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Posts from the ‘Application’ Category

18
Oct

AFI 36-2005, Officer Accessions, 2 Aug 17

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.

AFI36-2005_Age

  • 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.

AFI36-2005_AFOQT

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.

14
Oct

Civilian Application Resources

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.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zzimx9pm1g25gpc/AABRAXxXZ8DW_vVlZOMP18jHa?dl=0

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.

20
May

Civilian Select Example – 17OT01

This person was selected during the 17OT01 board for a Non-Rated slot.  This is his entire application with the exception of his personal statement, which he asked me to remove.  All PII has been removed and I have posted this with his permission.


Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_01Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_02Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_03Scanned DocumentNon-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_05Scanned DocumentNon-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_07Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_08Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_09Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_10Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_11Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_12Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_13Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_14Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_15Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_16Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_17Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_18Non-Rated-APP-redacted_Page_19

20
Apr

Civilian LOR/Personal Statement Example – 17OT02 Pilot Select

Here is another LOR and Personal Statement example submitted for your benefit.  I will call him Thomas Eaton, and he was a 17OT02 civilian pilot select.


 

 

 

 

18
Apr

Going from Non-Select to Select (From a 17OT02 Select)

This is one of my follower’s story in his own words.  He was a civilian select from the 17OT02 board.


Find a Google Drive here with tools and resources mentioned within this document: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByhsA4Q1GurkXzRuYXQ4XzAteFE?usp=sharing


BOT Profile – Going from non-select to select

It took 18 months to go from the time I started the process to become an officer to the time I was finally selected.  I applied to three different boards.  For the first I was a non-rated non-select.  For the second my recruiter messed something up and my packet never made it to the rated board.  For my third I was selected as a Civilian RPA Pilot.  Between boards I didn’t retake any of the tests, receive any more awards, or do anything super special.  The only two things that I did different was get six hours of flight time and pour over my BOT profile.  Here is what I learned and did.

First, for a reference, my scores (click for larger image):

I don’t mean to boast, but those are good scores.  But remember, I was not selected my first time.  You’ll hear about the “whole person” concept over and over.  Scores don’t mean everything; they are just a small portion of your whole packet.

I received feedback from many people about my first application.  The thing that was said the most was that I was too wordy, and didn’t say a lot with the words that I used.  There was too much fluff.  You can see that when you compare the “Career Achievements,” “Personal Achievements,” “Personal/Outside Interests,” and “Work Experience” portions of the application.  Remember that the board members are looking at hundreds of applications.  If yours is too wordy, they will just start glossing over it without really reading it.

When I revised my “Career Achievements” and “Personal Achievements” sections I made sure that every line was short and concise, and I packed as much into it as possible.  Luckily I was prior National Guard, so I had a few awards that I could put on there.  I also made sure it looked like I was constantly “achieving” something, no matter how big or small it was. There was not a year that went by where I didn’t have some kind of “Achievement.”

When it came to the “Work Experience” portion, I again was plagued with having too much fluff and not enough substance.  I had heard about the Air Force Tongue and Quill guide, and I decided that I was going to follow the bullet statement part of that perfectly for my work experience.  Bullet statements are like a math formula. It goes:

  • Action verb
  • Accomplishment
  • Connection
  • Impact Element

See Chapter 19 of The Tongue and Quill for full instructions.

Air Force e-Publishing Link:
http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/saf_cio_a6/publication/afh33-337/afh33-337.pdf

Since the formula for building bullet statements is the same, I made myself an Excel spreadsheet Bullet Builder tool.  You can find that tool in the Google Drive.  This tool built every single one of my bullets for my work experience.  I tried to make sure I had at least two per job.  The Tongue and Quill have a list of action verbs that can be used, so I borrowed directly from there.

Below is an example of before and after I used The Tongue and Quill:

After:
It just feels like the second example just has much more substance to it.


Personal Statement
The last major part of the application is the Personal Statement.  This is probably the most important part to the whole thing.  For my first application, I wrote it like I was writing a school essay; lots of fluff and little direction.  They ask for why you “desire” to become an officer.  I believe that is a trap.  They don’t necessarily care about your desires.  They care about what you are going to bring to the Air Force.
I read lots of personal statements between my applications, because I wanted to be as perfect as possible.  Some people rewrite what is in the achievement and work experience sections, just in an essay form.  I didn’t like this approach very much.  I wanted it to be more like a story with feeling.  If I could move the reader in some way, then I was tying an emotion to my application.  Positive emotion is good when trying to be memorable and get good ratings.  This is what I did:
First, I talked about why the military and why Air Force. There are lots of branches, why did I choose the Air Force.
Second, I wanted to show my leadership potential as early and often as I could in my personal statement.  I used examples of me leading as much as I could, even using the word “leadership” multiple times.
Third, I wanted to show that I embody the Air Force Core Values.  I found a guide called “The Little Blue Book” (find it in the Google Drive) that explained what every single value means to the Air Force.  Without looking too obvious, I hit on how I live each core value, and how they are a part of me.
This may not be a perfect way to write a personal statement, but it worked for me.
Lastly, this may go without saying, but proofread the crap out of the whole application.  Have others do the same.  Have your annoying grammar Nazi friend look at it.  It’ll help.  After all that, I still found a mistake after I had submitted my final application.
Conclusion
You can do this, I know you can.  I did.  Many others have too.  If you were a non-select before, getting selected later is so much sweeter, because you understand the pain of not being selected.  Good luck!
18
Apr

Civilian Applicant Profile/PS Example (17OT02 Pilot Select)

A follower submitted his application for your benefit.  He is a civilian pilot select from the 17OT02 board.

 

 

 

 

 

 
17
Mar

AFOQT Study Materials

I took the AFOQT a long time ago so I can’t personally vouch for any of these.  I did use a Barron’s book though for the S-version, along with almost every other book available at the base library.  Here are some inputs from the Facebook group that I thought I would consolidate and do a post with to make the information more readily available.  Don’t forget to check your base or maybe even local library for free resources you can borrow.

Here is a link to my other AFOQT posts (including this one)
http://journeytoairforceots.blogspot.com/search/label/AFOQT

Official AFOQT Page.  Use this to make sure you are studying for the right version of test.
http://access.afpc.af.mil/pcsmdmz/AFOQTPrepMaterials.html

Books (Facebook comments about the books are below the link)

Barron’s Military Flight Aptitude Tests
https://www.amazon.com/Barrons-Military-Flight-Aptitude-Tests/dp/0764145738

  • “Barron’s is great except the table reading is nothing like the actual test. Find the real table reading example from the air force site and skip Barron’s table reading.”

AFOQT Study Guide:  Test Prep and Practice Test Questions for the AFOQT Exam

  • “That’s the one I used. It really helped my verbal score, but I don’t think the math problems were as diverse. But then again, I just suck at math. Haha”
  • “Yes, the verbal part was key. I ended up getting a 96 in that section — I definitely attribute that to the study guide.”
  • “Lowest score was an 84, highest 96. I ran through all the practice questions a few times and brushed up on algebra.”
  • “Have Barron’s as well, it’s very thorough. And it clearly explains both practice tests.”
“I ordered the official GRE books, Peterson’s master the officer candidate test 9th edition, Barron’s military flight aptitude test, Nelnetsolutions.com and the pictured book. I used as much resources as possible!”
25
Jan

TFOT Guide 19 Jan 17

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.

“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.

Comment from “AFEnlistedtoOfficer””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.”

Click Here for my post (with links) to the new TFOT Guide

7
Jan

Blog Follower "Samantha Jackson’s" Letter of Recommendation

One of my followers sent me her application for your benefit, I’ll call her Samantha Jackson.  She was an active duty SrA and this was her first time applying.  She was selected during rated board 16OT04.

She was nervous because of her low GPA and AFOQT scores but she was selected regardless!

Here is her Applicant Profile and Personal Statement.
Click Here

 

7
Jan

Blog Follower "Samantha Jackson’s" Applicant Profile, Personal Statement

One of my followers sent me her application for your benefit, I’ll call her Samantha Jackson.  She was an active duty SrA and this was her first time applying.  She was selected during rated board 16OT04.

She was nervous because of her low GPA and AFOQT scores but she was selected regardless!

Here is her Letter of Recommendation.
Click Here