Air Force Journey

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

TFOT Guide

Application Overview, PDF Packets

NOTE:  This post references the BOT Guide from 2015, but the information should still have value.

When I was putting together my application I completely overlooked this attachment until about three days before the application deadline.  Every time I would read this attachment I assumed it was meant for those who could not use SharePoint and would instead have to email their application to AFRS.  My error almost prevented me submitting in time, and in turn, could have prevented me from being selected for my board (15OT02).  In my opinion this should be the first attachment of the BOT guide because it provides a general overview of what is required for the application.

The gist of the current application process (as of 15OT02) is as follows:

The entire application is consolidated into what AFRS calls “packets”.  Their terminology causes a lot of confusion for some, but it essentially means placing all of the required documents in a pile and scanning them into one PDF file.  There are of course more high tech ways of doing this, but that is the general idea.

The number of packets will vary from applicant to applicant, but AD applicants will have a minimum of three and no more than seven.  I used four (three mandatory plus award source).  The packet names are as follows:

  • Board Application (mandatory)
  • EPR (mandatory)
  • Waiver Document (as required)
  • Source Document (mandatory)
  • Award Source Document (as required)
  • Prior Service (as required)
  • ALO Addendum (as required)
Board Application

In my opinion this is THE MOST IMPORTANT PACKET.  I have no inside knowledge of the board process other than what I have heard, but my personal perception of the process is that the board reviews all information presented to them by the staff.  The staff will either download or print your entire application and prepare the application for the board.  When the board is doing their thing, they will review your record, give you a rating, and move on.

The reason I think this is the most important packet is because I think this packet is the core source of the board’s information.  In fact, I personally believe the board does not even see any other packets unless they specifically request for them.  This is why I believe the most important document of your application is your OTS Applicant Profile, because you are essentially translating your record into a format which is most easily processed by the board.  I will do a separate post on the OTS Applicant Profile.

This packet contains the following documents:

  • OTS Applicant Profile
  • Page 6 of the AF56 (commander’s page)
  • Letter of Recommendation

If my theory is correct, do you see why I believe those documents are the most important?  Equally important is how you present those documents within the packet itself.


I used Adobe Pro to combine all of my EPRs into one document.  The BOT guide stated to order them from most current on top to [oldest] on bottom.

Source Document Packet

Here is what my BOT guide told me to include, and what I actually did.

  • Questionnaire 1 – deleted instructions and used actual digitally signed files).
  • Questionnaire 2 – same as above
  • AFOQT web printout – used the web site provided to download my scores a few days before submission.
  • ABM web printout – I was a non-rated applicant so almost omitted this one, BUT DO NOT OVERLOOK IT!  Go to the web site and plug in your AFOQT information and the web site will provide you with the document.  Applicants who overlooked this for the 15OT02 NR board were contacted by AFRS and asked to send it in.
  • PCSM web printout – I did not use this.
  • Transcripts – I received a PDF transcript from my college and used that.  Be careful because mine was so full of security features it almost added 10 mb to the file size.  I did some techie magic to shrink it back down to normal.
  • AF FM 56 – I scanned the entire document.  Scanned because mine had wet signatures/initials.
  • PPL/CPL – NA for me.
  • vMPF Data Verification Brief – PDF’d a few days before submission.  Now called Career Data Brief.
  • vMPF Record Review Update – PDF’dda few days before submission.
  • Commander’s Master PF/LPIF w/ AFPC response – Included.  I did not include the letter from my commander requesting the Master PF review (as stated in the BOT guide).
  • AF FM 422 – as downloaded from AF Portal.
  • Rated Age Critical – NA for me.
  • Approved Weather Officer – NA for me.
  • ALO Addendum – NA for me.
Award Source Document Packet
  • The guide says only to include those not in EPRs and I complied with one exception.
  • I have a AF Achievement Medal that did not make it into my EPR and I think it significantly added to my application, so I uploaded it.  Because I uploaded one, I uploaded all (one other AFAM and two AFCMs).
  • I had a few other awards/recognition’s which did not make it into my EPRs (Wing USR of the Quarter and BMT Most Outstanding Airman) so I went ahead and scanned those as well.
  • Some people on the forums did a memorandum stating what all was included and why, but I did not.  Two reasons:
    • Time was short.
    • I did not think it was worth the effort because I didn’t think the board would look at it.
The other packets

That was it for me.  I did not use any other packets, I only submitted four.

Other considerations

So what exactly do you do with these packets?  I looked at each packet as a task to be completed prior to submission.  The EPR and award packets were easy so I did them and didn’t review them again until the end.  I used the other two to maintain the big picture on what I needed to work on.

The final page of Attachment 9 tells you exactly how to name the packet file.  Don’t be an idiot like me, 1234 on the example is the last four of your SSN.  I almost messed that up.

Mine were named:

  • “LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME 1234 app.pdf”
  • “LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME 1234 award.pdf”
  • “LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME 1234 srce.pdf”

One last comment I have is about the PDF quality of your documents.  Regardless of if the board reviews digitally or by paper, the document you provide will be reviewed at the quality (or below) of the document you submit.  For example, if you scan a clean document but your scanner adds smudges, the board will see smudges.  Due to this I used the Lexus of scanners to create my packets.  This is also why I used a lot of actual PDF files and patched them together with Adobe Pro.

On the note of quality, I also used Adobe Pro to ensure my LOR and OTS Applicant Profile were searchable.  I don’t know if it contributed anything but it is something I thought about and took time to do.

Source:  BOT Guide 26 JUN 14 C3 22 DEC 2014


  1. This was INCREDIBLY helpful!! However, I still have one question: the “Commander's Master PF/LPIF w/ AFPC response.” I have no idea what that is and my commander doesn't either. Where do I find that?

  2. For me it was in the BOT guide. Here is my post on it. Let me know if this doesn't answer your question.

  3. Was there a comment in your Attachment 9 that said, “Ensure all documents are clear and legible. All documents should be signed and dated at the bottom of each page?” This was in comment form on the Word Doc, and the highlighted area was on the word “Profile” on the highlighted portion “TFOT Applicant Profile” at the bottom of the first page. The wording seems to point to needing to sign and date the bottom of EVERY PAGE in the package… however, if that is not the case (since the comment was centered on the app profile), and they only want us to sign and date the bottom of every page of the Applicant Profile… the issue NOW is they still have the “Applicant's Initials” footer. So do we initial, sign and date? Just initial and date? Do we delete the “Applicant's Initials” and just sign and date?
    I have forwarded this question up to my Ed Serv office and she has funneled it up to OA… but no response. Now, a week before submission and all I'm waiting on is the answer. If I am needing to sign and date the bottom of every single page on every document (as the comment said) then this basically forces scanning for everything – which is fine. But signing and dating the LOR, official transcripts, other signed Memos…. seems a bit strange.

  4. On my Applicant Profile I had to initial each page of the Applicant Profile only, and sign/date the last page. After looking at the comment in the new Attachment 9, because it is on the “TFOT APPLICANT PROFILE” heading I personally think they mean only sign and date the bottom of each page of the applicant profile. I personally believe they meant to say initial each page like the footer shows but since they specified sign and date so I would do it. I personally would sign/date in small print on all pages, still initial the footer, and sign/date the last page like it shows.

    The comment isn't on the 'packet' section of Attachment 9 so I wouldn't worry about signing/dating the rest of the application (56, LOR, etc.)

  5. Anonymous

    REALLLLLY HELPFULL!!!!!! My question is what is the email address used to contact Randolph for the Master PF review?

  6. Anonymous

    I have a question. So I am currently serving a short tour overseas. My DEROS is coming up within the next 3 months. The results of this board release in Dec. My question is how do I go about getting a DEROS/RNLTD extension? Is that the correct next step? I have a friend who was here with me that just left for OTS and all they did was have their leadership contact their gaining unit and request a late reporting until after the board results came out. They then kept the email traffic just incase. While that sounds good, I don't feel like that is the correct way and I do not want to lose my assignment in case I don't get picked up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. I don't have it in front of my noe, but I believe the email address for AFPC is in the attachment which talks about the PIF review. There were instructions which told the commander what to do and the email was included there. Do you see that? If not email me.

  8. Do you have an assignment yet? You shouldn't have one or get one because of the ALC 05. So your DEROS is Nov but results in Dec? If you don't have an assignment you shouldn't have to do anything with your RNLTD, because you don't have one yet. The problem with requesting a DEROS extension is that you don't really know how far to extend it.

    A RNLTD extension is usually done by memorandum approved by gaining unit, but DEROS extensions have to go to the MAJCOM I think. That is something you would work through the orderly room or with your Chief, depending on the situation.

    So you said you have an assignment? What is your RNLTD? I'm sure you know you may lose an OTS slot if you PCS because it messes with the commissioning requirements.

  9. Anonymous

    Yes I have an assignment. I came to my current short tour with a follow on. My DEROS is Nov and my RNLTD is Dec 12. I don't think I need a DEROS ext. I think I just need an RNLTD extension. Yes I was also told not to PCS until after the results. AAre these all accurate?

  10. Yes you wouldn't need a DEROS extension as long as you leave in Nov. If you don't leave in Nov from what I understand you would need an extension. When I was overseas we had to leave the month of our DEROS.

    Your situation is unique enough that you need to call the AFRS staff (Rose). If you get picked up your assignment will be cancelled and you will need to remain in place until your orders to OTS go through. In this case you will likely go to the earliest OTS class. If you aren't picked up you will PCS as usual and will not be able to reapply until you meet TOS requirements. The gray area will be if results are pushed past your departure date then PCSing could make you lose the OTS slot. The AFRS staff needs to have situational awareness of your case so they can keep this all in mind as the board results unfold. They will also think of the things I may be missing.

  11. Anonymous

    What is the contact information for Rose over at AFRS? And thank you for the fast responses.

  12. I don't have it on me and won't be able to log on by CAC for a few hours. I can't remember for sure but I think it is on the SharePoint somewhere. There should be a contact info list or tab, or on the front page. I'll look as well when I get back to the house.

  13. Anonymous


  14. What's a good email contact for you?

  15. It's also at the top of my blog, but!

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