Air Force OTS Requirements & Application Process

In this video, I’m going to go over what you can expect for the OTS application process timeline and the specific requirements needed to meet the board civilian version. This video is part of my OTS commissioning series, where we go over things you need to think about prior to contacting a recruiter, all the way to when you graduate OTS. And. All right, let’s start off with the preliminaries of things you need to think about before you even apply. As I talked about in my other videos, these are requirements that are set up by federal law and Air Force regulation before you even consider a commission.

You have to be a us citizen between the ages of 18 and in most cases, 39. You can’t be a conscientious objector. You have to meet certain height and weight requirements, you have to have a bachelor’s degree, and you have to be of high moral character. All right, real quickly, let’s go over the difference between OTS, which is what you’re applying for ROTC, and the Air Force Academy. So in OTS, it is the shorter by far of all three programs.

Right now it’s about nine and a half weeks, I think, but it’s been anywhere from eight to twelve weeks in length for that training. Whereas opposed to the Air Force Academy and ROTC, you’re looking at four years at least for both of those institutions. You can think of OTS as kind of the valve that the Air Force turns on and off, depending on how many Air Force officers they need or if they’re getting too many from the academy and ROTC. So with that in mind, usually there are two boards per year, but in some cases they won’t hold any, and in other cases they may up that. Now, the competitiveness of OTS is a complicated topic and it depends on a lot of factors.

I would say that definitely if we’re ranking competitiveness of the three, ROTC is going to be at the bottom. And then depending on the year and what you’re actually going in for, OTS or Air Force Academy might be at the top. They are totally separate and different. But like I said before, sometimes there’s no boards, so you have a 0% chance of getting to OTS. So that’s as competitive as it gets, I guess.

And some years there are much more officers produced than the Air Force academy. So it depends on the year. It depends on if you’re going rated non rated, if you’re active duty right now or civilian. A lot of things go into that. I’ll make another video on that.

Subject. Now, I like to talk about two expectations you need to have before going in. One is the timeline, so you can expect at least a year from recruiter contact to graduating ots and in most cases, much longer, three, four plus years. It depends on how bad you want to commission, what your age is and what type of job you’re looking to go into and whether you can get a waiver for it or not. So on the back end, it could be a very long time, but for the most part, takes people around 18 months to two years.

That was my experience. It took me two years from recruiter contact until I graduated OTS. And the second thing I want to talk about, as far as expectation goes, is your recruiter. So if you’re a civilian and you go to an active duty recruiter, they’re more than likely going to be probably around a tech sergeant that you’re talking to most of the time, even though there are more people involved in the process throughout your application. But for the most part, that’s what your day to day will look like.

And I say day to day, but in reality, you’re going to be talking to this person sometimes every day, and other times you won’t hear from them or talk with them in months. So it all depends on what stage in the process you are. And just remember, represent yourself well. Be courteous to them. They aren’t slacking.

I promise you. They have a lot of people. OTS is very competitive and a lot of people knocking at their door. If you are not doing everything you can to take care of your own application yourself, they are not going to hold your hand through it. So just remember that.

So then it begs the question, how do you even get in contact with a recruiter? And on the screen now is the web address for you to get in contact with that recruiter and start your process. Just understand that they reside over thousands of square miles of area when you’re applying, so they have lots of applicants. And one last point to consider, if you’re a person who is trying out, especially for pilot, but any rated position, consider maybe having some flight time before you go in. If you’re a civilian off the street with 0 hour, just like I was, maybe get a discovery flight or take a few lessons towards your ppl, even if you’re not going to get your ppl private pilot’s license.

But for me, my experience was, I said, I know I want to go ready, I want to go pilot. I end up getting pilot, and then, hmm, maybe I should actually fly in a little plane before I go off to OTS. Anyway, before OTS, I did a discovery flight of an hour and didn’t throw up and didn’t freak out. So I thought, yeah, I guess I’ll figure it out. But I would not recommend that course of action.

So if you have the means, I would at least take a discovery flight, a 1 hour flight to make sure that everything’s good to go before you sign that dotted line for a rated position. So let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this, which is the specific timeline. So by this time you’ve contacted the recruiter either through email or a phone call, and you said, hey, I am interested in becoming an air force officer. What can you expect? Next?

Number one, Afoqt. Now, there are a ton of videos about the Afoqt. I myself have quite a few videos and for good reason. It’s a beast of a test and it’s a unique test as well. There’s not a test that I know that’s quite like it.

So I would recommend giving your full attention to studying for this test as your number one thing. The recruiter is going to, it’s going to be the first part of the process that the recruiter actually sees how competitive you are and it helps give you a boost as well, especially if you do well at it. And it can be a little bit of a downer if you don’t. But don’t worry, got tons of videos to help you out prepare for the test and if you’ve already taken it, hopefully helping you study and getting that second score that you really want. All right, next, if we’re going rated, we’re going to talk about the Pixum, which is a score based off of the tbas.

So what is the tbas? Well, your recruiter should give you information about where to take this test. There are websites that tell you where the testing facilities are, but it’s always best to work through your recruiter. And essentially this test is just used to see your potential to fly in a rated position and it’s kind of like playing a video game, instrument flying. If you’ve done any of that, there’s more videos on the specifics of tbas, but that’s the next step if you’re going rated.

So something you’re going to want to get started on early is your letters of recommendation. Now these are people who are going to paint a great image of you, and I have specifics on some tips to write lors, as they’re called. But you want to give yourself some head time and not go at the last minute to try to get someone important or someone you care about to write you a heartfelt letter in the time of a week or less. You also need to go over your cv or your resume. Now, there are specifics on how the recruiter is going to want it and what type of format and all that stuff.

Best to talk to your recruiter, but just give a once over on your resume, make sure all the information is correct and you got all the best stuff in there. Another thing that’s going to pop up is the personal letter. So the personal letter, your recruiter, of course, is going to give you information about this, but it’s essentially just a letter saying why you should be picked to commission the air Force. And I know for me it was difficult to write that letter because you’re not all about pumping yourself up and showing yourself off, but that’s what they’re looking for. So after you’ve gotten all or most of your paperwork finished, your recruiter is going to set up an appointment for you with their squadron commander.

It’s probably more than likely a lieutenant colonel type, and it’s just a standard interview, but the interview is very important because they are going to rank you on your paperwork at the very end, before the package is sent out to the board, they will rank you amongst all the other applicants that they had for that board. So that’s why the interview is important. Now, of course, during this entire process, you’re going to be doing tons of paperwork. Some of those are going to be listed on the screen, but we’re talking about getting your transcripts. An Air Force form 56 showing that you have a bachelor’s degree, any kind of indebtedness, drug use, medical records, all that stuff.

Tons of paperwork will be in this application process. And just in case you didn’t know, you also need to be working on your fitness during this time. Even if you’re a gym rat, really focus on that Air Force fitness test because they will test you right when you get to ots and you want to make sure you make a good impression and you’re not worrying about that while you’re there. So the test is a different style test. Like I said, even if you go to the gym a lot, you might not be used to some of the components of the test.

A recommendation I have for you, if you’re serious about this process, is go over to their YouTube channel or their podcast, commission ed podcast. They have tons of in depth information about ROTC, oTs, and even the Air Force Academy on the commissioning process overall. So now that you know what to expect from the OTS application process, get smart on the Afoqt. Watch this video that goes over the structure and process of the test itself. And thanks for watching.

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