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How to become a tank pilot?

Are you passionate about tanks and are you looking for your future job? Become a tank pilot in the French Army! As a tank pilot, you will be responsible for carrying out missions by driving tanks and armored vehicles. You will also participate in the maintenance of tanks and drive other army vehicles.

If you want to become a tank pilot, here is all the information you need to know before joining the French army ! Specificities, skills required, daily life, career development and remuneration... We tell you everything about the job of tank pilot in the French army.

The specificities of the profession of tank pilot

tank driver

Enlist as an EVAT in the French Army

In order to enlist as an EVAT ( Army Volunteer ) in the French Army, here are the conditions required to access recruitment.

  • Be of French nationality and enjoy your civil rights
  • Be 17 and a half years old and under 29 years old on the date of signing the contract
  • No educational level required, CAP/BEP appreciated for technical professions

Join the French Army as a VDAT

Do you want to join as a VDAT ( Army Volunteer ) in the French Army? Make sure you meet the prerequisites to contact the Army Recruiting Unit to begin the process!

Here are the conditions required to join as a VDAT in the French Army :

  • Be of French nationality and enjoy your civil rights
  • Be 18 years old and under 26 years old on the date of signing the contract
  • No diploma required but bachelor's degree recommended

Depending on your choice of engagement (EVAT or VDAT), you can then train as a tank pilot. The initial 8-month training for the profession takes place at the Non-Commissioned Officers School in Saint Maixent. You will then follow specialized training for armored combat for 4 to 5 months in Saumur.

Skills Required to Become a Tank Pilot

tank armored vehicle

Do you want to become a tank pilot ? This military profession is only accessible via the French Army. This demanding profession requires numerous technical and behavioral skills! You will learn the technical skills related to this profession during your training after your enlistment, but here is some additional information to know before enlisting as a tank pilot !

Be autonomous and responsible

A good soldier, whatever his profession, must be autonomous . You will have to fend for yourself and adapt your living conditions constantly, as the missions progress. Independence is one of the character traits required to become a fighter pilot in the French Army . Indeed, you will be responsible for piloting armored vehicles sometimes during combat: it is a heavy responsibility .

To be rigorous

To become a tank pilot , you must be rigorous in your daily life. Indeed, piloting an armored vehicle during combat requires great responsibility and being rigorous is part of it. You will be responsible for your armored vehicle, sometimes alone, in hostile terrain. Being rigorous is essential to becoming a good tank pilot .

Be organized

You probably suspect it, but a good soldier must have perfect organization , whether in his personal life or at work. You will have to pay attention to your outfit and your organization in your armored vehicle to facilitate your missions.

Be in good health and have excellent eyesight

To be able to join the French Army, you will have to pass a military medical examination . This medical examination aims to assess the physical and psychological fitness of a soldier in order to verify that he is not unfit to become a soldier. Depending on the profession, the criteria are not the same. During the military medical examination, the future candidate undergoes a series of tests to evaluate his SIGYCOP score . This score is based on 7 specific criteria:

  • S: Shoulder girdle and upper limbs
  • I: Pelvic girdle and lower limbs
  • G: General condition
  • Y: Eyes and vision
  • C: Chromatic sense
  • O: Ears and hearing
  • P: Psychic

During this military medical examination, the military doctor rates the candidate from 1 to 6 for each category. At the end of this visit, depending on the candidate's final score, he or she is classified as suitable or unfit to become a soldier in the targeted profession. The first medical visit may seem overwhelming, but you'll see, you'll get used to it! If you are declared fit, you will have to undergo regular medical examinations throughout your military career in order to check your state of physical and psychological health.

Do you want to know more about this pre-employment military medical examination? Read our article on the process of a military medical examination without delay!

Possible evolutions of a tank pilot

military tank

The profession of tank pilot is accessible from the age of 18 after training. Little by little, after your certification, you will have the opportunity to move up in rank to become a sergeant , then a non-commissioned officer or even an officer . As your career progresses, you will take assessment tests for your profession allowing you to improve your rank within the Army .

Becoming a tank pilot will offer you many opportunities for development if you are ambitious and want to move up the ranks! Rising through the ranks requires ambition, motivation and a lot of work, but you will be able to do it if you fully commit to your career. With a little luck, you could even end up as an armored vehicle commander or commander in the Army !

Depending on your level of studies, you can also become an officer upon recruitment as a tank pilot . This is an aspect that you must address during your pre-engagement visit to the Army. Discover our article on the different military ranks in France !

The different professions in the Army similar to that of tank pilot

tank pilot engagement

If you are interested in armored vehicles such as tanks, know that being a tank pilot is not the only career option. There are many jobs similar to that of a tank pilot, more or less accessible depending on your level of education and your age. Discover now the professions of armored vehicle combatant , officer under armored combat supervision contract and armored vehicle commander .

For all these professions, you must have French nationality and enjoy your civil rights .

Become an armored vehicle fighter

Armored vehicle fighters are non-commissioned soldiers recruited between the ages of 17.5 and 30. These soldiers are trained to carry out reconnaissance, attack, support, defense or investigation missions aboard armored vehicles. They are also responsible for destroying enemy armored vehicles. Armored vehicle fighters can be pilots, shooters or reloading operators. They are regularly sent on external missions (OPEX). During these missions, their salary is more than doubled. This is an excellent opportunity !

Armored vehicle combatants are military personnel and have access to housing and numerous benefits such as discounts at the SNCF.

Become an officer under armored combat supervision contract

If you are ambitious, becoming an officer under an armored combat supervision contract is a very good option. These soldiers are responsible for supervising a section or a platoon of armored vehicles. Officers under armored combat supervision contract carry out missions in France but also abroad. They are also responsible for the training and tactical training of fighters.

Officers under armored combat supervision contract are considered military officers and have access to numerous advantages. Their starting salary is very attractive! To become an officer under an armored combat supervision contract , you must have a BAC+2 and be aged 18 to 32.

Become an armored vehicle commander

The head of an armored vehicle is a military non-commissioned officer . He is responsible for commanding a team of 3 to 6 people during missions (in peacetime or war) and participates in the supervision of the platoon. The armored vehicle commander carries out his missions in France but also outside during OPEX (external operations). When traveling in OPEX, his salary is doubled.

In order to be recruited as a non-commissioned officer in charge of armored vehicles in the French Army , you must have a baccalaureate and be between 18 and 29.5 years old.

The advantages of a tank pilot in the army

military rank tank pilot

Tank pilots have military status and access many advantages. Military status allows you to have access to accommodation during training and during the first years of your career, bonuses and reductions. For example, SNCF offers 75% reduction to military personnel and their families for their train travel in France.

The remuneration of a tank pilot in the French Army varies according to his military rank . You can expect a salary between 1800 and 2900€ gross when you are hired! Of course, during your training, you will also be paid.

Discover all our articles on the world's tanks in our blog:

Do you want to join the army but you don't know what job is right for you? Discover our job descriptions dedicated to recruitment in the French Army !

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