The cadet-military pilot programme

The cadet-military pilot is a recipient of a scholarship from the Croatian Armed Forces (CAF)

The cadet-military pilot is a recipient of a scholarship from the Croatian Armed Forces (CAF), who fulfils their rights and obligations by concluding a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on education, i.e., a scholarship for the undergraduate and graduate study programmes in aeronautics at the Faculty of Transport Sciences of the University of Zagreb, in accordance with the call for applications published by the MoD once a year.

Cadet-military pilot education

Cadet-military pilots are trained at the faculty using the same curriculum as other students of higher education institutions but with the addition of military training programmes, i.e., a section of the curriculum in which they study military-specific education content in military camps and through the CAF teaching modules.
According to the contract they signed, the cadets are provided with a scholarship, accommodation and meals, textbooks, military uniforms, sports equipment, and compensation for travel expenses. In line with the contract they signed, their additional study-related expenditures are also reimbursed.
A cadet’s application must include the following:
  • a completed application form;
  • copies of the applicant’s identification card and birth certificate;
  • a copy of the completed upper secondary school degree certificate or a certificate of attendance;
  • a certificate of no ongoing criminal proceedings.
Enrolment requirements
A candidate wishing to take part in a civil-military training programme for a cadet-military pilot must meet the following requirements: 
  • He or she must be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.
  • He or she must be no older than 22 by the end of the calendar year in which the call is announced.
  • When registering for the state matriculation exam at, candidates must select the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences (FPZ), major Aeronautics, Military Pilot Module, and register the required subjects that will be used to create the ranking list: Mathematics and Croatian Language – A level (advanced) and English Language – B level (standard).

Procedure from application to admission

A candidate seeking a position as a cadet-military pilot must respond to a call for applications issued by the Ministry of Defence in the media or online at
Candidates who satisfy the admission requirements are invited to participate in the selection procedure, which includes pre-selection, a specialist medical examination, a physical ability check, and a selection flight. All procedures are sequentially eliminating (i.e., if the candidate does not satisfy the standards of one part of the procedure, they are not sent to the next one, and the procedure comes to an end).
The first step entails inviting to a pre-selection that includes a psychological evaluation. Those who make it through the pre-selection phase are sent to the Institute of Aviation Medicine in Zagreb for a specialist medical examination. The regional department of defence affairs sends invitations to all applicants who pass the medical test to participate in the selection flight process.
Before signing a selection flight contract with the Ministry of Defence, applicants must pass a physical fitness test when they arrive at the selection flight.
This is followed by a selection flying lasting about 5 weeks, which is carried out on the ZLIN-242L.
Candidates who successfully complete the selection flight procedure acquire the conditions for enrolment at the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences in the second application period (in September).
Prior to the start of the academic year, applicants go through a preparatory camp at the Croatian Defence Academy in Zagreb (at the beginning of September, not eliminating), where the cadets take a solemn oath, sign a training contract with the Ministry of Defence, and become cadets-military pilots.
The training of cadets-military pilots lasts five years, and includes undergraduate and graduate studies in Aeronautics – Military Pilot module, at the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences in Zagreb.
Three years/six semesters of undergraduate study consist of general and aviation theory during the first five semesters, which cadets-military pilots do in Zagreb, and the basic pilot camp and basic flying training (airplane) during the sixth semester that they complete in Zadar.
The advanced pilot camp, theoretical classes, advanced flying training on different types of military aircraft (plane/helicopter), and basic officer training are all included in the graduate study programme, which lasts two years (four semesters) and is held in Zadar.
The cadet earns the title of Master of Aeronautics upon completing their study, and their primary job function is military pilot (airplane/helicopter).
Professional development
Officers/military pilots develop professionally through specialist courses. Their military development is accomplished through sequential- progressive training. In this way, they fulfil the requirements for the promotion to a higher rank and can be appointed to higher command posts.
Detailed information about the cadet-military pilot programme is available at, via the official e-mail of the Croatian Air Forces, in the Personnel Management Centre (telephone number: 01/3784-636), and at, as well as in the regional offices and departments for defence affairs according to the candidates’ residence.