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donkey

Time To Ask - Give Me Your Opinion Please!

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Hey all,

Looks like I missed the cut on getting an interview with Oregon. So, I figured it's time to post one of these to try and get a better idea of my weaknesses and areas I can improve on. Of all the upcoming (fighter) boards this year, I figured this was one of my better shots of at least getting an interview, so looks like I have a lot of work to do. Any feedback is much appreciated!

Scores

  • AFOQT: 98 / 76 / 82 / 65 / 90
  • PCSM: 98 (will max once I reach 61 hours)

Flight Experience

  • PPL (49.5 hours total / earned at 40)
  • FAA 1st Class Medical; No Limitations
  • Aerobatic Experience: MiG-15, L-39, Yak-52, Citabria

Work Experience

  • Currently: Fire Protection Engineer at a national laboratory (~ 4 years). Part of the lab's fire marshal team and assigned to overseeing the lab's Plutonium Facility (plutonium science/manufacturing facility which supports our national stockpile). Responsible for the fire protection oversight of ~1,000 people and ~$2 billion in lab assets. 
  • Previously: FPE consultant (~ 1 year). Coordinated the fire protection needs on multi-disciplined engineering teams. Developed system designs/calculations for new projects.
  • Prior to graduating, I worked the following seasonal/summer jobs: Jamba Juice, Beer Distributing Warehouse (:beer:), and at an industrial park doing building maintenance/grounds upkeep.

Volunteer Experience

  • Local Civil Air Patrol squadron (~ 4 years). Serve as Admin Officer, conduct monthly PT testing for cadets, and assist with monthly cadet aerospace education.
  • Emergency Operations Center at current job. Responsible for compiling and distributing incident reports/documentation to the EOC team during emergency situations.
  • Veterans Memorial Museum Docent (6 years - during college). Led guided tours for visitors, mentored junior docents on operations/knowledge, and helped with veterans assistance fairs.
  • TONS more volunteer/leadership activities, mostly during college, but the above is what I have/am including on my resume.

Noteworthy Achievements

  • Highest employee performance rating at current job (top 10 percent) - 3 years
  • Professional Engineering License
  • 1,400+ volunteer hours (mostly military / aviation related)
  • Summa Cum Laude (MS Degree) / Multiple Deans List

Education

  • Master of Science - Fire Protection Engineering - 3.85 / 4.00
  • Bachelor of Science - Civil Engineering - 3.01 / 4.00

LOR's

  • Previous lab Group Leader (high level boss, retired) of 3 years. Worked with me daily, spoke very highly of my work ethic and performance, etc. - 32 years of military service.
  • Current job engineering Technical Lead and Civil Air Patrol SQ/CC. Talked about my work performance, volunteer involvement, and overall character.
  • Civil Air Patrol Vice Wing Commander and former SQ/CC. Talked about my volunteer involvement and overall character.

I believe my biggest areas of weakness right now are:

  • Age (28, will be 29 in May - Not much I can do about this. Goal: Get an interview to show units why I'm worth a waiver)
  • AFOQT Scores (Goal: Study hard and hit all 90's, even if Pilot score decreases)
  • Low hours/lack of advanced ratings (Goal: Increase hours short term / earn IR ticket medium term)
  • Didn't mesh well during visits?? (I wouldn't have thought this was the case but obviously a possibility)

I'm sure there are others that I'm overlooking though. I used Bogidope to really polish my cover letter and resume and I rushed multiple times. I know I'm fighting an uphill battle, just want to make sure I'm giving myself the best chance I can!

Thanks again for your time everyone, I really do appreciate any and all advice you can give, even if it's some tough love.

 

 

Edited by donkey

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Unless you received that specific feedback from Oregon or Bogidope, I’m not sure I’d retake the AFOQT.

Honestly, I think age was probably your weakness, which you can’t do anything about. Keep applying, but pick a date where you’ll open it up to heavies.

Don’t give up on fighters though, I know a couple of guys that have been hired at fighter units while needing age waivers.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

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@n730

Hey, thanks for the reply. Yeah, unfortunately my age most likely is playing a big role. Only received the generic feedback that was a part of the mass rejection email: increase scores, hours, community involvement, improve LOR's - that kind of stuff. Understandable, they don't have the time to reply to everyone, and that all applies to me anyway.

I'm already studying for a AFOQT retake. The way I look at it, if I'm not confident I can study well and ace a retake, how can I prove to a board I can handle all the studying that's a part of UPT and squadron life? Especially since I've got the age stink on me, I can't just coast on a good pilot score, I'll need every advantage I can get.

Appreciate the response.

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53 minutes ago, donkey said:

@n730

Hey, thanks for the reply. Yeah, unfortunately my age most likely is playing a big role. Only received the generic feedback that was a part of the mass rejection email: increase scores, hours, community involvement, improve LOR's - that kind of stuff. Understandable, they don't have the time to reply to everyone, and that all applies to me anyway.

I'm already studying for a AFOQT retake. The way I look at it, if I'm not confident I can study well and ace a retake, how can I prove to a board I can handle all the studying that's a part of UPT and squadron life? Especially since I've got the age stink on me, I can't just coast on a good pilot score, I'll need every advantage I can get.

Appreciate the response.

If it were me, I would absolutely not retake the AFOQT. Your scores are great and are super competitive. Your resume and experience is much greater than most people that apply. Make sure you communicate that being older has led to achieving all of the things you have done so far etc. You have a phenomenal well rounded packet imo. (just my .02 coming from an age waiver heavy guy)

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@OnlyInCleveland

Hey, appreciate the perspective and kind words.

I think the best course of action at this point is to study for a retake while I wait to get word back from a few more units. At that point I can re-evaluate whether to push forward with the retake or not.

Yeah, I'll definitely be/am banking on the "older, but experienced" pitch. If you find a time machine though, let me know!

Edited by donkey

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