The BOT Guide was the go-to guide for active duty personnel to use to put together their application. The overall intent of this document is to give applicants ALL of the information they need to submit an application from starting the first paperwork to submitting it in SharePoint. On 19 Jan 17 the BOT guide was COMPLETELY overhauled. The intent of this post is to not reproduce the guide on my blog, but to point out the major changes of the process. It is YOUR responsibility as an applicant to become one with this document, live and breathe it, and use it to produce a finely polished final application.
Here are some things which stood out to me on my first review. Again, read the document for yourself because it goes into depth with how you should craft your application.
NOTE TO CIVILIAN APPLICANTS: Some of this will apply to you, and some of it won’t. Either way I would expect that you will see the applicable changes eventually trickle down from your recruiters. Email me if you have any specific questions or concerns.
1.2. OFFICER INTERSERVICE TRANSFERS Commissioned officers currently assigned to a Sister Service, the Reserves, or Guard who are interested in Active Duty as an Air Force Line Officer should visit the Air Force Contact Center Website for the latest in inter-service transfer information. They may also contact Recall/Inter-service Transfers: [REMOVED contact information – Email me or ping the Facebook Forum if you need this.]
I was never really sure how this worked before. Perhaps if this applies to you, you can do some of the application process without a recruiter (which I am sure may help a lot.)
1.3. OTHER COMPONENT ENLISTED MEMBERS Sister Service, Reserve, and Guard enlisted component members interested in applying for TFOT must apply through an Air Force Line Officer recruiter regardless of their current enlisted active duty status. Sister Service, Reserve, and Guard members can go to AirForce.com to locate the closest Line Officer recruiter.
Confirmation that you have to work through a recruiter if you are in this category.
1.4. BOARD SCHEDULE INFORMATION – The Board schedule is located on AFRS AF Portal page under “Apply for a Commission via TFIT/TFOT (Active Duty Enlisted Airman)” link. The Board schedule has firm application cut-off dates. All applications must be complete and in place with AFRS/RSOCL no later than (NLT) 1600 hour Central Standard Time (CST). An application submission link will be activated two weeks before the application cut-off date. Refer to the Board schedule for cutoff dates. The first 125 applications will be processed to meet the Board. The link will be deactivated once 25 records are received. Those submitted pass the 125 max will be pushed to the next available same type Board.
This is HUGE, and I don’t know how I feel about this. For the first AD board for example you need to be one of those first 125. If 25 make it through before the link is deactivated that means for the next AD board you have to be one of the first 100 to submit because the 25 were carried forward. The reason the staff did this is because of the overwhelming number of applications received each board. I personally think if you have put all of the work in to putting together an application you should have the privilege to be actually considered by the board. If they truly do kick back any applications after 125 I consider this extremely un-fair. It is leaving too much up to chance. ***NOTE*** Be sure to read the comment on the 125 limit at the bottom of this post.
***NOTE*** The 125 limit no longer applies.
1.6. BOARD SELECTION PROCESS – The TFOT selection Board is comprised of Air Force Colonels or Colonel (selects). There are 3 Colonels assigned per Board/subprogram. Each Board member will review and score each record on a scale of 1 to 10. The Board selection process is very competitive; therefore, it is important to pay close attention to details in all areas of the app-profile.
Key line, “therefore, it is important to pay close attention to details in all areas of the app-profile.” This reinforces my opinion that the Applicant Profile is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT document.
1.7. POST BOARD PROCESS
1.7.3. Reapplication – Applicants can only have one active application with AFRS at any given time. Each applicant can apply for up to three Boards, if eligible. If non-selected after the third Board, the applicant can reapply again after 12 months has transpired from the release date of the last Board.
Another big change. When I applied you had to wait six months between submissions but you could apply as many times as you wanted to. Then they removed the six month waiting period. Now you will just need to pay attention to your timeline if you are in this category.
Diagram 3.1 Applicant Profile Change
Rated/Non-Rated Preference (pick one of the following below by initialing)
______ I wish to be considered for both rated and non-rated, in the event that I am selected for both rated and non-rated, my preference is rated 1st and non-rated 2nd, if eligible.
______ I wish to be considered for both rated and non-rated, in the event that I am selected for both rated and non-rated, my preference is non-rated 1st and rated 2nd, if eligible.
______ I am only eligible or wish to be considered for non-rated only.
Now since the boards are separated by active duty vs. civilian instead of rated vs. nonrated you can now choose if you want to be considered for NR and Rated or only NR.
A final change I haven’t fully digested yet is the references to the AFSC target accession rates for each AFSC from the AFOCD, 31 Oct 16. This is the big AF perspective on what they want but I am unsure of how this affects how AFSCs are selected for OTS.
Hello, Man this blog is awesome! Just wanted to shout out that the XXth AF A1/CC paid a visit to our base. I asked about the 125 enlisted applicants and (paraphrasing here) he said The “Air Force is looking to get bigger… the intent is to increase the force with civilian applicants”. Meaning, the civilian side may not be limited to the 125. Possibly looking to pursuit priors into the other commissioning programs ROTC/Academy for longevity sakes. Maybe us old dudes don’t have enough longevity post OTS? Just my speculation.
Update 12 November 2017
The current TFOT Guide is dated 6 Feb 2017. I glanced at it and the only changes I saw on my brief review were updated questionnaire’s and another file within the guide. Please let me know if I missed anything and I’ll point it out in this post. I’ll do another post when the release the next revision.
EDIT 11/7/2017: Updated TFOT Guide Date and added the 12 Nov 17 comments.