Air Force Journey

Sharing my journey through Air Force Officer Training School (OTS) and beyond.

00. Start Here

Basic OTS Eligibility (Part 3 of 3)

If you think OTS is the right path for you, you are in the right place.  The next two things you should think about is if you are actually eligible to become an officer through OTS.  Here is a basic list of criteria for applying to the program and becoming an officer.  NOTE:  This is general information and not necessarily the most current guidance in effect.  Be sure you verify all requirements with the AFRS staff or your recruiter.

  • Be between 18 and 34 years of age 39 years of age.  Age limit raised to 39!
  • Have a bachelor’s degree
  • Meet minimum AFOQT scores (currently 10 on quantitative/15 verbal)
  • Meet minimum GPA requirements (currently 2.5 for rated/non-rated, no minimum GPA for technical programs)

Here are a list of non-waiverable requirements:

  • U.S. citizen and do not hold dual citizenship
  • Recommendation from your permanent unit commander for a commission
  • Eligible for enlistment IAW applicable AFIs (see Questionnaire 1 for more details)
  • Not being considered for involuntary discharge
  • Not being under investigation for court-martial or civil court
  • Not being on a control roster
  • (Non-rated/non-flying) Able to graduate, meet a board and enter BOT and commission prior to 35
  • (Rated/flying) Able to graduate, meet a board and enter BOT prior to the age of 29 and one month of age.
  • Eligible for personnel security clearance
  • Not being a conscientious objector who has reservations about the Oath of Office
  • World-wide medically qualified without waivers to the fitness standards
  • Meet tattoo standards as outlined in AFI 36-2903
  • Never be convicted of a felony sexual assault, felony or disdemeanor crime of domestic violence

Here are a list of potentially waiverable requirements:

  • Moral disqualifications (Article 15, law violations, financial bankruptcy/delinquent bills)
  • Civil suit or criminal charges filed or pending
  • Selected for retraining / assignment
  • Currently attending a retraining course leading to award of an Air Force specialty
  • Currently serving overseas and have not served more than 1/2 of your current OS tour
  • Currently serving stateside, on a controlled tour, or entered active duty service commitment and have not completed 1 year TOS
  • Currently serving OS and are within 9 months of your DEROS
  • Less than 1 year of continuous active service in the Air Force as of commissioning program board convening date
  • Ever held a commission as an officer or warrant officer in a regular or reserve component of the Armed Forces
  • Ever been previously disenrolled from an officer training program
  • Obtained enrollment in another commissioning program (ROTC and OTS/OCS)
  • No drug or alcohol abuse problems
  • Member of an ANG or reserve component
  • Previously applied and withdrew application, or previous waiver disapproval
  • Selected by USAFR to attend OTS
  • Previously declined commission selection, or was involuntarily withdrawn
  • Currently serving as on of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
  • Received IEB/SRB and have not served at least half of the term of enlistment
  • Meet minimum AFOQT/GPA scores
  • (Rated) Minimum PCSM score of 10 pilot/RPA programs
  • (Rated) Are you age 28 or older on the board convening date and can you complete the boarding process and enter a BOT class prior to age 29 and one month?
  • (Non-rated) Are you age 33 or older on the board convening date and can complete the board process, enter BOT and commission prior to age 35
  • Are you non-native English speaking applicant (potentially disqualifying)
  • Finance Responsibility – Filed or declared bankrupt, had bills turned over to collection agency, had a repossession in the past 5 years, intentionally written bad checks, debt ratio that exceeds 40 percent.
  • 180 days transpired since final disposition of previous application (as of 14 Apr 16 180 day wait period no longer in effect)

If you meet all requirements to apply, the next step is to determine what board you want to apply for.  Refer to the “Schedules” tag at the top for the applicable Fiscal Year (FY).  Here is a breakdown of the different types of boards:

  • Active Duty – This board is for Active Duty Air Force personnel.  Within the Active Duty board you can apply for both rated and non-rated positions, as long as you meet the criteria.
  • Civilian – Civilians, prior military who separated, or enlisted in other branches apply in the Civilian boards.  Within the civilian board you can also apply for both rated or non-rated positions, as long as you meet criteria.
Next Step

Determine which board you are interested in and take a look at the schedule.  Once you determine your timeline it is time to dive into my “Application” pages.  Next, I recommend you take a look at the “TFOT Guide” posts.  Good luck!  Shoot me an email or post a comment if you have any questions.


  1. Is it true that people who are rated, especially pilots, are held in higher regard than those in non-rated? Also, how are promotions like for officers in comparison to enlisted? A captain I spoke with said the promotion rates to major and lieutenant colonels are above 50%. For 3D0X2, Tsgt is the major hill to get over with a promotion rate of 35%+.

  2. I haven't spent much time around pilots but in general, the entire AF revolves around the pilots. The operators are the ones who are actually doing the mission and everyone else is there to support them. The reason the fuel truck is on the flightline is because the pilots needs fuel to fly their A/C. The reason the cops are out there is so the pilots can have their planes ready to go whenever they need them.

    Yes, promotion rates are higher but it is important that officers don't focus on promotion. The worst thing an officer can do is become a 'careerist' who conveys the message to everyone else that all they care about is promoting. The unofficial way it works is everyone basically makes Capt, and as long as you can do your job well you can make Maj. In most cases the truly great leaders are the ones who are allowed to promote to O-5 and O-6. One other thing about officer promotions is you only get one shot. If you miss your shot at that rank you will never make that rank.

  3. I am putting in for a Rated slot in hopes of becoming a pilot. If I get selected, will I be told if I got my first choice (pilot) or just accepted in general. I am curious about this because if I do not get a pilot slot I want to deny the acceptance (if that's even possible) and go for a non rated position. Can I do that?

  4. Yes, if selected you will be told what AFSC you were selected for. I strongly recommend against denying the acceptance though because I believe if you do so you are ineligible to apply again. At least, this is how it works for Active Duty but it may also apply to civilians (not sure). See Table 1.1, rule 30, of AFI 36-2013:

    If you are selected I recommend going forward with training for whatever slot you are chosen. If for some reason you can't make it through training rated slots are often reclassed to nonrated slots anyway.

  5. Anonymous

    Concerning the non waiverable requirements. When it says to not be considered for separation or be on a control roster, that's within the whole Airman's career? Ex. If Airman is on a control roster and is removed from said roster after the time suspension and years down the road, they won't be able to apply for OTS because of their track record?

  6. The newest TFOT guide says “Are you on a control roster?” I think this means if you are currently on a control roster you aren't eligible to apply. If you had one in the past but it is gone, I think you can apply but it will still show up on your Master PIF. “Are you on a control roster? (Ref: AFI 36-2606, being on a
    control roster makes you ineligible for reenlistment)” Ref. TFOT Guide Quesstionnaire 1, rule 6.

  7. Anonymous

    sir please tell me when i requiered to show my degree

    • I’m not sure I understand your question. Your degree will be considered as part of your application. You will have to submit your transcripts with the application itself.

  8. Former Enlisted

    Just had a quick question that you may be able to decipher.

    I was selected for an Army ROTC scholarship when I graduated high school but, I declined it in lieu of enlisting in the United States Army. So I never enrolled in any school relating to ROTC nor did I ever apply to US Air Force in any capacity. Do these requirements fall onto me since it was not air force related? Namely these bullet points.

    If they do, what is thought of an application that lists it as a declination?
    Previously declined commission selection, or was involuntarily withdrawn
    Obtained enrollment in another commissioning program (ROTC and OTS/OCS)
    Ever been previously disenrolled from an officer training program
    Previously applied and withdrew application, or previous waiver disapproval

    • airforceotsguy

      That’s a tough one, I think I would defer to a recruiter on that one. I am leaning toward since you just turned down a scholarship you are okay, but it’s hard for me to say for sure. Here is the exact verbiage. Look up the actual AFIs by google searching “af epubs”

      Have you been disenrolled from an officer training program as defined in AF 36‐2012, Record of Disenrollment from Officer Candidate ‐ Type Training? (Ref: AFI 36‐2013, Table 1.1., Rule 17)

      Are you a USAFA or AFROTC disenrollee serving as a USAF Reserve Airman based on involuntary call to EAD, and have not served one‐half of your term of enlistment? (Ref:rences AFI 36‐2002, A2.1.18; AFI 36‐2013, Table 1.1. Rule 17; AFRSI 36‐2001, Rules 32, 35; AFI 36‐2012.)

      Have you obtained enrollment in another commissioning program (ROTC or OTS/OCS)? (Refer to AFRSI 36‐2001, Table 1.1, rule 34.)

      Have you previously applied for a commmission and requested withdrawal of your application; or had a waiver request disapproved? AFI 36‐2013, Table 1.1, Rule 27; A TFOT applicant may not reapply for a period of 12 months from the date of final disposition; or the date of the withdrawal request; or date of the disapproval of a waiver request.

      Have you been previously selected for a commission, declined selection; or selection was involuntarily withdrawn? AFI 36‐2013, Table 1.1, Rule 30. A TFOT selectee may not reapply for a period of 12 months from the date of their declination or selection withdrawal.

      • Former Enlisted

        Thats my logic in that I never enrolled so, I was never eliminated nor disenrolled which is the verbiage of the AFI. I just wanted to get a 2nd opinion before stating something that may not even be an issue.

        Thank you again.

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