At the age of 17, he entered Purdue University with a U.S Navy scholarship. After two years, he was called to active duty with the Navy and who his jet wings at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. He was the youngest pilot in his squadron. He was only 20 years old. During the Korean War he flew 78 combat missions and then won three Air Medals. After all of that he then returned to Purdue. He wanted to complete a degree in aeronautical engineering. That was in 1955. He accepted a job with the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics in Cleveland, Ohio. Only a year later he married Janet Shearon.
He soon became a skilled test pilot and flew some of the early models of such jet aircraft as the F-100, F101 and F-104. Neil Armstrong was selected as one of the first there pilots of NACA for the x-15 rocket plane, and he made seven flights in the prototype spacecraft. He received an invitation from the American space-flight program but he really didn’t want to be an astronaut. His real love was piloting. In 1963 in projected Dynasoar was canceled. Neil decided to become an astronaut. So he applied for selection and training. Then in September of 1962 he became America’s first civilian astronaut and moved to Houston, Texas, to begin training. Neil Armstrong’s first flight assignment as an astronaut was as a backup command pilot for Gordon Cooper of the Gemini 5 mission. He continued his specific training on the Gemini spacecraft and was selected as the command pilot for