Air Force Offers Fighter Pilots $225,000 Signing Bonus

Fighter pilots were once considered such glamorous gigs that Tom Cruise played one in the hit Hollywood movie, "Top Gun." But now, three decades later, the U.S. Air Force is experiencing such a dire shortage that it's guaranteeing a $225,000 signing bonus -- $25,000 a year for nine years.

The Air Force says it is down 200 fighter pilots this year. On top of that, just 65 percent of the pilots are staying on the job past 11 years, which is a 15 percent drop off from 1993, according to the Air Force Times. As a result, the Air Force projects that it could be short some 700 pilots by 2021. Such a shortfall represents roughly one quarter of the total 3,000 flyer pilots in the Air Force.