Hey, guys, how’s it going? So I had a. I wanted to do a video on how a young airman in the air force could become an officer if they wanted to. So I’m going to share with you the easiest way that an enlisted airman can become an officer in the air force. And this is actually the way I did it as well.
So say you’re enlisted airman, you’re a young airman first class, your airmen, and you want to become an officer. Well, why would you want to become an officer, you might ask? One of the totally honest answers is pay. Look at the pay chart. Look at what an e one makes.
Look at what an one makes. Look at what an e two makes. What an two makes. By the time you get to e four and four, you’re going to be pretty shocked at the amount of pay that they get, especially since you become an four after only four years commissioned, that is a captain after four years of active duty. So you’re looking about the same then, the same time frame, and you get paid a lot, lot more.
You get more responsibility, you have more authority, more freedom to do what you need to do to get the job done and not have somebody watching over you. So those are the two reasons I would become an officer. That’s the honest reasons. The textbook reason is, well, you want to become a leader and you want to lead men and women into battle, but that’s not what everybody wants to do. So I just want to be honest with you there.
So, anyway, I would recommend taking some college courses while you’re in active duty. But you don’t have to. I did. But you don’t want to take too much, too many college courses because the path that we’re going to be going here is through Air Force ROTC. My case, I was a very average airman back in the day.
I came in in the late ninety s and I just kind of did my job and I punched out when the time was done. I wasn’t staying late, coming early, doing all this extra stuff. I wasn’t volunteering for extra stuff. I just wanted to do my job and then have my free time on my own. So I was very much an average airman.
I wasn’t getting senior airmen below the zone or anything like that. I was just doing my job and getting my promotions as they came along. I only did four years in the air force and then I got out and I joined ROTC at a college. So, like I said, it’s pretty simple. This is the easiest way to do it.
So you separate from the air force. You could either separate after your commitment is done, or you could do palace Chase, which is a whole process on its own where you can get out early and go into to the reserves, because that’s what I did. I did actually go into the reserves, but I didn’t do palace shakes. I just did my four years. I transferred to the reserves and then I started going to college.
Now, when I was going to college, this was a really good deal because I got the GI Bill. I was actually making more money in college and it was the GI bill than I was making as a senior airman, which was kind of funny. I was getting some unemployment, I was getting unemployment, I was getting the GI bill, and I was going to college. And the unemployment plus the GI bill that they gave me every month was more than I was making as a senior airman at the time. I had about 50 some credits, 54 credits maybe towards a degree.
I went to college for two and a half years. Now, luckily, in my case, they had a program where you could do two years of ROTC. They don’t have that currently. So you need to have at least three years or four years on your degree plan to go to ROTC because that’s how the program is. The program is designed for four years, but you can do three years where you’re just doing the first year.
You’re going to double up on the first year courses and the second year courses and go to it that way. So as a prior enlisted person, you could easily do the three year option. So if you got enough credits to become a sophomore in college, that would be perfect because then you could double up on those classes after your first year in college. You go to field training, you do your last two years, then you commission, and it actually goes really fast, really smooth and competition wise, even if you’re an average airman in the Air force like I was, you’re still going to be better than most of the college cadets. I say that from experience being going through ROTC myself, as well as being ROTC instructor for five years, there’s just a lot more to be said from someone who’s been in the air force and done the job.
They have a level of maturity that the cadets do not. They are more responsible than the cadets. But I will warn you, the biggest thing you’re going to have to do to be able to do is PT. Air Force ROTC. PT is no joke.
It’s not like your weekly PT in the active duty air Force where you go and do some jumping jacks, some push ups and flutter kicks, and then you’re done for the day. It is pretty intense. So if you can’t hang with that sort of PT stuff, it might not be a good option for you because it really actually is quite difficult PT wise in ROTC. But as you know, once you commission, PT kind of goes by the wayside, even though people like to talk about how physically fit we are. So you get out of the air force, either your commitments up or you get palace chase, you pick a university you want to go to that has an ROTC program.
You sign up for ROTC real easy, just do some paperwork and you’re going to be good to go. You just have to get through field training, which if you can make it through basic training, you should have no issue with field training, although it is a different type of training. You need to actually show leadership and initiative instead of just kind of blending into the background like you do in basic training. So anyway, with that you could do. For example, I did four years in the air force.
I did two and a half years in college. So by the time I was 20, what I had just turned 25 and I was a second lieutenant and I already had four years towards my retirement. So that was pretty good. So I did my first officer job and I went from there, see if I missed anything. It’s actually pretty simple.
Separate from the air force, while you still have about three years left on your degree, to get your degree, pick a school, join their ROTC program, do better than the rest of those other cadets, get through field training, and then you can commission and become a second lieutenant, and you can become a pilot that way as well. If you do want to become a pilot. I just was a regular line officer in the air force. I was not a pilot. So other things to mention, too.
What if you’ve already taken some enough classes to be halfway through your degree? Well, you could still actually do this because the regulation allows for you to do one year of graduate study as well. So you could, for example, say you have two years left of your degree. You go, you join ROTC, you do your first year, then you go to field training, then your second year, which is your last year before your degree, but they want you to do two years as a PoC member, which is an upper class then. So after you’ve graduated, got your degree, you’ll do one more year.
And that one more year could be graduate work. So you enroll in a graduate program there at the school and you do master’s type work. So you get a year into your master’s right there, and then you go on active duty. So that is actually allowable as well. So your last two years, one year could be graduate study, one year can be getting your finishing your bachelor’s degree.
All right. So anyway, I definitely recommend this to everyone. It wasn’t very well used in my day. One more thing to address. You might think, why don’t I just apply for ots?
Well, applying for ots is much more difficult than the process. I’ve said here, if you are the number one airman in your unit or whatever, getting these quarterly awards, doing all this awesome stuff, maybe you got below the zone. Yeah, sure, you could probably get into ots, but ots is such low numbers that the average airman, like myself, would not be competitive to go to ots. That’s just the truth. So if you’re like me and you’re kind of, like, towards the middle of the pack, this is the best route to become an officer and ots, you’re probably not going to have much success.
All right, so hopefully I’ve helped you all out, and I hope you all have a great day. Bye.