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February 3, 2017

4

OTS Consolidated Help

by airforceotsguy
Morgan Higdon posted this in the “USAF OTS 1705” Facebook group (click here).  This is good info!  I posted this with his permission.

You can download the actual file if you are part of that Facebook group.  Click Here for the link.


Suggestions & Questions about Uniforms and Packing

  1. View this site and see how Zachary Ian packed his duffle bag (if using one of those instead of suit case); it may help: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1330569503637484/permalink/1518297878197978/
  2. How is everyone packing?  Some are bringing one duffel of personal items and civvies and a backpack with a laptop and some personal items. Some others are bringing a suitcase, garment bag, and a backpack.
  3. Is everyone planning to bring the “winter months” clothing requirements?  Some people are some people aren’t. Reporting instructions cite Oct-April for cold weather gear.
  4. Is anyone bringing a princess cut blues shirt, just in case?  Some said no, but if everyone has one eventually all females are able to wear them. Note: You can get these and tuck in like the original blues shirt (with usage of garters).
  5. Anyone find any quick tips or hints on rolling socks and shirts?  Shirts… Make sure when you turn over the bottom, do it at 3 inches, otherwise when you get to the end you will have to little or too much fabric. Read the OTS Manual…. It is specific.
  6. How many pairs of ABUs is everyone bringing?  The consensus was 3 pairs.
  7. Does anyone know about how OTS feels about vibram fingers? As far as I know (and from what I know from 2903) you can wear them. I do not ever recall reading in there that you cannot. I am active duty and there are always 1 or 2 people around the base who do in PT uniform.
  8. Suggestions:  Try to roll your shirts/socks prior to arrival. As well, it helps to zip lock like items together (for ease of packing/unpacking as well as keeping the roll “intact”.
  9. Suggestions:  Females- When we report in on the 29th, make sure you hair is good to go.  And by that I mean in bun (if it’s long enough) even though we’re going to be in civilian clothes.
  10. Suggestions:  Sew everything on prior to coming (excluding rank).  Also, clip and burn your strings.  This will save you a lot of time the first few days and make more time for cleaning/homework. 

Officer Training School Questions and TIPS

General Questions:
  1. Anyone hear any confirmation that OTS is going to be 2 weeks shorter or was that just a rumor?  Again, this is just a rumor. The course syllabus has not changed. This may be affective for FY18 but our current class will likely do the full 29 March – 02 June 2017 period.
  2. Does anyone know, or heard from grads, if you can wear calf compression, knee compression type devices during PT?  I’ve heard if they can’t see it under PT gear you are good.
  3. For those who wear steel toed boots everyday, are you planning on buying some non steel toes and breaking them in prior?  If so what kind?  Ordered the Nike boots.  Super light and comfy but not sure how durable they are.  Only wore them a few days but I have custom orthotics so I don’t usually have to break boots in.  They don’t come in steel toe though so not sure how much I’ll get to wear them after OTS. I have been told the under armor are nice also.  I don’t think you can go wrong with either.  I got a pair of rocky C4Ts
  4. Since the skill badge was mentioned in the clothing list, are you having them sewn on to your ABU tops along with your name tapes and USAF tapes?  Most people say yes.  Remember though, if you get wings, those always go on top.  Also, do not to sew on officer’s badge (unless same as enlisted) until completion of the course and/or tech school.
  5. Has anyone actually started to study?  Some have some have not.  If you are going to study anything, study the OTSMAN first.  It is higher on the priority list than the HAWK.
  6. Do you know what documents I need to bring to OTS to enroll in join spouse? Husband is AD and I know instructions to enroll civilian spouses in DEERS says to bring marriage/birth certificates.  I’m currently in DEERS if that matters.  Bring copy of original marriage/birth certificates and of his ID.

Helpful Links

From Prior Grads

  1. What time should I report in?  1500-ish is a good time.
  2. Comment:  USE THE CROSSWALKS WHEN GOING TO REPORT IN!
  3. How much luggage may I bring?  As much as you need (you do not have to carry your bags BMT style; you can roll your suitcase if needed).  If possible, leave blues items in the car.
  4. What should I wear to report in?  Khakis or nice pants, tucked in button up or collared shirt, belt, no watch or jewelry (other than a wedding band), tuck in your shoe laces.
  5. Comment to Prior Es:  Do not stand at attention when the instructors are lining us up after check-in.
  6. How much civilian attire should I pack?  What you arrive in will be okay for a few weeks (we won’t be wearing them) – If you have a car you might want a couple of outfits stashed there for phasing up
  7. The checklist says pajamas… any specific kind?  They suggest sleeping in PT gear.  There are times where instructors will come into the dorms and tell you to be outside in one minute and you cannot be in your civilian pajamas outside.  Also, they suggested not changing into PT gear right away after the duty day (wait until all instructors are gone), because they can call you outside at any moment and you would need to put your ABUs back on in less than a minute.
  8. For females, can we bring things like hair dryers, curling irons, make up?  Yes, and there is time to put make up on in the morning.
  9. Suggestion:  They highly suggest bringing your own pillow with a white pillow case.  I asked about a blanket and they suggested not bringing that because they don’t know where you would store it.  I asked because I am ALWAYS cold.  They said the AC is blasting all the time so bring a sweater to sleep in and/or the PT sweatshirt. 
  10. Should I have cash on hand?  Yes, like $20-40-ish
  11. Does the color of your undergarments matter?  No, no one cares about your bloomers. 
  12. Are prepositioned items provided upon arrival?  If you don’t already have them, they will take you down to the BX and make you buy everything then and there.  They suggest bringing those items with you (just one less thing to worry about)
  13. The dorm manual talks about having an attache for your computer. I’m assuming we can’t carry backpacks to put our laptops and other class items in?  No,  The attache must be uniform.  Purchase upon arrival.  The opening for large pocket is about 15″x12″.  The biggest issue is weight, that thing gets really freaking heavy while marching around.

From Prior Service (who have not yet attended)

  1. Do I need to pack my clothes they way they will be inspected?  No, plenty of time for rolling your socks there.
  2. Priority for graded items:
    1. Academics (SOBs)
    2. Research Papers
    3. Briefings
    4. OTSMAN
    5. Room inspection
    6. Drill and Ceremony
    7. HAWK
    8. PT
  3. A few suggested items:
    1. headphones,
    2. allergy/pain meds,
    3. scissors,
    4. MOLESKIN (they could not emphasize this enough),
    5. ABSOLUETLY NO SNACKS

From Prior Service (who have not yet attended)

  1. Does anyone know or have you heard anything about the weekend schedules during OTS?  Expect a Schedule along these lines (week 1):

Assignments/TDY

General Questions

  1. People who have base assignments, how well do those assignments match up with your requests?  Where are you going, and what was your first pick?  In general, people were not getting the assignments they requested.  A few got assignments that were on their list, but the majority did not.
  2. Did you get your assignment before your orders or did you see your assignment for the first time on your orders?  I got my orders three weeks after finding out about my assignment.

Career Field Specific Questions

  • (RPA specific) Any RPA guys have an assignment yet? I talked to Mr. Coleman yesterday and he said it should be soon.  Some have, some don’t.  We will just have to be patient on this one.
  • (21A Specific) Any word on AMOC yet and if the schedule is posted for the rest of FY17?  The Unit Training Manager will send you a rip once you are ready to go.  The assignments POC sent an email to my gaining CC saying that they do not have slots yet for AMOC for OTS (1705) graduates.
  • (21A Specific) Do you go to your first base first, and then go TDY to AMOC at Sheppard?  If so about how long until you actually leave to go TDY?  Yes; between 1 and 6 months after getting to your base.  It just depends.
  • (21A Specific) How is the command structure in Aircraft maintenance (i.e. who is over and under you)?  Very few officers; Squadron commander is normally your supervisor.  You may have a Capt or Major sitting as the Mnx Op’s Officer (to provide oversight just for the ops side of the house) but they won’t normally be your rater.  Your position will likely be a Flight Commander or AMU OIC.  You will have between 50-300 people under you.
  • (21A Specific) Is it difficult as a woman in the field?  And if you were in a different career field, is it hard to learn/adjust?  Not hard as a woman.  You have to have tough skin though; they are all normally respectful when I enter the area.
  • (21A Specific) Do we get to deploy/Do we deploy a lot? We get to deploy, but it depends on your Command.
  • (21A Specific) What seem to peoples favorite aircraft to work on/with?  Usually your first aircraft.
  • (21A Specific) Do you ever get to physically work with the aircraft or you just do the management of the people who do the work?  We are not signed off to work on the aircraft but you can go out when maintainers are working on the aircraft and learn what they do and maybe climb into whatever area the work is in, but we don’t do the physical work.  Just manage personnel issues, EPRs, and big picture guidance for mx practices, attend a lot of meetings in which we brief production and aircraft status.
  • (21A Specific) Is AMOC difficult for those who dont have mnx backgrounds?  It is an appropriate speed and if you have prior service it helps because you don’t have to learn AF stuff as well.
  • (21A Specific) Do we have to deal with a lot of disciplinary things?  Yes.  You tend to write a bit of apaperwork (normally LORs).  LOCs should be handled lower than your level and Article 15s are handled at CC level.  But your First Sergeants will have lots of examples so you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • (21A Specific) Do you recommend keeping anything from when you were enlisted (i.e. EPRs, resumes, etc.)?  Keep what you normally would if you were doing a PCS/PCA.
  • (21A Specific) Are officers in that Aircraft Mnx field mainly new accessions or do they come in through ROTC/OTS?  Mainly they are new AF Accessions, so you already will have a leg up on many people…
  • (21A Specific) What does a Deputy Maintenance Commander Recommend in this career field?  For my situation, I’ll be in for 10 years once I get settled at my first base and she was saying I need to do a remote ASAP after that.  It would be my first so it’s best to get it out of the way on your terms.  For you civilians, you really need to do a remote 1 year tour in your career.  Basically you are filling in a “checked box” to make Major later on. Example locations are Korea, Turkey or other places in the Gulf region.  Then after that you need to figure out what you want in your career.  If you wanna go far, you gotta get to bases that basically slay you and take you away from your family/deploy.  Or you can be with family and set yourself up to retire as a Major.
  • (21A Specific) This is a recommendation:  Just had a meeting with a 21A Capt and the biggest advice that he gave was that MX officers get beat up in meetings and not to push that beating to the Airmen.  There is some that will have to be trickled down but don’t take it out on them.  Take it on the chin and move on.  There are 3 main sections of MX, the Maintenance Ops (paperwork side), backshops (fuels, propulsion, off flightline stuff), and AMXS which is on flightline stuff.  Most of what the 21A’s do is briefings about status’ and parts on order and stuff like that.
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 3 2017

    Sir,

    I am from the West coast. If someone is approved for OTS, how does one get there? When I enlisted, they put all of us on a plane for Texas. Then they drove everyone by bus to Lackland AFB. I was just wondering if we have to travel to OTS on our own dime.

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  2. Feb 4 2017

    This would be a good question for the Facebook Forum but I believe you will have to pay for your trip to OTS out of pocket (with your own money). Once you show up there you will do a travel voucher and they will reimburse you a portion of the cost, but it takes time.

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  3. Anonymous
    Feb 7 2017

    They would have to pay for it and submit a travel voucher unless the member already has a Government Travel Card from CITI Bank (which their recruiter SHOULD BE helping them out with)! Hope that helped… TSgt Higdon (1705 Selectee – 21A Aircraft Maintenance Officer)

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  4. Feb 14 2017

    Thanks for the comment! I wasn't sure if civilians typically got a GTC or not.

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