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Guest GGG308

Info on OTS (Officer Training School)

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Guest GGG308

For pilot selects, how long is the normal wait time after your FC1 is approved to get an OTS class date (I'm assuming the FC1 has to be approved before you get a class date)? When they do give you an OTS class date, how far out is it?

Finally, is your UPT class date determined before, after, or during OTS? Thanks! -Gil

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The wait is dependent on that flight physical, in most cases. If I were you, I would implore my recruiter to let me get that FC1 completed ASAP. A typical number for going to class for pilots is about five months. Figure about two to three months for SG certification of the physical, and another two or three for general waiting. I've heard of alot of recruiters (including my own, even though I was a very strong candidate) who won't send their pilot candidates for the FC1 before selection. Some bases also don't allow it, as was the case with the one near us. But that is the main reason for such a long wait. In my case (my wait is coming up on nine months), there have been alot of mistakes and a few complications, but the end (actually the beginning) is in sight. But some guys with FC1s already complete seem to get class dates very quickly sometimes and are off to OTS within two or three months of selection. Waiting is a killer.

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Echo what john said, with a few additions. Your wait time will depend largely on your age and whether or not you are coming from active duty. For the AD types, I think that they generally have a certified FC1 before applying to the OTS board, so they tend to get class assignments faster. Additionally, they get their follow-on assignment before reporting to OTS, so they will already know when and where they are going to UPT. If you are not currently on AD, then your scenario will mostly depend on your age. Once your FC1 is approved, the time to be notified of a class date is usually in the range of 2-8 weeks. Just to give you an idea: I was notified of my selection on 9/11/03, took my (second) FC1 on 10/15/03, was notified that it was stamped on 12/22/03, and am now expecting to hear of my class date any day now. I am also nearly 29 years old, so I expect that my class date will be Feb or April. Those that are less age critical will usually have a longer wait between class date notification and actual departure for OTS class, but of course, there are always exceptions. Also, for civilian OTS selects, you'll learn your UPT date and location about midway through OTS, or so I am told. You'll be able to apply for ENJJPT in the first couple of weeks, and you'll also fill out a dream sheet for the other bases.

Edit: Gil, I just read another of your posts concerning PRK and see that you are AD. All of the AD applicants that I've read about on airforceots.com have their FC1 approved before the OTS board, hence my assumption that having a certified FC1 was required for AD folks. I'll leave this post for anybody else with similar questions, though.

[ 09 January 2004, 08:39: Message edited by: determined ]

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Guest Roy Rogers

Is there a different way to get into OTS other than talking with a reserve/guard recruiter? What's the difference on getting into OTS or AMS? I'm sure this has been hashed out already, but I'm a little confused. Can you apply to either (ots,ams) without getting sponsered or picked up by a unit? Thanks for any clairification.

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Guest wingzero

I was recently selected for a pilot slot. I will be shipping off May 16 to AMS. I was wondering if anyone knew what the differences were between OTS and AMS besides the difference in duration (12 weeks for OTS vs 6 weeks for AMS).

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I asked the AMS Director of Operations that same question...and here's what she told me:

- Longer days for AMS. Not much free time throughout the day to workout, study, prepare briefings, etc. Basic day seems to be 0600 to 1800 or so for the students at AMS.

- A few less briefings. Specifically, some of the UCMJ, PCS, TDY briefs that are basically Active Duty focused information that's not all that applicable to ANG/AFRES people.

She was adamant that the programs cover basically the same material, with those couple of exceptions. Looks like the AFRES leadership is starting to agree...they're sending some of their UPT folks there right now.

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Guest wingseeker

Greetings all,

I am a current college student and plan to enter OTS for commissioning and a pilot slot. However, due to more partying than schooling, I am now 27 years of age and apparently running out of time to achieve my goals. An officer recruiter has advised me to obtain a PPL and start on the application process about one year before graduation(fall 05')which will be in the summer of 06', as I will then be 29. :( My question is, does anyone have any advise or information on the process of time after submitting my completed OTS package, to the selection process and start of OTS? Also, I know that OTS is about 12 weeks in length and if I am fortunate enough to enter right after graduation, I will be commissioned before the start of 07'. So, would it be safe to say that upon OTS graduation I could expect to start Phase I of UPT prior to April of 07'(my 30th birthday)?

I am definitely cutting it close here, but if someone could relieve a bit of anxiety, I would certainly appreciate it!

Thanks all!!!

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Usually OTS graduation is scheduled to be about one month before your UPT start date. Also if you do get your PPL you can save the time it'd take doing IFT.

[ 22. May 2004, 12:31: Message edited by: Shadow05 ]

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And to further validate Shadow's information, I finished OTS on 14 May, and my UPT class date is 16 June. But as with just about everything, "it depends." We had a guy in our class who was turning 30 less than two weeks after commissioning, and they moved him up a class so he went STRAIGHT from OTS to UPT with almost no break (had done Brooks earlier).

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Guest customx

My brother in law, who was a navy seal and army ranger and is now in the stryker brigade for the army, just got off the phone with my recruiter. He said that if i dont have my PPL, theres almost no sense in applying for OTS, especially since I have a non-tech degree (MIS). Is this guy full of crap? From what I've read on the board its not totally necessary, but it will help out with the AFOQT pilot score. The recruiter sounded so discouraging. I dont want to shell ouf $4,500 for a PPL if i dont have to. I thought you are supposed to be given training before or after you reach OTS. If anyone knows much about getting the PPL or how helpful it may be, please let me know. Im going to meet with the recruiter tomorrow and see what he has to say, so the more information I can get today the better prepared I will be tomorrow when I meet him. THanks

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I can speak from personal experience that it is not absolutely necessary to be accepted.

BUT-- if I would do it again, I would definately get my PPL. I feel I was extremely lucky to have been selected for pilot and I wouldn't want to risk it next time.

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Right it's not a requirement, but it's a factor in your PCSM score (if you don't know what that is, it's a score based on your GPA, AFOQT, flight hours, and BAT aptitude test). Therefore, it'd probably be wise unless you're absolutely phenomenol in the other areas.

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Customx,

First off, with all due respect your recruiter is full of shit. Recruiters are motivated by these little things called QUOTAS, and have sometimes been known not to tell the whole truth when it comes to getting pilot slots. Search this board for a posting several weeks ago about an AF recruiter who told a guy that his best bet to get a pilot slot was to enlist first, work his way up, and then apply, as opposed to going through OTS and applying.

Second, you DO NOT have to have a PPL to get a pilot slot. PPL is only a small part of your PCSM, which is a small part of your overall package (sts). Your PSCM score, as meantion previously, is only your AFOQT scores and your BAT score combined with how many flying hours you have to date. I had a PCSM of 55 and only had 6 hours and those I got free from taking some orientation flights. The Air Force will PAY for you to get your PPL after you graduate from OTS and are sent to your UPT base. Getting your PPL now will cost you 5 grand, and only improve your PCSM by about 10-20 points, since you'll only be getting 40-50 hours. (the more hours you get the mroe points you get, but the scale is different for everybody it ALL depends on your AFOQT and BAT scores)

Here's my advice to you. Get one of those study books for the AFOQT and study...it makes a big difference. Then take the BAT, and find out what your PCSM is. See where you are at, and then go from there. If you need to retake your AFOQT then retake it. Chances are that your PPL will only increase your score by about 10-20 points, certainly not worth 5 grand. As for all the other crap that is being spouted out, here's what I think about that:

Originally posted by dumaisj:

"Doesn't it seem that a PPL is an INVESTMENT allowing you to pursue an amazing career piloting a mult-million dollar aircraft?"

Honestly, flying a C150/172 has VERY little to do with flying a Tweet or a T-6. 100 mph doesn't transfer to 230 knots very well, and the flying style is completely different. The Air Force only does IFT to make sure you are not a complete retard and can fly a cessna. In fact, they are downgrading IFT from getting your full PPL to getting only 20 hours (just past solo), like the Navy does.

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Guest davisb28

Hey. Currently I'm a Junior in college and am considering applying for a pilot slot through OTS once I graduate. I was wondering if taking AFROTC classes as electives(not going through the actual program) would help my chances for OTS.

Also, if there is any other advice that anybody might have to improve my chances at OTS, besides gpa, ppl, and studying for the afoqt.

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Guest PalmettoGuy

mountainflyer,

I am basically in the same shoes, I have 3 more semesters before I graduate. The only thing that I could think of is to make some connections. Look for some good letters of recommendation. If you still have two years left before you graduate you still have time to get involved in various activities. Try to take some leadership roles in clubs at school. Volunteer for a local charity or church on a regular basis. I figure that these are probebly some of the best ways to get some good letters of recommendation.

Dennis,

As far as ROTC, it would be just as difficult for him to get a pilot slot through that. With only 4 semesters left (far less than that before the slots are assigned), he would have to impress the officer who would give him his rating very quickly, while at the same time keeping up his grades, getting ready for the AFOQT/BAT, and trying to get some flight hours. So for guys like us, it really makes more sense for us to just go for an OTS slot.

Good luck mountainflyer

BG

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Guest MGG20

I'm going up for the next AD board and just want to know the average time it takes between selection and actually going to OTS. Also, do you go sooner if you accept nav or abm? Thanks

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Guest coexint

From the time I got selected to when I showed up to OTS, it took me 10 months, 3 weeks. Now don't get scared, thats a bit on the long side. Some of my friends from OTS took anywhere from 4 months to 12, it depends on how fast your flight physical gets approved. If you can have your physical sent to the board with your paperwork, or even knock it out now, it will save you a ton of time.

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Can't speak for exact times, but I got notified of my selection for Nav on 11 June and could have been in the 6 July class (0408). Now that's for a Nav, and I don't have a completed flight physical.

Get on the physical now if you want to leave soon after selection. I would also reccomend civilian workups of any weak links before you go, to be educated and not walk into any suprises.

My 2 pesos.

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Guest FCI

Nav's and ABM's are leaving real quick i.e. 1-3 months after selection. Pilots are going about 4-8 months after selection. These are current averages. Things can change when you get accepted.

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Guest JL

Does anyone know if you can apply to OTS before you have your degree? I seem to remember reading that you could if you were with in a certain number of days till your graduation but i cant find it :confused:

Thanks

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Guest FCI

365 days prior to graduation for Civilians and 270 days prior for AD.

It's not very commoon for civilian guys to be accepted that far out, as a degree is the main key to be commissioned.

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Guest Aces-High

Hey guys,

What kinds of things make or break your performace in OTS. In particular what kinds of things are they looking for that will bring you to the top of the class?

Thanks,

Aces

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If you can stay awake in the "big red bedroom" for more then 50% of the lectures, then you are way ahead of the game and should consider yourself a "good student."

In all seriousness, several things go into whether or not you make DG or not (top 10% of the class). Tests scores (3 of them) and briefing scores (3 again, I think) weigh pretty heavily. Your 3 PFT scores also weigh pretty high along with your flight training officer (FTO) recommendation and score. If you become the OT wing commander or vice commander, that helps your score somehow. The OT wing CC is automatically chosen as one of the special DG's who gets individually recognized at graduation.

I was told not to overdo things at OTS because UPT will be a big enough drain on you. I heeded that advice and was happy about it. In other words, try not to volunteer for wing commander or squadron commander unless you really just feel like adding countless hours onto your already long enough weeks. For me, sleep was more important because I don't function very well when I get less than 6/7 hours sleep and I know our wing and squadron CC's were up pretty late every night.

Let me know if you have more OTS questions.

[ 24. August 2004, 00:13: Message edited by: JS ]

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Guest Aces-High

Thanks JS,

I might be heading out the OTS here in a few months. I'm just trying to figure out how they rate an individual. I want to do the best I can, but like you said I don't want to burn myself out. Thanks for the info. If you don't mind I'll e-mail you if I have any specific questions.

One question I do have regards PFT scores. Do you score higher if you break the required number of pushups etc. or is it like all other AF PFT scoring, you get full points for 55 or 60 pushups in a minute but nothing for doing more other than boosting your self esteem?

Thanks again,

Aces

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