Chances at EA 2011 for AFROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by WJUW, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Hi all,

    I am a walk-on AS 250 this year and competing for an enrollment allocation for the summer field training.

    Recently I have been rather stressed out about this process. To apply and enroll in this program I have already pushed my graduation back one year from 2012 to 2013. Yet from what I hear this year's FT slots are even more limited than last year which was 67% nationwide. This year, if I am not mistaken, it's about 45%.

    My cGPA is not great. When being submitted in Jan., it should be 3.2 but mathematically there is no way for me to pull it up to be 3.3. Since this is my first quarter in the AFROTC, I'll be taking PFA in less than a month. Realistically, I see myself score 82-86.

    I am a mathematics major. And I am also a native speaker of Chinese. As silly as it may sound, Chinese is also my second major(you may have guessed it, I added it to qualify for the Express Scholarship). And my commander said when being submitted for FT in January, I'd be submitted for double major which does not really work to my advantage, it does not do harm nevertheless.

    I am concerned about my chance because I am a little older than my peers and have already pushed my graduation date a year back. If I do not get this year's EA, I simply have to walk away from AFROTC. I'd hate to do so. So far I am loving everything about my detachment, it's wonderful and one of the fittest in the nation.

    Also currently I am not involved in any ROTC extracurricular activity. Since I only have one quarter to better my cGPA and a short time to get in shape for PFA, I figured I'd better focus on these missions first.

    P.S. I don't know if this helps since when looked upon, quarterly GPA does not really count. But in the last year, any quarterly GPA I had was consistently above 3.7. It's just the first year's GPA that was messed.

    I'd really appreciate some advices on how to improve my chances for getting one EA. Also I've read some information about "out-of-cycle" EAs, but haven't come across much useful information on that. Basically if you are not selected for the regular EA, based on Air Force's needs and critical language skills etc. you can "petition" or "reapply"? Sorry I do not even have the right phrase for it. But it's like a second chance. But I do not know if this even exists realistically.

    Any advice or relevant information would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Last yr the gpa cut off was @3.2 and under for our DS's school.

    The problem you are facing is that you have held no leadership positions in AFROTC. Granted that is because you just joined, but the fact is the board makes the decision and it is point based like it is for getting a scholarship. Your GPA, your rank (% -top 10, top 50, bottom 50, etc), your AFOQT, ECs such as positions, military affiliation (AAS, honor guard, etc), and the rec from the det all will be reviewed. It really isn't just the gpa, but that is the biggest component.

    In your situation, they may look at your grades differently since your cum is lower because of your 1st yr., but has risen over the past yr.

    Your major from what I know does not play into the equation.

    I would request an appointment with your commander ASAP and discuss your fears with him. He/She will be the one to give you the best advice on how to strengthen your packet. Follow their advice because they will be writing a rec to the board for your packet. That rec can be what gets you over the hump.

    It was very competitive last yr, to the point our DS's commander had stated he never saw such a high bar set in the 3 yrs that he had been in command.

    Before you get too nervous, talk to the commander. As a parent I would tell you this, the AF gave you an express scholarship, they obviously saw great things in you because those scholarship aren't so easy to come by. The board is not going to penalize you for being an express recipient. They will understand you just joined so you are behind the 8 ball compared to others. It will be from a wholistic approach.

    Good luck
     
  3. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Thank you sincerely for your help Pima.

    Could you elaborate what you meant by gpa 3.2 cut-off? Like people who were below that did not go in your DS' detachment?

    My commander told me that last year the few people who did not make it to FT were all non-technical majors and had PFA score above 90. So I just assumed major does play a role and from the PFA I guessed it was competitive as hell. It's really nerve-racking, I am not gonna lie. And I just had my Practice PFA and scored 82. I will try my best to get 85 in 20 days.

    You are absolutely right. I do not have any leadership experience. So at this point I can only pray that I get this chance and improve on such things later.

    Also one cadre told me that they'll hold another PFA in Jan. just for the EA people. So if nothing else, I do see myself score better on that one before being submitted.

    Thank you again for your answers and advice! Please keep 'em coming!
     
  4. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    I was one of the folks who survived the cut-offs last year. Our det had a little less than the entire bottom third get denied EAs. Our det/cc said his expectations were 90+ PFA and 3.0+ GPA. Anyone who didnt meet both didnt make it to field training.


    Most people who got denied went to Army. Some are staying in Air Force and will try to compete for a slot again next summer. I'm not sure what the odds are of picking one up that way, but it does give them a chance to improve their PFA and grades, etc.


    One thing i noticed when i was at field training was that some people got EAs solely based on the fact that they had desired majors. One girl in my flight got a 76 on her PFA but got an EA because she studies astrophysics. Rare tech majors and foreign language majors are probably in that category.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I can only speak for our DS's det. and our DS. Our DS is not a technical major and he went, but his gpa was above the 3.2. I don't know what his PFA was, but since he had never been required to go to PT and he has also held positions in the det as PT instructor, I am guessing he hit it out of the park in that scenario, honestly those scores mean yadda yadda yadda to me, so I don't get too involved. I may be confusing his AFOQT with his PFA, but I believe he said even this yr it was 93 or 94.

    In his det it was below the 3.2 that did not go. His det is very large, but not as large as Nicks. The other issue is he is a host school, so that too may have played into the situation. He has students from other schools, so to get it they needed a higher GPA since they are not active at the det. It is a whole candidate situation. Nick belongs to a school with a CoC which means they can not only load up on det participation, but Corp too, thus, the gpa can stand to take a hit.

    You need to understand if you are going up from a large det, recs do play into the equation. A small det and the competition is small, a large det and it can be fierce. In Nicks situation he is actually at a Military COC school, which also plays into the equation. VT is great for cadets because they have a Corps. They traditionally will score higher nationally because they have a Corp on top of the ROTC. The reason why is there are more opportunities to put things in their packet COC and ROTC. Smaller dets have less opportunities and it makes it harder.

    Then there is the cut edge sword, a school like ERAU, where there are huge numbers, and numerically it appears that they take more than any other school, but in reality, statistically they take less because they have so many in the program, while not having enough jobs to highlight the cadet.

    It really is going to be about your det. Talk to your commander ask statistically how many kids went last yr. He/She should know the number of cadets that went out of the cadets eligible. Let's say they state 50%, then ask where they would rank you. Do the Math, if 50% went and the avg is 65%, you can quickly discern that there is an issue of why they are lower, my guess is A. They have a lot of Cadets or B. They are not competitive compared to other dets.

    From there if he says you are in the top 50% of the det, and if the theory is true that 45% will be the acceptance rate this yr., ask him with respect, but point blank how do I get to be in the top 30%. Ask for a mentor, (our DS is 1 at UMDCP), ask for direction, show that this matters to you. If that means you work out 7 days a week than do it. C'mon let's be real, you do socialize besides hitting the books. Instead of sleeping in until 8 because you have a class at 9, get up at 7 and work out. It is your option and the det will be seeing this as a test of you against other cadets.

    In the AFROTC system it is really hard core right now. You need to push, push, push. You need to highlight yourself to the command, and to do so, you need to push, push, push.

    That's all I can elaborate.

    I might sound like Janie Raincloud, I am just hoping that you understand A LOT is in your control. You can spend time on this site, or you can do 100 butterfly kicks and run a mile. You can ask us questions/directions which we are happy to give, or you can go the source that will write your rec.

    It is all about you now, do you run away, do you lower a bar, or do you face the issue cranium on.

    Best of luck.

    Pima
     
  6. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Hi Nick, I have a question for you.

    You said that some cadets switched to Army ROTC. I have not talked to an Army recruiter for such a matter. Mainly because I am still hoping and I feel hopeful to get the EA (just scored 86 on lastest practice PFA). But I would love a backup plan. Do you know if I am hopeful to get a scholarship through Army? Because in AFROTC, I am guranteed a scholarship (the express) unless I do not get the EA in March. But I serched on the Army scholarships. It does not seem that Army gives out major-specific scholarships and everthing seems merit-based. Would you please shed some light on that?

    Also did you take PFA in January just before you were submitted? Because I was told by the captain that there was another one after the one in November. I just want to make sure there's a second chance so that I could get my PFA above 90.

    Thank you!
     
  7. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Thanks as always for your help Pima.

    I did express concerns to my commander and he was very understanding. As for our class, there were 38 applicants fighting for EAs. Last year in our det. it was 86%. But I doubt that it'd be anything near 86% this year.

    As for the ranking. Yes I understand your commander's rec goes a long way. But as for now, it's not smart for me to ask, no matter how polite, where I stand in the class. It is too early and I do not know if ranking is discussed between you and your commander. However I do understand the equation which the major in our det. told me about. To my surpise, the ranking consists of GPA and PFA again (65%) and officership (35%).

    As you said, I need to just work hard and not play the number's game right now. Hopefully things will fall into place. But meanwhile I will keep an open mind and consider every option possible to get an offiership. OTS, Army, whatever...
     
  8. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    At my det we did not do a new spring semester PFA before our packets got sent in for EAs. They just used the numbers from the previous fall semester. This may be a det-specific thing, considering at mine, we cant do the spring PFA until mid-to-late march due to cold weather. You said you got an 82 on your practice PFA? Well, if you can bump that up to an 88-89 in just a couple weeks, that at least shows the det cadre you're serious about ROTC. And that is a VERY important impression to make.

    Just do the best you can on this PFA. Even if you dont get a 90, a good GPA and a good impression with the cadre can make up for it. And even if thats not enough, you should be able to stay in AFROTC and compete again to attend FT between Junior and Senior years. I personally know two people at my det who did it that way.

    I cant say what your chances with Army would be. Historically (by that I mean the last few years), Army's standards have been lower than AF's. We had several people who were denied EAs just switch over. Not all of them got Army scholarships but they all do get to commission. Its just going to depend on you and what route you'd prefer. But again thats all assuming you dont get an EA this year, for which I think you have a good chance. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  9. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Morning Nick,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I got 86 on the latest Practice PFA. And the real deal is just 10 days away. Yeah, I see, the PFA probably depends on the school's academic system. Mine is on quarter system and yours I assume is on semesters. So I think I do have another chance to improve in Jan. I will make sure of it after this PFA.

    Thank you again!
     
  10. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    I just thought I'd want to post some information for my own reference and for others' future use.

    Due to a winter snow storm our detachment delayed our PFA and I just took it, got 93, below the det's average for sure, but heard it's not bad for first time.

    Also just got the word from commander who just got the word from HQ, in-college scholarships are canceled for the reminder of this year. My commander said I've now got a pretty good shot for EA, my numbers are right about the selected cadets' last year. However I won't have a chance to apply for any scholarship until after FT.

    My options are: stay in AFROTC w/o a scholarship, try OTS, OCS, or go with Army ROTC who has a scholarship ready for me. I am trying to decide.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You need to put the scholarship question aside for the moment, and time warp you to the AD world.

    AF life is totally different than Army or Navy life. College is only 4 yrs, and ROTC is just a component of those yrs. AD life is 24/7/365.

    Have you researched the career paths of each branch?

    Are you satisfied that you would be just as fulfilled in any of these branches as long as you are an officer?

    IF, the answer is no, than you have your decision. If the answer is yes, than you have that decision too.

    As for OCS in the AF, right now, I would totally remove that equation. Currently, the AF doesn't have any OCS dates for 2011. If the AF is at peak for classes of 11/12/13, they aren't going to start it up again until they have a personnel need. They would rather have the drip of the ROTC pipeline than OCS. Remember, it is a manpower issue, economists are expecting no relief until 2013 regarding unemployment, that means retention rate will remain high. Until AD members start to dive at a higher rate, they will not need to replace them in the pipeline.
     
  12. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    I talked to OTS recruiter, a MSgt last week and at that time I already removed OTS from my planning. She was nice and helpful on the phone, but the numbers she threw me were too drastic. And before talking to her I already knew the competition was too tough for OTS.

    That's why I've been donig lots of research on OCS. And I will be meeting an Army OCS recruiter in my area pretty soon (he gave me a call this morning and set up an appointment).

    Yes I think I will be satisfied in the AD world. I believe it's a different world but just like anything else it will have its pros and cons. And it will be a demanding career starting from the beginning of application process.

    Now when I talked to the OTC recruiter, she specifically told me I can not apply to OTS until I disenroll in AFROTC. However the OCS recruiter told me otherwise. But we did not spend much time on the phone so I'll find out the answer when I meet up with him in person.

    My commander in ROTC said he'd more than happy to write me a rec. letter if I decided to appy to OTS or OCS which I was really happy about. I've been studying for the tests and bought an aviation related book to study for OTS (a while ago but it does not seem I need to study aviation for the test anymore since I won't be applying for OTS).

    So if I find out I can apply to OCS while participating in AFROTC, I will update here.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I wasn't talking about AD life in general, but in specific regarding the branches.

    The Army, Navy and AF are not always interchangeable regarding many branches. You need to ask yourself what is it that you see yourself doing in each branch.

    After you ask that question, ask yourself what is your back-up career path in that branch.

    For example:
    1. Intel
    ~~~Well every branch has Intel thus, it is no biggie really.

    Now what if there are no Intel spots, what will you put as your back up plan?

    Does every branch have that career field?

    How does it differ from the others? Maintainers for the Army have a higher risk of being in the sand, whereas, Maintainers in the Navy will be on water.

    You need to have a career field in mind when going down this path, or at the very least some idea of it. Yes, I know many change their mind over the course of ROTC as they are exposed to new and varying options, but for the majority they do walk in with a specific career goal.

    Actually, last April they did not cancel the rated board for OTS, they canceled the non-rated board. The AF tracks out that early. There are actually two types of OTS/OCS boards. Rated and non-rated. The same is true for promotion in the AF. Line officers have theirs, Medical has theirs, JAG has theirs and Chaplains have theirs.

    Here's the article regarding this issue with the boards
    http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2010/04/airforce_ots_board_042410w/

     
  14. ldbaseball16

    ldbaseball16 New Member

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    Good Morning all,

    I am also an AS250 and I feel the same way I just got my cumulitive gpa thats going to into competeing for for an EA for summer of 2011 and its not great(2.7), but PFA is a 99.7 and the cadre ranked my top 1/3 in the gmc. Does anyone know how everything is calculated so you know your possibilities of getting an EA??

    Thank you,
    Ldbaseball16
     
  15. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Hi,

    As my commander showed me, last year the avg GPA of selected cadets was 3.22 and PFA was 91 something. The numbers are very accurate and mine were just about that but the selected average is very likely to go up as projected selected cadets are going to be only 42 % nation-wide compared to 67% last year.

    I am actually keeping my options open by considering Army OCS and if that does out work out, I'll always have Army ROTC as a back-up plan. I am confident to say this about AROTC is because my commander said he'll talk to Army ROTC commander personally if I do not get an EA. And I'd be happy to accept it.

    I'd say keep working hard and showing dedication and good things will happen. Even if there's no EA for us, serving other branches can still be a good route to consider.
     
  16. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Earlier this command period my commander showed me the calculation. Let me see if I can remember correctly about class ranking..

    35 percent is GPA
    15 percent is PFA
    50 percent is class ranking which breaks down to officership quality, GPA again and PFA again..

    This is really just a rough sketch, but you get the idea, GPA is very important. And I believe when submitted, included in the packet is a rec. letter from your commander. So making the cadre see your hard work and having faith in you as a future officer is also crucial.

    just my personal opinion.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    At this point your fate is in their hands.

    You will know in 6-8 weeks. Until then just come to terms with there is nothing more you can do.
     
  18. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    8 weeks? That's the end of Febuary and beginning of March. Wow, I thought we'd hear back in the middle or end of March.

    I have just started my process of OCS application, don't want to put my life on hold while waiting for EA. Hopefully there will be good news from at least one branch for me.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    For LDAC our DS found out in early March. It than becomes insane! You need to get medical records cleared and start what is called a BAG DRAG! Where you must have every item on their list and it ranges from t-shirts with your last 4 SS numbers on the tag to a specific amount of blue ink pens.

    If you are a 200-250 you have yet to attend summer field training. That list will not come out until FEB/MAR.

    You need to ALWAYS keep in mind that it is NATIONAL when it comes to the board for LDAC or AFSC.

    WJUW Is being very honest, everything matters!

    WJUW,

    Just wait until you are AD...it is not 6-8 weeks waiting, but 6-9 MONTHS regarding promotion.
     
  20. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    an update for myself: I haven't done the DoDMERB yet. I don't think the class of 250s have done it. Might receive one in January. Because I believe one gets DoDMERB done before being submitted for EAs.
     

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