One of the governing regulations for commissioning in the Air Force is Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2005, Officer Accessions. The latest version of this instruction was published on 2 August 2017.
I haven’t read the document in it’s entirety, but so far I have two comments regarding the latest release.
- THE MAXIMUM AGE WAS CHANGED TO 40! Previously, applicants had to be between the ages of 18 – 34. Now the maximum age has been changed to 40.
- AFOQT – I have been hearing rumors that they are going to add a score requirement of a combined Quantitative/Verbal score (For example, 150), but haven’t seen anything official. Per this AFI, the requirement appears unchanged. I am anxious to see the next TFOT guide.
All Air Force Instructions can be found at the Air Force E-Publishing web site. Click Here for the link and use the search box to find the AFI you want.
Click Here for the direct link to AFI 36-2005.
FY18 Officer Selection Boards — UPDATES!!Published: Wed, Oct 11, 2017
THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED ON: 27Sep 2017, 1344 CDT
18OT02 – Hot! Medical Assignment Limitation Code waiver process has been established and is in effect immediately. The following paragraph will be entered in the next TFOT Guide revision in waiver chapter.
ALC C-X code waiver request process. If an applicant is rendered not qualified on his AF FM 422 for AF commissioning, applicant can submit a letter requesting an ALC C-1, C-2, or C-3 waiver review by AETC/SGPS. The letter must include full name, last four of SSAN, justification for waiver consideration and be endorsed by at least the Sq/CC. Applicant will then forward the letter to org box email@example.com. AETC/SG will respond back to the member with a letter indicating their disposition of the waiver. If waiver is approved applicant will take letter to the MTF to have an AF Form 422 amended indicating final AETC/SG disposition. Applicant will then include copy of AF FM 422 with approved waiver in source packet to be submitted with application.
17OT05 Active Duty Applicant Officer Selection Board
– 17OT05 PSDM 17-63 is now posted on myPers; click here to view (FOUO).
– If selected Go to https://cs2.eis.af.mil/sites/11470/4%20%20Active%20Duty%20Selection%20Instructions/Forms/AllItems.aspx to get Manual Active Duty Selection Instructions and form to fill out. Email form to AFRS.RSOCL.firstname.lastname@example.org .
– 17OT05 non-select applications will not rollover to FY18 boards.
Officer Selection Boards are subject to be cancelled once our accessions targets are meet.
Here are the results from the 17OT05 Active Duty Board. The board convened in August 2017, results were released on 15 Sep 2017.
- 461 Active Duty considered
- 129 Active Duty selected
- 28% selection rate
Click Here for the press release which includes the names of those selected.
Click Here for a link to all press releases on my blog.
Here are a few comments from at OTS cadet who was still in training. I second the remark about getting out what you put into OTS. The OTS curriculum and staff can only do so much for you, at some point you need to apply what you learn and grow and develop into the type of officer you want to be.
- The academics are not difficult but the exams are scenario based questions. If you know Bloom Taxonomy, be prepared to go beyond the first level (remember) and into the understand or higher level.
- You get what you put into OTS. If you come here with the attitude that you already know how to be a leader, you will find this place a waste of time and I sincerely hope none of you come with that attitude. I’m halfway through and feel I have learned TONS about decision-making and leadership. Yes there are things here that I don’t agree with and that’s part of the learning process. There will be priors and non-priors who think they have it all figured out. Do yourself a favor put your ego and pride to the side and you will get plenty out of the experience.
- Come here fit. Don’t rely on getting time here to workout. You will PT and you will get chances to workout after SMT (the scheduled duty day) but you’d be amazed how many people come here not able to meet standards. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far and my strength has gone down since I don’t workout as much as I used to back home. Trust me I try.
- You will spend the next 8-9 weeks with your flight so don’t burn bridges and try your best to get along with everyone. Even if you have differences in opinions (and trust me you will), these are the people you will be around 24/7. Life will either be great (because you are all experiencing the same stuff) or will be horrible for you based on how you and your flight act with each other.
- You are going to do peer feedback about halfway through the course. This is MANDATORY and be prepared to hear the truth about what your flightmates think of you. Be open-minded to the feedback and don’t take anything personal. Learn from each other and become better.
- Think about the things you respect and desire in a leader and work your way to those positive qualities. Learn patience with decisions and with your surroundings. You may not agree with certain things in OTS and that will be the same when you work anywhere else. How you adapt and how you handle the environment is up to you. You can either be a part of the solution or the problem.
- Remember why you’re here. Remember there are people who didn’t and couldn’t make it. YOU were selected to serve as an officer in the greatest Air Force in the world. Prove to everyone why you are here and become the leader that everyone knows you can be. Be something more than you were yesterday.
This was posted in one of the OTS class Facebook groups. Posted with permission. I could be wrong but this sounds like a Det 12 experience to me.
Check-in was from 1200-1600. I arrived at 1430. Show up with your laces and shirt tucked in. The MTIs and the Squadron Commanders were all there to “greet” us. They were pretty intense. Just remember your customs and courtesies and to move with a sense of urgency. Different MTIs grabbed groups of people and started instructing them outside the dorms on the basics of customs/courtesies and marching. Then, we went inside to grab our welcome packets, which had our room assignments on them. Once I got my packet, I went outside, grabbed my luggage and went to my room. After dropping off my stuff, we formed up on the other side of the dorms to march over to the OTS shoppette. From that point on, you will always have your HAWK and OTSMAN on you at all times. So while we were waiting for enough people to form up outside, we were standing there reading our OTSMAN. Then, we marched over to the shoppette, where everyone grabbed any uniform items they didn’t bring, toiletries, and items on the pre-positioned list. Take your time in there because otherwise you will be standing outside for a long time waiting for everyone in your group to be done. Then we marched back to the dorms, where the MTIs did not give us any direction on what to do besides go to our rooms, so people sat in their rooms doing nothing for hours and hours waiting for some kind of instruction. What you should do is unpack your luggage and start setting up your room according to the dorm manual. You will have an MRE to eat in your dorm for dinner, and you should be allowed a 15 minute phone call to let people know your address and that you are fine. It is a long day of waiting around not knowing what to do or what’s coming next. Then, the MTIs should hold a meeting with the whole class before lights out that evening.
The whole first week was a lot of standing around, getting yelled at, and learning how to march. My feet had never hurt so bad in my life. Everybody’s feet were killing them. Make sure you have Dr. Scholl’s inserts in your boots, and make sure you wear comfortable shoes the first day in your civvies.
The second day, we immediately started wearing ABUs. As priors, you will have to help your roommate get dressed because most likely, they have no idea what they are doing. They woke us up at 0430 on the dot by yelling and banging on doors. It’s not as crazy as BMT, and they won’t make you do push-ups/sit-ups/etc. or yell in your face. They also will not embarrass you or single you out. You will know who is in your flight right away because your rooms are all next to each other. There are 16 people to a flight, 4 flights per squadron, 4 squadrons per wing (the wing is the whole class). It will be a mix of priors/non-priors, ANG, and Reserve. You will be with your Flight all the time, so make good relationships with those people. You will also have to stratify each other, and report the top 3 and bottom 3 flight members to your Flight CC every week (I was not a fan of this).
Our first week was TFIT, which they got rid of now. TFIT consisted of learning to march and proper procedures for everything at OTS. Now that will just be integrated into TFOT, so you will be learning all of that at the same time you are starting classes and in-processing. We didn’t meet our Flight Commanders until TFOT started the next week. However, you might be meeting them right away now. Your Flight Commander will be yours for the duration of your time at OTS and he/she will most likely be a Captain, possibly a 1st Lt. He/She will be instructing you in your Flight Room, and you will have combined lectures with your whole class in the auditoriums as well.
Lights On is at 0430 everyday, no earlier than that. If you need to wake up a little early, do it quietly and with the lights off. Lights Out is at 2300 every night, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay up that late. You can go to bed whenever you want. You will have late nights a lot in the beginning trying to get prepared and everything, but it will lighten up and get easier as time goes on. It’s really hard to stay awake during lectures, so a lot of people had cough drops and mints to help keep them awake.
The first couple weeks are pretty rough, but it starts getting so much better by week 3. The staff stops yelling at you, and they go to just being stern when needed. Then, as your class phases up throughout the course, they will start being nice to you. But you have to always remember to not get complacent and not start slacking. Our class phased up earlier than most because we were able to be professional and self-sufficient with our cadet chain-of-command. They won’t phase you up if they have to constantly babysit and correct you.
We took our first PT test during the second week. This is a baseline test. It doesn’t count as your official score, but there was talk about letting it count, so people don’t have to worry about getting injured later and getting sent home for injuries. So it is possible that this test may officially count for you. We didn’t have any PT up to this test, so make sure you come prepared to pass. There were a few people sent home because of failures on the baseline test. Throughout the course, there is not much PT, and the PT is very short and weak. Don’t expect to be physically challenged. There were many people who complained about not having enough PT and getting out of shape there. Well, I have to disagree with that. I got into the best shape of my life there because I worked out every evening. By the end of the course, I increased my PT score by 7 points and had my best run time yet. Don’t rely on their PT program. Make time for yourself to workout in the evenings. You will have access to everything on the OTS campus once you get Phase I, which is pretty quickly. There is a gym, a quarter-mile track, the “paper clip” track (this is a 1.5 mile track in the shape of a paper clip, and this is the track you will test on), and volleyball courts outside. There will be a few early formation runs that are 2-3 miles long, but you stop along the way to do exercises. The longest run was 6 miles, but again you make a lot of stops along the way to do exercises (this was the prop & wings run, which you do about halfway throughout the course).
Leadership Exercises and Challenges
My favorite parts of OTS were all the leadership exercises and challenges: BELPS, LRC, EMLEX, AEF. I also really enjoyed combatives. We did combatives for a week first thing in the morning somewhere in the middle of the course. I would have liked to have a lot more of it. BELPS was out in the woods with different leadership challenges for each person in the group. It was fun, and it was basically a precursor to LRC. LRC is graded, and you do it toward the end of the course. It consists of leadership challenges for each person in the group as well. There are a lot of challenges with pools of water. I got soaked, but not everybody does. I fell in the water. It was pretty funny. EMLEX is an emergency exercise meant more for the ANG members. It is only fun if you are one of the role-players, who play local victims of the disaster. AEF was 3 days out in the woods. Everybody has a job out there, except for the people who get to play Elysians (the locals). There were about 20 of us picked by OTS leadership to be Elysians. As Elysians, we really didn’t have any rules, and got to just have fun running wild and messing with both sides (everyone else was split into two teams according to Squadrons, and they had to run FOBs and had missions and whatnot).
There are two academic tests throughout the course. They are multiple choice, and the second one is not comprehensive; it just covers the second half of academics. Whoever the academic leader is in your Flight should be helping with study guides, practice tests, games, etc. to help everyone in the flight pass. You will also have two papers and two briefings. Your briefings will mirror your papers. One is an informative briefing/background paper on a country or an aircraft, and one is an advocacy briefing/persuasive paper on a topic that has to do with the Air Force. You will also be tested on the whole OTSMAN and aircraft in the HAWK (this test doesn’t count toward your academic grade, it just goes toward consideration for DG – same goes for your PT scores and your dorm inspection). The official graded dorm inspection is toward the end of the course, but keep your dorm inspection-ready at all times because the MTIs and your Flight CC will randomly check your rooms throughout the course.
The other graded part of your time there is your graded leadership position. Every person will get one sooner or later. Each flight member will have an additional duty, however, it only counts as a graded position if you are the Wing POC for that additional duty. The only additional duty position that is graded in your flight is the War-gaming/Intel POC. This person has to give a briefing each week to the flight on important news for that week. They also have to lead the simulated war-gaming exercise, which is a few hours one day toward the end of the course on laptops in a classroom. They were also talking about making the Academic POC a graded leadership position because it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. This was my additional duty. I made study plans, study guides, practice tests, trivia games, had to make sure everybody was good to go for the tests, made sure study time was used efficiently, etc.
The other positions consisted of:
- Drill & Ceremonies POC – helps the flight with marching, prepping for drill/ceremonies, holds tryouts and chooses people for key personnel positions for the graduation ceremony.
- Grad Week POC – compiles information on grad week guests and DVs for the flight, helps coordinate commissioning ceremony.
- Awards Banquet POC – part of planning committee for the awards banquet.
- EMLEX POC – helps coordinate EMLEX.
- BELPS POC – helps coordinate BELPS.
- LRC POC – helps coordinate LRC.
- UDM – conducts pre-deployment training and pre-BELPS training, which includes teaching navigation, pace-counting, maneuvers, challenging procedures; also preps flight for AEF and conducts a bag-drop to make sure everyone has what they need for the “deployment.”
- Safety POC – reports any mishaps/injuries or safety issues in the flight.
- PTL – helps lead flight PT; may also be appointed a Squadron PTL, who leads their Squadron at Wing PT; helps people who are struggling.
- Mail POC – gets mail from the distribution center each week and delivers mail to their flight members.
- Logistics POC – makes sure everyone has what they need as far as mandatory items that you will need for various things/events throughout the course; gets MREs for everyone; passes out and keeps accountability of hard and soft cadet ranks for flight members
- Chaplain POC – coordinates with the Chaplain on morale events (weekly coffee socials and anything they would like to get the class to do together).
- Computer POC – handles computer issues in the classroom.
- Audio/Visual POC – takes pictures and videos throughout the course to compile for our class video at the end of the course.
The graded leadership positions that count, besides Wargaming/Intel POC and Wing POC for any of the additional duties, are the cadet leadership positions like Flight CC, Squadron CC, Group CC, Wing CC, and a couple other positions up there. The only time you will volunteer for a position like this might be the first week. After that, the OTS officers will choose the leaders for each week. They will most likely choose someone they trust to set a good tone in the beginning. Then, they might proceed to choose people who really need to be thrown into a leadership position in order to come out of their shell or people who are just struggling in different areas. If you don’t get one of these leadership positions, you will get one at EMLEX or AEF in order to fulfill your graded leadership position obligation.
Dining Facility – This was probably the worst part of each day. It’s definitely not as bad as BMT though. There’s no snake pit and they don’t hover over you and yell at you. You also get 10 minutes to eat. However, you do have to stand at attention and sidestep through the line, but you can grab whatever you want, and there are tons of desserts if you’re into that. You will not be able to grab coffee or consume caffeine at all until you are in Phase II. There are specific procedures for how to sit down, eat, and clean up/leave the table, so just read the OTSMAN on that. It will make sense once you actually do it in person. As far as the food, I thought it was terrible. Some people actually enjoyed it. I really think it contributed to my weight loss at OTS because I just really did not like the food, so I did not eat that much until we got Phase III and were allowed off the OTS campus on weekends (Phase IV is when you can go off base in civvies and you can leave the OTS campus after dinner on weekdays – if you get this phase, it will most likely be during the last week. It depends on your class. Our class got it earlier than that. Other classes never even got it.)
- Always do the right thing. They are watching even if you think they aren’t around. Sometimes they pop out of nowhere. There are also cameras everywhere.
- Do not stress out or be super nervous going into this. You will do great, and it is WAY easier and different than I was anticipating. There is a reason you were selected, and those qualities are what’s going to get you through it. Just think of it as another PME.
- Make friends with your flight members. Do things together (volleyball, bowling, going out to eat).
- Study for your tests and pay attention to detail when doing your papers/briefings. It’s not fun if you fail one of those, have to redo it, and meet with OTS leadership about it.
- Remember that at the end of it, you all are going to be 2d Lts. Cadet rank is not real. Treat others with dignity and respect.
- Get to know the OTS staff, including the MTIs. You’re stuck with them for 8 weeks, and they are people too.
- Don’t try to go for DG or any other awards. Be yourself, and just worry about graduating.
- Help out your roommate. If your roommate is failing, then you are failing as a roommate. However, do not carry others through the course. There is a point where personal accountability and individual effort is important.
- Participate. As priors, you have a lot of experience, often more experience than your Flight CCs, so share what you know and help the non-priors in your class.
- Don’t be overbearing or micromanaging. Do your best to be a great leader, but remember that your classmates are adults, and everyone there is smart and is there for a reason.
- Take risks. There is a lot of gray area in the OTSMAN and throughout OTS. There is a reason for that. They expect good leaders to take risks and make decisions.
- Be creative and think outside the box. There are different ways to do things and you will not be told how to do everything at OTS.
- Go with the flow. The MTIs and Flight CCs might contradict themselves or each other. It’s okay. This is what happens in a training environment, and what matters is how you handle those situations.
I have had a rough time over the past few months. I have been working a lot of hours so this all probably boils down to working too much and getting burned out, but it has caused me to reflect on a lot of issues which have newly manifested since I commissioned. As I have said in other posts, I am a Christian and this post will contain many of my own personal beliefs. If my beliefs offend you, feel free to tune out now.
Daniel 6: The Plot Against Daniel
My pastor recently preached a message from Daniel 6, and in my Bible it is titled The Plot Against Daniel. Lately, I feel like everyone around me is plotting against someone else. We have a billion Lieutenants in my squadron and everyone is constantly moving around to different positions. If someone is slotted for a position they don’t want, someone is probably plotting to get that person back to where they want them to be. Sometimes it is the person, sometimes it is the person’s supervisor, or sometimes it is someone else with a vested interest. For me personally, it is exhausting. I have witnessed first-hand what some people will do to get what they want. I have also witnessed what back-stabbing can look like, and it disgusts me. The purpose of this post is not to dissuade you from joining the Air Force or the 13S career field, it is to give you an idea of what you can expect once you join. In my opinion stuff like this is a reality and will never go away, but knowing what to expect and how to deal with it can be the key to maintaining a positive attitude and making it through unscathed. Also note this may look very different in the 13S career field vs. other career fields.
Daniel 6: 1-3: Excellence
6 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
This is the third or fourth time in the past few months that I have seen references to the Air Force Core Values in the Bible. “An excellent spirit” was in Daniel, and that caused him to stand out among his peers. Daniel 1-5 tells us the story of how Daniel was taken from his home and how he became a top adviser to King Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar of Babylon. Now that Babylon had fallen, Daniel was placed in a position of authority once again for the new kingdom under King Darius.
I don’t think it was an accident that Daniel continued to be recognized through different regime changes. There was something about Daniel that caused him to be successful and respected by multiple rulers. How many Obama Administration advisers are still employed at the White House under President Trump? I believe Daniel was good at what he did. I believe he was intelligent, wise, and loyal to his beliefs. I believe he lived his life and tried to be excellent in all that he did, and he was recognized for doing so.
Daniel 6: 4-5: Integrity
4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
One area I have been struggling with is finding my identity as an officer vs. a NCO or SNCO. After the first 18 months I decided to stick with what I was good at which was keeping my head low and doing my job well. That was my strategy for the previous 10 years and it always served me well, I was eventually recognized for my work and commissioning through OTS just fell into place. However, minor differences with being an officer have really thrown me off. For example, I always just kept a few close personal friends and kept everyone else at arms-length. Professionally I knew and related to everyone, but off-duty I focused more on my family and those few close friends. As a TSgt this worked out because there were never very many other NCOs who wanted to hang out. Now, there are a billion other Lieutenants in my squadron so I find myself being invited to tons of social gatherings. Now that I have started my masters, I have even less time to maintain relationships with more people. This all may sound very silly, but it marks a fairly large change in my life, and the lives of my family.
Another change is the political posturing that everyone is doing right now. I never worried about what my next job would be because my supervisors always set up my path for me. As an officer this is still the case for my own career, but now I have to start thinking about my subordinates. If I want them to succeed I have to play the game on their behalf. I didn’t realize this before, but I would say about 80% of an officers path is set up by their superiors. This percentage is much higher than I initially expected. If a young Lieutenant has missed an opportunity, it is likely because his or her superior didn’t get involved in the politics early enough, or didn’t work with the right people.
The fact that the governors and satraps could find no charge or fault in Daniel speaks volumes about Daniels integrity to his own beliefs. As an officer I have realized I need to maintain integrity not only to my own beliefs, but to who I am. Just because I am invited to a social event doesn’t mean I have to attend. If attending it isn’t ‘me’, then I should stay true to who I really am and do what ‘I’ want to do. Similarly, sometimes how I play the political game doesn’t feel like ‘me’ doing what I would normally do, so I should do it my way. Unfortunately, it isn’t as black and white as this. As an officer I am being molded into something new so the definition of ‘me’ is changing. So how in the world am I supposed to stay true to who I am? To be honest, I have no idea. I hope to blog about this as I figure it out. As of now I plan to start by staying true to my beliefs and trying to consider in advance who I want to be. Hopefully by starting there I can maintain control of the type of officer I become.
Daniel 6: 10: Confidence
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
One thing that was drilled into me since Day 1 of OTS was the word confidence. No matter what you did as a cadet, they were looking for you to do it with confidence. If you had no idea what you were doing, it wasn’t quite as bad (most of the time) if you did it with confidence. The expression “fake it till you make it” comes to mind. I haven’t fully explored how this looks as an officer, but off the top of my head I think there is value in being a confident leader, but it is more important to know what you are doing. In the post I did about my “18 Month Update,” Click Here, I talk about how in my opinion we as Lieutenants should spend as much time as possible building up a foundation of operator knowledge. Confidence is obtained through this knowledge, and at the end of the day you will be a much better leader if you can have true confidence vs. faked confidence. There will be times where you will need to blindly charge ahead with confidence, but in my opinion that time should not occur while we are Company Grade Officers.
Despite the targeted training and cliche of confidence, I have found becoming an officer has actually shaken my own personal confidence. As a TSgt I had a lot of time to get comfortable, become an expert, and become extremely good at it. Everything moved slower because there was no major rush for us to move on to the next thing. Through this stability, by the time I had to make decisions I 100% knew what I was doing. There was no shaking my confidence because I had the experience to make well informed decisions and stand by them. As a 13S my job is constantly changing. I start crew as an operator then there are rumors that I may move, but no-one will tell me where. Finally I get a quasi official notification that I will switch flights and do a different job, but no-body can tell me when. After it is all sorted out and I am trained the slot I’m supposed to fill is suddenly critically manned, and I needed to be certified two weeks ago. Even if you are on the more routine path of an operator, things move fast. You are expected to be an expert from Day 1 and be ready for the next thing a week later. If you aren’t, you are behind the power curve. It is easy for me as a prior enlisted officer, but I don’t know how anyone else without that foundation of experience can truly keep up.
On a more personal note, it is hard to explain how this lack of stability affects my confidence. I think some of it is my personality because I am a person of routine and order. Taking away that may seem minor, but not having a minor thing you are accustomed to can start you off limping. It just shakes me up a little bit before I even get started, which causes me to take longer to get comfortable. More practically, my stress level is elevated. I am sometimes more distracted when around my family the day before I go back to work. I have never had a problem with my temper before, but now there are times when I slightly lose my cool. I have always been very methodical and careful about how I choose my words, but now I often find myself regretting minor things I say.
Another thing which messes me up is with my trust of those I work with. I am an extremely good judge of character so once I know you, I know if you are someone I can trust. While I was enlisted once I knew my coworkers that trust never had to change, it was very black and white based on the person. Either you were one of the good ones that I trusted, or you weren’t. As an officer, the political piece plays a larger role. It is much more difficult to have a blanket list of people you trust, or people you don’t. Now there are people you can trust with certain things but can’t trust with other things. Now there may be someone that you can trust outside of work and you can be best buddies with, but at work you have to watch yourself because they may stab you in the back. Some people you may think you can trust, but later they will reveal more cards and you aren’t so sure. This all makes life very exhausting. It shakes my confidence because if there is something that needs to get done, you aren’t always sure who you can go to for help. Sometimes you have to go to people you don’t really trust, then you have to think through the implications. I am getting good at this game, but I hate that I have to play it.
Tying it all Together
The reason this passage spoke to me is because Daniel thought he could trust the king. The king liked Daniel, and he was so impressed with Daniel’s work that he put him in charge of the entire kingdom. After his jealous co-workers out-maneuvered him and spoke to the king behind his back, he was required to either betray his beliefs and rituals of his faith or face certain death. Despite being out-maneuvered he didn’t despair, he confidently faced reality and accepted certain death by boldly and confidently continuing to pray. The rest of Daniel 6 (verses 18-28) explains how God miraculously saves Daniel in the lion’s den and how Daniel continued to prosper.
I am pretty exhausted at the moment, and the new environment of officership is shaking what I used to rely on; the consistency and routine of life. Now that I am continuously being pushed past my limits, I am forced to fall back on whatever I have left which is who I am: my faith and my family. For me, falling back on my faith means re-calibrating my routines. I can no longer ignore the fact that I need to set aside personal time of prayer and reflection with God reading His word and reflecting on what He is telling me to do. Through that new routine I will find the strength to continue on this journey of officership and with leading my family through life. I am truly grateful that I am being asked to grow in this way.
A follower wrote this up for me. Let me know if you have anything to add and I will either add it to this post or create a new post.
In order to slightly shorten the length of OTS, the WINGS course was introduced. The WINGS course is essentially made up of prerequisite work that must be completed, and is used to get the cadet ready for OTS. Upon receiving a class letter, a cadet will receive log in information to their WINGS portal through the Holm Center. Within this portal are many useful pieces of information to prepare a cadet for OTS, including the OTSMAN and the HAWK, as well as Reporting Instructions and a Physical Training Guidance, which essentially gives a run down of the exact PT that will be done at OTS. Also included are several in-processing documents, which will need to be printed and filled out prior to attending OTS. These are mainly questionnaires that need some basic information, or just documents that need signed saying “I agree”. One very informative document hidden in this section is the Line Accessions Base Availability Listing. This document provides cadets with information regarding what base they could go to as determined by their AFSC.
The prerequisite work itself is fairly easy, just time consuming. It consists of a combination of readings, slideshows, and videos on various topics. The work the cadet will be going through involves learning about effective communication and leadership, dress code, and the history of the air force and airpower. The cadet will also be familiarized with what will be expected of them, in terms of how they represent the Air Force and to take pride in the position they will be holding. Throughout all of this, there is a note taker, and the cadet is expected to take notes on the material. The note taker is more of a fill in the blank, and 95% of the blanks are fairly obvious within the readings and slides. There is said to be a test upon arriving at Maxwell AFB on the WINGS material, so taking notes is extremely important in order to review it all, as there is a lot of information.
As the course is still new, there are still various issues. A lot of cadets were having problems with logging into the site, as it was down fairly often. I only experienced one time where I could not get the site to load, but once I cleared my browser cookies I was fine (which they suggest doing). They also give warning when the site will be down for any sort of maintenance, so a cadet can prepare ahead of time. The website will also track the cadets progress, and a certificate is rewarded at the end of the program that must be printed and saved as proof of completion. Unfortunately, the site itself can be slightly tricky to find documents, and takes a bit of getting used to. The biggest problem I personally encountered was every time I clicked to view course material, it sent me to a page that did not have my course material on it. I would have to close out of that, and click on course material again before it would finally load the correct page.
– Civilian Select, Slotted for TFOT Class 18-02, Authored September 2017
Here are some additional comments followers from the Facebook group wanted to add:
Two things. First, if you’re using chrome as your browser, you can set up a separate “user” browser. There are specific steps that they give you to set up your browser so things work the smoothest. If you set up a separate user (I called mine “Air Force”) like they suggest, things work much better. I suggest doing this so your regular browsing doesn’t mess with their site, and you don’t have to clear cookies every time you want to log in.
Second, there’s a note on the site currently that says that the course material is being reworked. And anyone going after the OT03 and OT04 classes will have different material, which should be ready the middle of January. So, you can familiarize yourself with the material, but any work done before the new stuff gets pushed out won’t count to completing the course.
The new course should roll out in November. There are slight changes in some of the sample of behaviors. Not to many drastic changes. The biggest change is that the prerequisite course web base training will now include the real test inside the material and there may even be a challenge test to test out of it. This will eliminate taking a test at OTS on the prerequisite course material.
One of my followers sent me a link to a dropbox account his recruiter set up to help applicants with the application process. It includes PDFs of the files needed for the process and another PDF with instructions on how to fill out the forms. These may not be the same forms your recruiter will want you to use, but least of all it could give you some awareness of what the application process looks like on the civilian side.
Again, this is NOT my site. You ultimately need to talk to YOUR RECRUITER, and use whatever documents he or she gives you. This is for situational awareness only.
Back in the day when you went TDY the front office or orderly room would help you fill out the orders form and it would get wet signed by whoever needed to sign it. Sometime between then and now the Department of Defense transitioned to a universal system called Defense Travel System. Instead of getting hard copy orders and walking them around your squadron for signatures, you have to log in and create your orders online.
Instead of getting out a type writer and manually entering all of the information for your orders on the form, you are logging in and creating your orders by using the DTS tools to state your itinerary, travel and lodging costs, and funding source. There are pros and cons to this system. The major pro is that you get paid much quicker after your travel is complete.
I don’t feel like doing a full tutorial now but one problem everyone seems to have is printing your orders in the DD Form 1610 format. By default, your printed orders look like this:
This format has all of the information you need and is indeed a print-out of your orders. As long as you have a “AUTH NO” in line 2) your orders are approved. However, this is not the traditional format people are used to seeing. In order to print out your orders in the traditional format follow the following steps.
Log in to DTS
Here is the link to DTS. You can also find it in Air Force Portal:
Change Form Preferences
Once logged in, go to “Traveler Setup/Form Preferences.”
Change Authorizations, Cash Advance, and Voucher to “Govt + Form.” Click the “Save Form Defaults” button at the bottom.
View Your Travel Orders
Return to the home page and go to Office Travel/Authorizations/Orders:
Select View/Edit for your trip, then select “Print”
If your settings saved correctly you should now see a DD Form 1610 populated with your trip information.
You should be good to go now! Again just make sure all of your information on the form is correct.
Out of 402 civilian applicants, 109 were selected to become Air Force officers. That is a selection rate of 27% which I personally consider a low selection rate. This year there were a ton applicants so all Fiscal Year quotas were filled by the first two out of seven boards. 17OT04 and 17OT05 should have fairly low selection rates and it should reset for next Fiscal Year.
Click Here for the official Air Force press release.