LM pilots (those similar qualifications to the job posting) are civilian pilots (ex-military).

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  • $\begingroup$ Top Aces have some tactical fighters in possession, including retired F-16. So that's where you could possibly get your experience robbreport.com/motors/aviation/… $\endgroup$
    – Nederealm
    Aug 9 '21 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ For multi ship flight lead, consider airshow participation? $\endgroup$
    – Nederealm
    Aug 9 '21 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Nederealm Not really, military aircraft repurposed for civilian uses aren't considered "tactical fighters". They are experimental exhibition category aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 9 '21 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Ron Beyer, a valid point from an administrative view, but irrelevant if the hiring manager decides that the experience is applicable. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '21 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Ron Beyer, fair enough, but my point is that the difference between an F-16 "tactical fighter" and an F-16 "experimental exhibition" (minus actual combat experience with weapons...) is administrative in nature. If a civilian test pilot had 1000 hours putting Falcons through their paces they would likely be competitive. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '21 at 19:29
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Technically you would be working for Lockheed Martin as a civilian in that role, but the job would almost certainly require former military experience as a fighter pilot, and especially as a former F-35 fighter pilot in one of the branches of service, preferably a former USAF IP. Even tallying up the minimum items listed in the job description, you’re just not gonna compete with somebody who has the military credentials I described above. The military experience with far outweigh any of the items listed in the job description for that role.

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