I am a big picture person so I needed to understand the big picture of the application process before I could really dive in. Unfortunately, I had no-one to really help me out and I found it extremely overwhelming to figure it out myself. Hopefully this helps you like it would have helped me.
In general, this is what is required for the OTS application:
- Applicant Profile. Think of this as your resume. From what I have personally gathered, this is what the board actually sees so it needs to be perfect, and it needs to portray the message you want the board to hear about you.
- Letter of Recommendation. This is done by anyone in your chain of command but no higher than the senior rater (normally wing commander). I will do a separate post about this because there is a ton of information and misinformation out there about this.
- Complete AF Form 56, the formal application form. This is more of a formality than anything, but 100% accuracy is essential.
- Page 1 – personal information.
- Page 2 – aeronautical training, military service, legal/traffic violations.
- Page 3 – employment information and education.
- Page 4 – personal essay. A crucial part of your application.
- Page 5 – education records
- Page 6 – commander’s interview and recommendation page. This page will make or break you in my opinion.
- Interview with your commander. This can be either as formal or as informal as your commander desires.
- AFOQT. This is basically the ASVAB for officers. Take note the test was recently changed to a new revision (April 2015 I think).
- Bachelor’s degree!
- Medical clearance (AF Form 422). Your MDG has to clear you medically for commissioning.
- Local PIF Review (accomplished by your commander).
- Master PIF Review (accomplished by AFPC but requested by your commander).
- AAC 05 Update. This is an Assignment Limitation Code which simply tells AFPC that you have applied for OTS. This should not be done until very close to the application submission date.
Again, this is in general for all of the other big picture people out there. Read every line of the TFOT Guide for the nitty gritty.