More timeless advice posted by HiFlyer on 27 Mar 15 on the airforceots forum. I can’t find the original post otherwise I would link it.
Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:50 pm Post subject:
Found it: Here’s a post-board summary of the scoring process and some comments by one senior officer (from several years ago but still valid):
Board Score. A candidate’s board score, based on the Whole Person
Concept, was composed of three factors:
a. Education/Aptitude: Degree area of study, GPA, advanced degrees,
technical training, AFOQT score.
b. Experience: Employment, level of responsibility, letters of reference,
community and volunteer involvement, and athletics.
c. Potential/Adaptability: Evaluation of interviewing officer, personal
experiences, communication skills, and law violations/involvement.
3. Resume. Candidates need to ensure that all of their “goodness” is
captured in their resume. Board members scored around a hundred records per day; a member might have 5-7 minutes to consider a record. For Active Duty Airmen , include BTZ promotions, BMT Honor Graduate, technical training honors, and ALS and NCOA honors.
4. AF Form 56, Page 6, Section III, Interview.
a. Treat the Interview as if it is a promotion recommendation . As with the
resume, the interviewer should capture all key nuggets from LORs, record , etc.
b. Some white space in Block K is OK, but a lot is a negative indicator; it
is especially inconsistent if the candidate’s Evaluation Factors are
“firewalled .” For a quality applicant, Block K should have a minimum amount of white space.
c. Board members found stratification, even “negative” stratification, VERY
helpful (#3/13, #3 of 3 EE, middle third, top 25%, bottom 50%, etc.), as are
comments such as “do not recommend selection .” Stratification is OK for CGO interviewers (it is assumed that they are speaking for the RCS commander), but is better if documented in Section IV by the commander (removes any doubt).
d. If candidate is interviewed by other than RCS commander, recommend that
Section IV contain comments, even if interviewer is an FGO, especially if
interviewed by other than RCS personnel. Again, for a candidate interviewed by someone outside of a recruiting squadron, adding stratification comments in Section IV is very helpful to the board.
5. Letters of Reference.
a. Variety: A package is stronger if LORs are from a variety of sources
(e.g. school, employer, coach, former military member). If all are from college
professors/high school teachers, they generally fail to provide an adequate view of the applicant’s capabilities.
b. Quantity: Civilian packages with the minimum three LORs, unless they are
strong, paints a picture that the applicant didn’t try hard enough.
c. Active/Retired Veteran: One or more LORs from current or former service
members tend to be helpful.
d. Highlighting Accomplishments/Attributes: Letters where the author bolded
key words/phrases help paint a better picture for the board.
e. Active Duty Applicants: The one LOR allowed for an active duty applicant
is generally more compelling if from an 0-6 or FO/GO/SES. Also, there is little
value added if interviewer is also the LOR author.
f. Poor LORs: LORs are of little value if they do not cite any accomplishments or virtues or if they give a weak recommendation to select the applicant. LORs
where it is clear that the author does NOT know the applicant (e .g. U.S. Senator for one of his/her constituents) are likewise not helpful.
a. Applicant firewalled in Evaluation Factors, but Block K comments are
lackluster, and/or there is no stratification. Example of seemingly lackluster comments:”great potential” … “solid candidate” … “select”.
b. Strange: Block K comments with pen and ink changes (e.g. “Outstanding”
struck out, “Excellent” written over it); provides a negative image (perhaps
Hope this helps. This is the text from the feedback memo from the board.
This is GREAT feedback. All applicants should review this if you are considering submitting an application.
Applicant’s leadership needs to do a better job of screening applicants before submitting to the board. Competition is extremely tough and candidates with mark downs, no awards, no stratifications, low GPAs, and lackluster push from their command chain does not work out well for the individual and lessens the credibility of the endorser’s signature.
Encourage truthful feedback to ensure applicant understands the likelihood of selection. If the member is not competitive for the upper tier of our enlisted corps, why would he or she be competitive for the officer corps. The college degree is only the invitation to apply but proven leadership, performance and potential makes the applicant highly competitive.
Board members spent too much time doing the commander’s or supervisor’s job. That took away from truly assessing our best and brightest.
- Make the tough call at your level. This is a very competitive board. Applicants with mark downs on EPRs, little/no achievements or awards will not fare well. If the member is not competitive, give them feedback on why you will not submit them. Don’t take the easy road out.
- If you are taking the time to submit an applicant, stratify them on the Form 56. “My #1 OTS/BOT applicant” is nebulous comment to the board (Do you have only one applicant?). If they would not receive a stratification within rank in your squadron, why should they be an officer in our Air Force?
- The words you use on a Form 56 or Endorsement Letter matter to the board just like they would on an EPR or OPR. Don’t confuse the message with poorly chosen words.
- Ensure applicants are capturing their significant achievements in the package or on the Form 56. Several times, I found NCOYs or Amn OTY awards in the EPRs which were not listed earlier on. Leave no chance of a significant award being missed.
Commanders need to do a better job of screening applicants prior to submission. The competition is fierce! Help your Airman understand the environment and please don’t pass mediocre records to the board. Develop your Airman through thoughtful feedback.
Not everyone with a degree should be an officer. The applicant should d SQ/CC recommendations are great and certainly you need the SQ/CC endorsement BUT if this is the #1 Amn in the Wing, then it should be easy to get the Wing/CCs endorsement.
Stratification is important in the memos. IF you send 5 letters from a Wing then please tell us your #1/5 through your #5/5. Recommend all forms 56 go through the SQ/CC and endorsed by the first O-6 in the chain of command.
Recommend getting the highest recommendation letter for the applicant. Not all should go to the Wing/CC or GO but those that should will resonate with the board. Suggest brevity in the letter of recommendation. NO more than 1 page.