Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
By Ben Geier
July 15, 2015

If you’ve ever thought it would be cool to join the military, the United States Air Force is sweetening the deal, offering a $15,000 per year bonus to people who sign up to be drone pilots for either five or nine years.

The plan is being implemented due to a shortage of drone pilots, according to The Wall Street Journal. The offer is available to existing Air Force Pilots, although the Journal also notes that 80 pilots graduating flight school this year will be automatically placed in the corps of drone pilots.

The United States has used drones for both airstrikes and surveillance throughout the world. The Obama administration’s use of drones in the “War on Terror” has garnered ferocious criticism from both sides of the political aisle, but if this program is any indication, the mechanization of war looks to be something that will expand, not recede.

One other change that could be made to expand the pool of drone pilots would be to allow enlisted airmen, rather than just officers, to pilot drones. As of now, that’s not happening.

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