Air Force Journey

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

13S Career Field

13S/1C6X1 Space Operations Career Field

My overall long term goal for future posts is to 1) gather real inputs from Airmen (enlisted and officer) in ANY career field who can provide the no-BS what is it like to do this job.  I would love to be able to post this information on my blog to give people a good starting point for choosing the path for their career.

Secondly, I would like to dive deep into how to become a successful officer once you completely make the switch from enlisted to officer, or civilian to officer.  Things like second assignments, ADP, career vectoring, PME like SOS or ACSC, promotions, politics, etc., are all topics I plan to cover in depth.  Please let me know if you support this plan and I will begin making posts once I actually figure this stuff out for my own.

When I was scouring the internet for information when I applied I discovered this was not a lot of information out there about OTS, and especially about the 13S career field.  I somehow dug up this posting on reddit which provided me with an outstanding breakdown of what the 13S/1C6X1 career field is like (officer/enlisted AFSC, respectively).  Now that I am fully immersed in the career field, fully certified, and intimately familiar with my mission, I can now personally vouch that this is good info.

Here is the reddit post from SilentD.

My own personal updates to this post:

Returning to School

In the past, operators would return to Vandenberg AFB, CA after every assignment to train on their new system.  Now, initial 13S and 1C6X1 tech school is still at Vandenberg but once you complete initial tech school you aren’t required to return.  The initial tech school is called Officer Undergraduate Space Training (OUST) and Enlisted Undergraduate Space Training (EUST).  I am not 100% sure about what the current 1C6 timeline is, but for 13S tech school is still only a TDY meaning you will PCS to your first base then attend OUST as a TDY.  OUST is just shy of three months long.

After you complete OUST/EUST, you will return to your base and complete more specific system training there.  This training is considered Initial Qualification Training (IQT) or Mission Qualification Training (MQT) depending on where you are at.  This training will be an additional 3-9 months depending on what unit you are at or what your system is.  After you are fully certified you will begin working crew.

Here are my other posts about the 13S Tech School.


  1. Ryan McCourry

    I’m not doing OTS but I am in ROTC and I am very interested in being a Space Operations Officer. I followed the link in your post and it was very informative but I am still curious about the different routs I could take being a Space Operations Officer. Like I know the basic gist of what the career field entails but are there different jobs/ career paths you go into once you are selected to commission as a Space Operations Officer.

    • airforceotsguy

      Sure I’ll do a post for you as a response.

    • airforceotsguy

      Hey Ryan I just did a general post but assume you are looking for a little more. What specifically are you interested in so I can guide my posts the right direction?

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