Officer in the Air Force — The Bump
Military Families

Officer in the Air Force

I posted this on an existing thread but I was late and it is on the second page, so I don't think anyone will see it.  The original thread was about someone's husband looking to become an officer in the AF.  Many responses informed the OP that it is really hard to get in as an officer right now and that their DH ended up going the enlisted route.

 

Here's my post:

DH is currently going through the process to become an officer.  All these posts saying that getting a commission is nearly impossible is scaring me!  What exactly does that mean?  So far his recruiter has been great.  She's been very responsive.  He has submitted his packet along with his transcripts, and letters of recommendations, and takes the AFOQT next week.  Would he be getting this far if they weren't looking to take anyone?  I'm just trying to figure out what is a realistic expectation here.  He is prior enlistment (5 years active in the Marines), looking to be a pilot, and has a 4.0 GPA currently... is any of this helping him move ahead of some others?

If anyone has any insight, I would really appreciate it.  I'm getting very worried!  Thanks for your help. 

 

Thanks for any info/experience you can provide!! 

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Re: Officer in the Air Force

  • it's all based on the needs. If they don't need pilots right now, they won't take pilots. I had a friend who's husband just commissioned into the Air Force as aviation, after starting the process in July 09 and he didn't leave for OTC until this summer. 
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  • I'm not sure how many pilots they're taking right now, but I would like to recommend a very helpful website: http://www.airforceots.com/portal/index.php 

    This whole site is for people who are trying to become Air Force officers.  It was very helpful when I was applying.  My advice would be to lurk like crazy and POST AN INTRO in the intro forum before posting, otherwise they will eat you alive. 

    I can't help much with becoming a pilot because I joined as a pharmacist, and recruitment and training for healthcare professionals is entirely different.

    Hilary
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  • It all depends on their needs for officers right now, like the others said. My husband was going for something besides a pilot and that wait list was very long. A year at the earliest he was looking at. It all depends on the Air Force needs. My husband had a 4.0 GPA all through college and has 2 bachelors, graduated with honors, etc etc. Even with all his prior experience in this certain field they were still waitlisting because they are not needed at this time. So my only piece of advice is it just depends! I would ask the recruiter straight up what the wait time is to leave for training. My husband's recruiter had him put his packet in, take the test and THEN tell him the wait time! So that is when my DH decided to go the enlisted route because it was faster! and after being enlisted for a year he can put his packet in again for officer and maybe have a better chance at not wait listing so long!
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  • They have been force shaping a lot of officers out of the AF right now, but like everyone else has said it really depends. I would keep asking questions and hope for the best. :)
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  • It really depends on what he'll be doing and what the need is, my DH is a public health officer and a DVM and they pursued him. I think it just matters on what it is he is wanting to do.
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  • imagemummyofsix:

    How long has he been out of the USMC? ..... We looked into this briefly many years ago (my DH was an enlisted Marine with a degree and wanted to commission) but ended up staying in the USMC because the AF wanted him to have a certain amount of time out of the Marines before coming into the AF. This was long before the force reductions though, so who knows now.... 

    Good luck. Why doesn't he just go back and Fly Marine?  

    He EAS'd 5 years ago from the USMC.  He would love to go back but is not pursuing it for 2 reasons.  The biggest is that he wants to fly, and with the USMC you have to be commissioned (to be a pilot) by the age of 28.  He will turn 28 in May 2012, but since they do their OCS over the summer, he wouldn't be commissioned until AFTER he's turned 28.  This past summer wasn't an option as he is only graduating this December.  BIL has been in the AF for 10 years now (enlisted), and DH believes that the AF will provide us with the "better" lifestyle for our needs.  Just meaning, shorter deployments, nicer housing, (and for him- it's important not to be deployed on a boat, as he was during one of his deployments.... he HATED it!), etc.  Is any of that true? I don't know... in the end, all that really matters to him is that he's back in the Military.  

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  • Thanks to all of you for your replies.  Once DH takes his AFOQT (next week), he is going to talk to his recruiter again.  He feels he needs to wait until then for his recruiter to be able to give more realistic information.  He is scheduling his flight simulator test (?) for the following week.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!  This is so important to us!!

    Thanks again, ladies!! 

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  • imagemocknine:
    imagemummyofsix:

    How long has he been out of the USMC? ..... We looked into this briefly many years ago (my DH was an enlisted Marine with a degree and wanted to commission) but ended up staying in the USMC because the AF wanted him to have a certain amount of time out of the Marines before coming into the AF. This was long before the force reductions though, so who knows now.... 

    Good luck. Why doesn't he just go back and Fly Marine?  

    He EAS'd 5 years ago from the USMC.  He would love to go back but is not pursuing it for 2 reasons.  The biggest is that he wants to fly, and with the USMC you have to be commissioned (to be a pilot) by the age of 28.  He will turn 28 in May 2012, but since they do their OCS over the summer, he wouldn't be commissioned until AFTER he's turned 28.  This past summer wasn't an option as he is only graduating this December.  BIL has been in the AF for 10 years now (enlisted), and DH believes that the AF will provide us with the "better" lifestyle for our needs.  Just meaning, shorter deployments, nicer housing, (and for him- it's important not to be deployed on a boat, as he was during one of his deployments.... he HATED it!), etc.  Is any of that true? I don't know... in the end, all that really matters to him is that he's back in the Military.  

    Actually, OCS is year round at Quantico.  Most of the Candidates go during the summer though, because they are there between semesters, and a large amount of them graduated college in May attend also.  On the housing part, most bases are getting new housing or they have remodled the housing.  I think once upon a time it was true that the USAF had nicer housing, but I don't think that is always true now.  The two onbase houses we have lived in USMC bases have been very nice, one was about 10-12 years old, and the other was about 5 years old.  Deployments can be short or long, it really depends on what the deployment is.  Not all deployments are on ships (boats are subs).  I know that some of the AF people are getting long deployments, so the shorter deployments aren't always going to happen with the USAF.

    I think your Dh needs to look at all the branch recruiters and OSOs, and see what they have to say about their branch, how hard it is to get in, and what deployment and life are like in that branch.  And talk to a USMC OSO, because he is really miss informed on OCS.  My Dh did OCS between semesters.  And he taught at OCS a year ago, and he had many Candidates that were doing the same thing he did.   

  • imageSheilaE:
    imagemocknine:
    imagemummyofsix:

    How long has he been out of the USMC? ..... We looked into this briefly many years ago (my DH was an enlisted Marine with a degree and wanted to commission) but ended up staying in the USMC because the AF wanted him to have a certain amount of time out of the Marines before coming into the AF. This was long before the force reductions though, so who knows now.... 

    Good luck. Why doesn't he just go back and Fly Marine?  

    He EAS'd 5 years ago from the USMC.  He would love to go back but is not pursuing it for 2 reasons.  The biggest is that he wants to fly, and with the USMC you have to be commissioned (to be a pilot) by the age of 28.  He will turn 28 in May 2012, but since they do their OCS over the summer, he wouldn't be commissioned until AFTER he's turned 28.  This past summer wasn't an option as he is only graduating this December.  BIL has been in the AF for 10 years now (enlisted), and DH believes that the AF will provide us with the "better" lifestyle for our needs.  Just meaning, shorter deployments, nicer housing, (and for him- it's important not to be deployed on a boat, as he was during one of his deployments.... he HATED it!), etc.  Is any of that true? I don't know... in the end, all that really matters to him is that he's back in the Military.  

    Actually, OCS is year round at Quantico.  Most of the Candidates go during the summer though, because they are there between semesters, and a large amount of them graduated college in May attend also.  On the housing part, most bases are getting new housing or they have remodled the housing.  I think once upon a time it was true that the USAF had nicer housing, but I don't think that is always true now.  The two onbase houses we have lived in USMC bases have been very nice, one was about 10-12 years old, and the other was about 5 years old.  Deployments can be short or long, it really depends on what the deployment is.  Not all deployments are on ships (boats are subs).  I know that some of the AF people are getting long deployments, so the shorter deployments aren't always going to happen with the USAF.

    I think your Dh needs to look at all the branch recruiters and OSOs, and see what they have to say about their branch, how hard it is to get in, and what deployment and life are like in that branch.  And talk to a USMC OSO, because he is really miss informed on OCS.  My Dh did OCS between semesters.  And he taught at OCS a year ago, and he had many Candidates that were doing the same thing he did.   

    Thanks for the info!  DH had read the USMC website and they had indicated that the classes were held in the summer, and that is why (one of the reasons) why he ruled them out.  I let him know what you said and he is definitely going to look into it.     

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  • imageAirmans Wife:
    It all depends on their needs for officers right now, like the others said. My husband was going for something besides a pilot and that wait list was very long. A year at the earliest he was looking at. It all depends on the Air Force needs. My husband had a 4.0 GPA all through college and has 2 bachelors, graduated with honors, etc etc. Even with all his prior experience in this certain field they were still waitlisting because they are not needed at this time. So my only piece of advice is it just depends! I would ask the recruiter straight up what the wait time is to leave for training. My husband's recruiter had him put his packet in, take the test and THEN tell him the wait time! So that is when my DH decided to go the enlisted route because it was faster! and after being enlisted for a year he can put his packet in again for officer and maybe have a better chance at not wait listing so long!

    How long ago did your DH finish basic? (mine graduated this past Dec) Your story sounds similar to mine. Only hubby has a bachelors & masters and both are science degrees. Our recruiter actually suggested going enlisted for the same reason. Now we are realizing it would probably be at least another year until he'd be eligible to commission, and even then, he'd have to wait for the next board to meet. He's now applied to the Army Medical Service Corps. We're learning with the military to do your research before meeting with the recruiter and possibly meet with multiple recruiters, as within the same branch you can get a different story with each one!

    Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back we probably should have gone Army from the get-go. Even if he had joined enlisted, he would have commissioned quickly (especially if he included it with his contract)

    OP - I would recommend looking at the other branches, they have pilot spots too. The Air Force is great, but I haven't heard anything good about the commissioning process because they don't have the personnel needs like the other branches.

    Good luck either way!

    imageimage

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