Field Training

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by ATCGUY, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. ATCGUY

    ATCGUY New Member

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    My DS is in his junior year, enrolled in afrotc. Last year he was advised by his Cadre to delay application to FT because of his gpa and the reduced acceptance rate, since he would only get one chance to apply. He could improve gpa and apply to go between his junior and senior year (btw - all applicants were accepted, even cadet with lower gpa).

    Last week he has told that next year could see even less percentage accepted. He is now classified as a 500, which I believe means you applied to FT and was not accepted. He his trying to get his classification changed, but they told him not to worry.

    Looking for suggestions as to what his options are, aside from studying his but off.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I maybe wrong, but I am almost 100% positive that he is indeed a 500. A 500 is the code for jrs. that did not attend SFT. They can't change him to a 200 because his commission date would be 14 not 15. 200's are 2015.

    There has been much talk about how AFROTC had 93% acceptance rate LY, with only 100 more slots. Your DS's det seems to illustrate why. Although he was eligible the Command felt he would have a better shot as a jr. due to his cgpa at that time. Remember they only can judge from historical data. They didn't know what LY's data would be before they submitted the packets. If he was on the cusp and submitted him, AF could have disenrolled him. They decided that they wanted to protect him from that option.

    Unfortunately, it appears other Commands had the same philosophy as his det.

    I think he should follow the Command's position about not worrying as long as he pulls up his cgpa. Part of the SFT package is the Commander's rec. They may be looking out for him. They may rank him as the Top Choice so he gets more pts in that portion. Start freaking and fighting he can go from TOP to SUPPORT.

    I see no positive reason to rock the boat. The AD world is based on fighting for yourself, but also trusting the hierarchy that has insight you are not privy to when it comes to your perspective.

    Take a minute to remove your emotions as a parent. It is hard, but you will have to do this for at least 7 more yrs of his AF life. Think about from your employment experience. Do you not agree sometimes there is a method to the madness that only is seen later on? How will you react when a subordinate starts making waves? The Command has 15-20 yrs ADAF experience. They are not newbies.

    That is where he is at right now. There was a method to their madness.

    I would suggest that he shines with his cgpa. He maxes his PFT. He volunteers for crap duty in the det. Tell him to make sure they know he is not quitting or slacking. Tell him to salute sharply and thank them for their time to talk to him.

    Let them see he believes in their word.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OBTW for candidates and cadets, please heed this post.

    What now may happen is a glut of 14's as 500's competing against 15 200's. If they take more 14's than the acceptance rate of 15 cadets, than more 15's will compete against 16's.

    Trickle down effect.
     
  4. ATCGUY

    ATCGUY New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response, Pima. He does have a lot of support from his classmate 300's and they are really bending the ear of the Cadre. Hopefully this will play into the situation.

    I read in one of your previous postings http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=16109 that any delay in graduation could risk getting a pilot slot. Since DS is required to have 3 semesters after FT, he will not graduate as scheduled in May of 2014, but December 2014. Is this something the AF is planning or will he compete with the 15's. You also stated that Cadets will apply for UPT in Junior year. Since he is Junior, but not 300, how will this effect his chances?
     
  5. ATCGUY

    ATCGUY New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response, Pima. You made reference in a previous post that any delayed graduation could complicate chances for pilot slot. My DS was told that after FT you are required to have 3 semesters. This will move graduation back from May '14 to December '14, which also effects commissioning date. Does the AF consider that in their planning? Does he still compete with the 14s for a pilot slot or is he bumped back to the 15s?

    You also mentioned that as a 300 (Jr) you apply for pilot slot. Since he is in his Jr. year, but not a 300, how does that impact him and when can he apply for pilot slot? I'm sure he is being guided by the Cadre, but sometimes not all the info makes it back home. And sometimes he may not know all the questions to ask (although I'm sure he does, its probably just a concerned parent's perception that he doesn't)
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FY budgets run from Oct to Sept. Graduating in Dec. would put him in the next fiscal yr budget. He would not be FY 14, but instead FY15. The moving commissioning back reference is tied to the question of why he is not graduating in 14, but now 15. His command may have known this last yr when he was eligible for SFT., thus why they felt confident into pushing him back. They already knew he was not a 14, whereas others would be a 14. In essence, the question is was he slated for Dec when the board met LY, or is this a new turn of events due to academic reasons...i.e. switching majors or re-taking a few courses because of grades. Just like SFT the cgpa matters for rated boards.

    He must attend SFT to commission, no SFT = dis-enrollment. He can't go to a board unless he attends SFT. The reason why is how they rank out of SFT is part of their OML score. Rank = DG, top 1%, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 and below 50. I believe it accounts for 20% of their OML, won't swear by it. Even if they allowed it, 0 points on 20% of the OML would equal no rated option, and bottom of the barrel non-rated choices.

    He will apply with everyone else that will graduate FY15. In Nov after SFT, he will take his TBAS, if he has any flight hrs he needs to bring that log with him for the test. This portion of the OML is 40%. (if I recall correctly). They submit their packets in Dec.. The board announces their decisions @Feb. Mar. their 300 yr. If not selected, they will than submit their non-rated choices in the spring and find out @ this time their fall 400 yr. In his case about 2 months before commissioning. For Dec. grads, the turn around time for base assignments are quick, and they find out a few weeks later, @ Nov.

    You need to realize that for AFROTC there usually is a long wait time between commissioning and reporting for both rated and non-rated. Nick4060 is going non-rated, commissioned in May, and has a report date somewhere in Oct. Our DS is going UPT. He leaves a week from today, and was also a May commission. The earliest one out of his Det left Aug. 2nd. The bulk are leaving this week like our DS. The reason why is they are coming out of the FY13 budget since the report date is not 9/30, it is 10/1. It's all about the budget. DS only got his official orders the 1st of Sept. He knew the tentative report date, but anyone in the military will tell you that things change and until orders are in hand don't assume it won't change. Even at that point it is not a lock.

    The way it works is they are in a queue regarding their commissioning date. AFA always goes 1st, than AFROTC and OTS is dispersed in there too. He would be behind all of the May grads with a rated slot. That being said, our DS will report for casual status, he does not go to IFS for several more months. So, again, it doesn't really impact the AF as far as scheduling because Dec grads are one of their smallest commissioning groups. They can squeeze them in easier compared to May. He may or may not go directly to IFS with no casual status time period like DS.

    He needs to expect that he won't report for at least 2 or 3 months after commissioning. That means for him to figure out what he will do for money during those months.

    Finally, what will also happen the summer of his SR yr after being picked up is they will send him to Wright Pat for a 3 day rated physical. At the same time he will also apply for his TS clearance. These are 2 critical things because without them he can't go rated. They also both take time to clear. It is about a 6 week process from start to finish. The govt will send people out to speak to the references he lists, and they will literally make sure every yr of his life is accounted for from birth, i.e. lived where from when to when. I assume you are not military, so it might not be a problem, but if you did move during these yrs., they want them to list it, and you must list a certain amount of ref. for each place you lived during this time.

    One last thing about the rated board, has he started to process the fact that they don't just give out pilot slots, but CSO, ABM and UAVs? One of our friends DS applied this past July for OTS, he did not get pilot he got CSO. He is having a hard time deciding if he wants to go and be a CSO. There is no best 2 out of 3 option. You take the hand they dealt you. In the past few yrs AFROTC has been giving out about 90% pilot, thus why this OTS board gave out about 90% CSO. However, AFROTC gets the left overs from the AFA. If the numbers change from the AF and AFA side for manning issues, i.e. slowing the UPT pipeline down, they will also impact AFROTC and OTS. He needs to be sure now that he will be happy with a UAV or ABM or CSO because nobody here, and nobody at ROTC can tell him right now what the FY15 numbers will look like for UPT. They can only tell them what it has historically looked like over the past few yrs.

    OOPS one last thing. The hardest part for him will be studying for his AFOQT/TBAS because many cadets do that over the summer, but for him he will be at SFT. The same may be true for IFS. The May grads had the summer off to recharge their batteries, and than many went to their base, but are going casual, not directly to IFS. This gives them more time to study for IFS. I am not saying or implying he will leave immediately for IFS and not casual status, just saying that on top of his academics for school, he will need to study for the AF world too if he wants to be in front of the ball. AFOQT is easy it is like the SAT. TBAS is more geared toward flying aspects, hence why they accept flight hours for extra points.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  7. ATCGUY

    ATCGUY New Member

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    DS was told by Cadre that 3 semesters are required after FT (although there is talk of increasing post FT time to a full year), so he hopes to go next summer, between his Jr and Sr year. This will change graduation from May '14 to Dec. '14. He will already have had plenty of credits, in fact, since he has to have the additional semester, he may end up with double major. He will inquire about whether taking classes during summer '14 will fulfill requirement. This will put graduation date in August '14 and keep him in FY '14, as well as keeping him with classmates/roommates and essentially putting him back on track.

    Not sure if this will help or hurt him, as you stated before, no one knows the needs of the AF in the future. Especially with the impending sequestration. Although military personnel are exempt, the cuts to defense budget will fall on operations, maintenance, training, and logistics. That, combined with the possible pullout in 2014, makes it a very challenging time to be seeking a career in the AF.

    The possibility of going non-rated is something he has considered. He does have a handful of flight hours and getting his PPL is something we have looked at. I would imagine that even a student pilot rating would get more points than just flight hours. Has anyone been able to go from a CSO to get accepted for a pilot slot? He has also considered as plan C...D...E... switching to another branch. Is the chance a for pilot slot equally competitive across all branches? His goal is to eventually fly helicopters for search and rescue.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    ATCGUY,

    Take one day at a time. Right now he needs SFT, no way around it.

    Now if you want to talk hypothetical, than here goes.

    1. He has some flight hours.
    ~ I assume he has a log. He just takes that log with him and they registered at his TBAS exam. I don't know the breakdown, but if he has a log, what's the worst that can happen? He gets no points and carried a 1/2 lb book with him to the test. The best? He got extra points for his TBAS and scores higher for the rated board.
    ~~~ I think lugging the book will be worth it!

    2. CSO issue
    ~ In the 20 yrs Bullet served, I can only recall 1 WSO that didn't get UPT. The reason why was he couldn't get an age waiver. He will have to go through UNT, FTU, MQ, be the best at his 1st op base, get Squadron support, Wing support and board selection.

    It is a chance he needs to understand. It is yrs before he will be winged from a realistic perspective if he is not picked up as a UPT alternate in AFROTC. Most likely he will be 26ish when he enters UPT, and 27 when he gets his air frame. Constant schools, learning, applying and moving for 6 more yrs.

    Due the count. CSO to Pilot
    ~ Commissions from college. Comes home for 6 months before going to UNT
    ~~UNT for @ 1 yr. SERES and Water Survival TDY included
    ~~~FTU for 6 months
    ~~~~ Op base. MQ 90 days. ICSO, 18 mos.
    ~~~~~Selected UPT 2 yrs after reporting to OP...4 yrs after commissioning
    ~~~~~~ UPT 1 yr
    ~~~~~~~ FTU 6 months

    6 moves in @ 6 yrs. I am not saying in any shape or form he shouldn't do it. I think he should, but I am trying to illustrate the path, and how long it takes to get from a CSO to a pilot world when everything aligns. He needs to ask if he wants to be a student until he is 28 on a good day.

    He also should talk to his command and ask how this may play into the equation of making rank and commitment owed to the AF.


    3. He wants Helo's why did he go AF and not Navy or Army for ROTC. I get why for CG.
    ~ Yes, the AF has Helo's, but they are the branch that is known for Fixed wing, not Rotor.

    I would pm another poster on this site for guidance. I BELIEVE, won't swear by it, but Raimius is going Helo. He is an AFA10 grad. I believe he wanted Helo's and got it from UPT. He can tell your DS the chances of rotor drops out of UPT. Drops change each and everytime regarding the airframe.

    Best wishes and hopes.

    For now, go with the flow, and the more you ingest the more you will feel confident that he will get it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012

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