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  1. #11
    Go_Blue
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Hi datboy,

    One area of OTS I'm not familiar with is the healthcare side. I do know the Air Force offers a Health Professionals Scholarship Program (HPSP) that allows for continuing medical education. As you're a college junior and haven't attended medical school yet, I'm not sure how the selection would work. I know medical professionals are evaluated for officer selection through Medical Service Corps Boards rather than the regular rated/non-rated selection boards. You would have to talk to an OTS or Healthcare recruiter in order to get the straight answer there, because unfortunately I don't know the answer. I bet Bunch could give you some great info.

    You would have to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). As far as the AFOQT goes, a 50 on any given section of the test is considered average. The score is based on percentiles, not percentage of what you got correct. Meaning, if you scored a 50, that means you scored better than 50% of the people who have taken the test. Some say there is no failing score, but in my experience anything under 20 is a real negative on the score set (I think 10 or below is "failing?"). For non-rated hopefuls like myself, I had to be sure to score high in the Academic Aptitude, Verbal, and Quantitative sections, with less emphasis on the Pilot and Navigator sections as I was not going for a flight career, though I happened to score well in those too. The boards this year have been competitive, and might get more competitive, though it's really difficult to say. Scores in the 80's and 90's are highlights to the package for sure; scores in the 70's and 60's are still good as they're still above "average," and scores below 50 are usually a weak spot. I've seen people get selected with high 90's across the board; and I've seen people with the same stats get non-selected as well, while people with scores in the 40's and 50's get picked up.

    It's for that reason that one has to understand that the AFOQT is important, but not the end-all, be-all of the OTS package. Solid AFOQT scores are a definite plus for sure. However, if your package contains strong leadership experience and skills, volunteering experience, solid academic history, etc, and really demonstrates your qualities as a person and a leader, you do stand a chance of selection even if the test scores aren't 99's. OTS applicants love to throw around the "whole person concept" regarding selection, and I believe it's true. Objective items in the package such as the AFOQT offer a standard by which to compare applicants, but the rest of the package can be just as important from a subjective point of view.

    It's not ridiculous to be thinking about the AF or asking your family about it. Just do a lot of research, talk to recruiters, and talk to those in the medical field if you can find them. You're off to the right start, good luck!

  2. #12
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Should I apply directly to OTS as a civilian? Would my chances of being accepted increase if I were to enlist in the Air Force, possibly excellling in whatever I do, then apply? I'm just not sure what the best route to take is. I want to be doing something now.

  3. #13
    Go_Blue
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Whatever the enlisted recruiters say, I am not convinced that enlisting first then applying to OTS increases your chances. I suppose with a low GPA, you might be able to make up for it with strong Enlisted Performance Reports (EPRs), but that's not a guarantee. I know a great enlisted candidate who had phenomenal test scores, EPRs, community involvement, and good character, but he didn't get picked up on this last board (low GPA and moral waivers). Also keep in mind that when they say "you can apply in one year," after enlisting, they mean one year on station at your permanent base. That's after BMT and your tech school. You need time to gain proficiency in whatever AFSC you're in, as well as build some EPRs and gain a rapport with your commanders. Don't expect that one year after shipping, wherever you are, that you'll get to put together an OTS package. As far as I know, that will not happen.

    Active Duty applicants follow a different application process than civilians. Because their performance records are reviewed, they are allowed only one letter of recommendation, and have to get their commander's endorsement. From the AD applicants I know, they had to jump through more hoops than civilians in order to even apply. The system tends to weed out the weak applicants before their package is even allowed to be submitted, so one can expect the quality of AD packages submitted to probably be pretty strong. But with my limited knowledge on AD OTS applications, that's just about all I'm comfortable saying.

    What you really need to ask yourself is: Would you be happy serving a four year enlistment? Because if OTS doesn't work out, that's what you would be doing. Even with OTS, you would be spending plenty of time enlisted, so please, do it because you want to, not because you think it's the only path to OTS. I know lots of great enlisted folk, and have the utmost respect for them. If you want to go enlisted because you would find it rewarding in and of itself, then by all means go for it. But do not simply assume that going enlisted first is going to get you into OTS. Again, AD applicants have a lot to go through in order to apply, and don't always enjoy an even selection rate with the civilians. I'd quote numerical estimates from my selection board, but it was a little scary, and probably not representative of your average situation.

    Like I've told other people: if you want OTS, then apply to OTS. I'm a civilian, and got picked up on my first board. I know other civilians that got picked up on their second or third try. If you are not age critical, then there's nothing saying that you can't keep applying to OTS until you get in. If you get close to the enlistment cut off age (27?) and feel that's an option you want to pursue, then do what you feel is best for you. If you're desperate to serve in any capacity, then enlisting is probably a good decision. Just be aware of the current recruiting climate (very selective due to the number of people trying to get in). And to be fair, the OTS process and wait for civilians is going to be a long one anyway. I'm not looking at shipping until August at the earliest (boo!).

  4. #14
    ringjamesa
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Quote Originally Posted by Go_Blue View Post
    Hi datboy,

    One area of OTS I'm not familiar with is the healthcare side. I do know the Air Force offers a Health Professionals Scholarship Program (HPSP) that allows for continuing medical education. As you're a college junior and haven't attended medical school yet, I'm not sure how the selection would work. I know medical professionals are evaluated for officer selection through Medical Service Corps Boards rather than the regular rated/non-rated selection boards. You would have to talk to an OTS or Healthcare recruiter in order to get the straight answer there, because unfortunately I don't know the answer. I bet Bunch could give you some great info.

    You would have to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). As far as the AFOQT goes, a 50 on any given section of the test is considered average. The score is based on percentiles, not percentage of what you got correct. Meaning, if you scored a 50, that means you scored better than 50% of the people who have taken the test. Some say there is no failing score, but in my experience anything under 20 is a real negative on the score set (I think 10 or below is "failing?"). For non-rated hopefuls like myself, I had to be sure to score high in the Academic Aptitude, Verbal, and Quantitative sections, with less emphasis on the Pilot and Navigator sections as I was not going for a flight career, though I happened to score well in those too. The boards this year have been competitive, and might get more competitive, though it's really difficult to say. Scores in the 80's and 90's are highlights to the package for sure; scores in the 70's and 60's are still good as they're still above "average," and scores below 50 are usually a weak spot. I've seen people get selected with high 90's across the board; and I've seen people with the same stats get non-selected as well, while people with scores in the 40's and 50's get picked up.

    It's for that reason that one has to understand that the AFOQT is important, but not the end-all, be-all of the OTS package. Solid AFOQT scores are a definite plus for sure. However, if your package contains strong leadership experience and skills, volunteering experience, solid academic history, etc, and really demonstrates your qualities as a person and a leader, you do stand a chance of selection even if the test scores aren't 99's. OTS applicants love to throw around the "whole person concept" regarding selection, and I believe it's true. Objective items in the package such as the AFOQT offer a standard by which to compare applicants, but the rest of the package can be just as important from a subjective point of view.

    It's not ridiculous to be thinking about the AF or asking your family about it. Just do a lot of research, talk to recruiters, and talk to those in the medical field if you can find them. You're off to the right start, good luck!
    Couple things. First off, Medical officers don't take the AFOQT (neither do chaplains or lawyers). Second, they all go to COT which is much shorter than the BOT that everyone else goes to...

  5. #15
    Go_Blue
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Quote Originally Posted by ringjamesa View Post
    Couple things. First off, Medical officers don't take the AFOQT (neither do chaplains or lawyers). Second, they all go to COT which is much shorter than the BOT that everyone else goes to...
    I know about COT (which was never even brought up anyway), but not about the GRE/GMAT instead of AFOQT for Medical Service Corps boards. My bad.

  6. #16
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Thank you this has been informative.

  7. #17
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chemist View Post
    Should I apply directly to OTS as a civilian? Would my chances of being accepted increase if I were to enlist in the Air Force, possibly excellling in whatever I do, then apply? I'm just not sure what the best route to take is. I want to be doing something now.
    If you want to be an Air Force officer then try the OTS route first, but you got to be honest with yourself and see if you are really there or if your package needs some polishing.

    If you need more "meat" before submitting your package as far as letter of recommendation, community involvement things of that nature you can go the enlisted route and do it or you can stay as a civilian an accomplishing it.

    Basically I tell my applicants that if they need a job and then dont think they have what it takes or dont pass the AFOQT with a least in a 50 in each of the 3 parts, then go enlisted.

    Like GO_BLUE also said if your AFOQT scores are not there or your GPA is either then enlisted would be a good option too so you can have more "meat" in your application that would compensate those factors

  8. #18
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Quote Originally Posted by datboy07 View Post
    First I would like to thank Go_Blue and Bunch for taking the time out to create and respond to the questions thus far, you have been highly helpful and I do appreciate it.

    My question is what scores do have to make on the test (can you tell you tell me the name of the tests I would have to take) in order to go in as an officer? Also can I become a doctor in the Air Force, as in can I still go to medical school and travel the world and help people? My main reason for the interest in the air force is I can help people in the medical way, and not only will it teach me to be more discipline but I know I will come out with more life lessons as in how to survive under pressure and anything else that you all are willing to teach me. I am a junior in college, biology major, with a 3.0. I have participated in many community service functions like: Aids Walk, St Jude Up Till Dawn, Campus Clean up, and volunteer at the local shelter helping little kids just to name a few. I also hold positions on campus like: member of the orientation guide corp. (check in committee), logistics chair for St Jude Up Till Dawn, Chief of Staff and Council of Chartered Organizations Rep. for Campus Activity Board and etc. My family has a lot of military people in it, but I wanted to ask you guys first before I go and ask them anything ridiculous, because proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance just thought I’d add that in there. Thank you for responding.
    I must admit that I dont know much about the Health Profession Recruiting becasue that is done by experienced recruiters that have been years in the career field. What I will do is that Im going to talk with our local HP Recruiter here and try to get you as much answer as I can.

  9. #19
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    If it is possible to recieve a personal email in response to my question I would prefer that. I have a few questions. I really want to become a pilot in the Air Force. I'm about to graduate College with a 3.2 GPA in Buiness Administration. I don't have previous flight hours, but am willing to get them if that is what it takes. I have huge community involvement (I'm the youth group leader at my church). I have perfect eye sight, great health, and have already begun to study for my AFOQT test.

    Can you please give me an idea of what my chances are for becoming a pilot in the Air Force? If I don't get a flight guarantee, can I work my way into flight school later upon comletion of OTS? Let me know your thoughts for they are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Kyle

  10. #20
    Go_Blue
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    Re: Tips on how to improve your chance of becoming an Air Force Officer

    Check your PMs!

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