Is the AF out of money?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by newdawn4, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. newdawn4

    newdawn4 Member

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    Rumor has it that a sophmore applied for an express scholarship and was later told that there was a "money problem" at the AF HQ and they could not award him with a scholarship. Both detachment commander and student was shocked b/c he was a shoe in for the scholarship. The student was reassured that the AF was getting their "act" together and he should be getting his scholarship junior year. But they could not retro the scholarship for his sophomore year b/c there's no money to give.

    Then I found this article:

    Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

    4/20/2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Force Recruiting Service officials here announced April 14 that the Air Force is canceling the upcoming summer Officer Training School board and possibly other future boards until further notice.

    The board is being canceled due to the Air Force's recently announced overall force management program to reduce authorized end-strength. End-strength is the maximum number of personnel each service is authorized annually by Congress and limited by Department of Defense budget constraints.

    The number of boards held annually is determined by how many officers the primary commissioning sources anticipate graduating each year. Due to the Air Force's force management program, Air Force Recruiting Service will be limiting line officer accessions per force management program guidance.

    "Air Force retention is currently at a 15-year high," said Brig. Gen. Alfred Stewart, AFRS commander. "Although this situation is a tremendous testament to the dedication of our great Airmen and the high regard they have for the Air Force as a career and as a way of life, we now have more Airmen serving than we are authorized by Congressional mandate. Therefore, unless the Air Force takes aggressive and immediate actions to balance the force, this overage will continue to grow."

    The OTS board cancellation is not permanent and selection boards will be held sometime in the future, General Stewart added. Candidates are encouraged to keep in touch with their recruiter and periodically refer to Recruiter Online for more information.

    To read more about the Air Force's force management program, visit the Air Force Personnel Center's Web site.

    http://www.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123200683

    Has anyone heard of similar stories?? :confused:
     
  2. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    A high school class mate of our daughter has lost her scholarship because she was not selected to attend Summer Training after her sophomore year. She is a very bright, hard-working young lady who had been awarded a full, four-year scholarship. It looks to me like the AF is definitely cutting the numbers they will commission.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is not really a money issue, but because of federal mandates every branch can only have a certain percentage of Company grade to Field grade to Flag. Currently, as they stated they are at a 15 yr high regarding retention. That means not enough Capts are diving at the 5 yr point, thus they have to find a way to slow down the flow. The way they do that is to cancel OTS/OCS boards and repeal scholarships if the cadet is not making the cut.

    For example, as I have stated on another thread, at our DS's det. 2 srs were told that they would not be commissioned in the AF this spring. One for a gpa below 2.5 and the other because they did not pass their final PFA. There is also a girl who is a sophomore too since she did not get selected for summer training they have revoked her scholarship also.


    It is important to understand that it is not just academics that play into the equation when you go up for a board, they look at everything. The girl in our DS's class, had a low scoring PFA (barely passing), a mediocre AFOQT and no job in the det. She also did not belong to one of the military fraternities on campus, there are 3 fraternities (one is the equivalent to a sorority and 2 are not gender specific) All she had to show the board was her academic abilities, granted she is on dean's list, but that was it. Now compare her to our DS, he has a 3.2 gpa, interning on Capitol Hill (VA affairs), high AFOQT, very high PFA, his job in the det is PT instructor, and he belongs to AAS. That is what the board saw when they compared the two cadets. They have limited slots, so that resume was a factor.

    In the end, even if she made it all 4 yrs without summer training, she would probably have been given walking papers and not commissioned because the board would see her as not competitive.

    Lesson for the incoming cadets, it is not just about academics, just like the scholarship board, you will be judged by your whole package at the det against every cadet around the country, it is not enough to say carry a 3.0 and I am in like flin!
     
  4. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    While I agree with the above, I think it is important to note that some of the activity that we are currently observing by the Air Force (and Navy) is in my opinion a temporary measure. They (the AF) have already begun to cut back on the number of AFROTC scholarships being given to high school seniors and in-college students to a number that is more in line with their manpower projections. Combined with their efforts to trim the AD personnel (RIF) and the reported cut backs on OCS & possibly the AFA, and I think the future looks very bright for those beginning AFROTC this year and in the next couple of years. Just my opinion but I think the in-coming group of AFROTC scholarship awardees (and those in the next few years) are going to be members of a smaller more select group than in the past decade and are going to have quite a few career options available to them when they are commissioned IF they follow the advice Pima outlined above and work on hard on their AFROTC requirements.

    It might also be important to point out that Pima's son attends a SMC and most/many "regular" AFROTC colleges do not have specific ROTC dorms for AFROTC cadets.
     
  5. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    To add to this, I think that AF is probably the first service to go through this, but as we begin to disengage in the middle east, the other services will soon find themselves in the same RIF/fewer commissions/etc mode. Army drastically reduced their ROTC scholarships this year, and it may get very competitive for the folks who were the "pig in the python" who will be commissioning in the next couple of years.
     
  6. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Really? I thought he was going to the same school that Bullet went to, unless Bullet went to a SMC as well?
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Sam is correct, he attends Bullets alma mater. He is not in a SMC. Don't know where the dorm became an issue since I did not discuss this, except to say next yr he will be living with some AAS AFROTC cadets.

    The real reason IMO that we are seeing this is tied to the economy. When the economy is good, AD members will dive at the 5 yr pt. However, we have 10% unemployment and that means many will stay because a paycheck is a paycheck. 4 yrs ago when the scholarships were being awarded to the class of 10, the AF expected and planned on a certain % of earlier commissioning classes would dive at their 5 yr point. Right now that would mean class of 05, however, since 05 the economy continued to tank and now you have had the class of 01-05 staying and not diving, this clogs up the pipeline.

    In essence, the AF got hammered because of the economy and that was the cause of the RIF occurring. They are required to maintain certain man power levels and the economy created the retention. It is a common joke when the economy is good, the military can't get enough people, when it is bad they can't get RID of enough people. There is an inverse relationship with military man power and unemployment.

    It is not only the ROTC they are hitting, they are hitting AFA grads too that wash out of UPT. I know of several UPT students that are AFA 09 who have been handed their walking papers. When a RIF is not on the horizon the AF is known to either Wash Back or allow them to convert into a new field. RIF is here and those options are rare.

    I also agree you will probably see the Army go through it in a few yrs. The reason why is that the AF and Army have created the Blue to Green program, which means you can cross over to the Army. If too many members do this than the Army will face the same ratio problem in a few yrs.

    It is all about the ratio. Don't be shocked that in the next few yrs the AF speeds up the O4 board and lowers the promotion rate. They typically will do this to get the last stragglers. There are regs that state the AF must cut Reserve commissioning before they cut the full commission (slang for SA commissioning). However, they can cut them with no prejudice by passing them over 2x for O4, thus, they speed the board up to get that yr groups number in line.

    I also agree that for future classes. It is obvious that they are already cutting cadets with ROTC scholarships based on various reasons, by the time they get to commissioning they will be down to bare mins. If the economy changes this yr, you could actually see the pipeline open up by 11, because earlier commissioned classes will start diving and now the company grade is undermanned. That of course means they will for ratio purposes slow down the O4 board.

    Finally, I still want to drum into every cadets mind, that your ROTC involvement matters. When you go up for your AFSC, especially if UPT is your top choice, your cadet commander and det commander will attach a rec for you that the board will review. You just don't say I want Intel and VOILA you get Intel. Your det will be a part of the decision making process. If you just go in on lab days and show up for PT you are not going to have a strong rec. If you are active and participate in the det, you are no longer a name, but a person. They can write a stronger rec because they know you, instead of just saying generic statements. You can be the cadet where they state cadet was flight commander that had the highest scoring PFA for their flight or you can have the rec that says cadet showed high military standards in their flight. The first highlighted that you were a commander at some level, the latter said you were in the same det, but never had a command position. How do you get those spots at the det? You volunteer and become active in the det, because now when they choose between you and them, they know you and you are not a name, you are "OH I know them, they were a part of our Relay for Life run last Saturday!" Then they go to the other and say, "Remind me, who is this again?" Remember dets can be as large as a couple hundred kids, the det commander is not going to remember every freshman and sophomore unless they make an impact. You need their sponsorship for summer training, that means you have 3 semesters to make an impact before you go to the 1st of many boards.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I'm sorry, I thought your son went to Virginia Tech.
    Don't the military fraternities at your son's school have their own dorms or houses?
     
  9. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Agreed. There may be too many current ROTC sophomores, juniors and seniors for the any of the military branch's projected officer needs. My guess is our children (class 0f 2014) will find themselves in a much smaller freshman class than the current ROTC students experienced. I wonder if the 2014 freshman class is actually even smaller than projected needs in order to compensate for the larger number than necessary of sophomores, juniors and seniors that are already in the pipeline?
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    A. Our DD will be attending Tech this fall, but she is not going to be involved in the corps.

    B.Military fraternities are not social fraternities. They have social aspects, but they are not like the typical fraternity that you find on frat row. AAS does not have greek letters, they are simply Arnold Air Society aka Arnie Air aka AAS.

    At our DS's school, AAS members do have houses, but it is because they live off base and opt to live with other AAS members. There is "NO ONE" house, but multiple residences, and they just bring in people because someone else graduated and now they need them to cover the rent.

    At his school there is no dorm for ROTC, they are thrown in the mix with incoming freshman. He had special housing because he is a Scholars student, and the school housed all freshman Scholars together and not with general admits.

    I would take the leap that 14 and 15 will be smaller because they are cutting cadets that are currently in the system. You can also see if you have been around a long time on this site that 13 and 14 had a lot more cadets with smaller scholarships than previous yrs. That meant Maxwell was already shutting the faucet down by giving less.
     
  11. newdawn4

    newdawn4 Member

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    My D's AFROTC detachment got a 65% increase in freshman enrollment this year of which 55% completed the year to continue on their second year. Competition for field training slot will certainly be very competitive for this class when only 75% are selected to go.

    We're feeling very fortunate for my D who is completing her junior year. She has a pretty small size class and has many opportunities to hold different positions.

    As for our second D, she knows she'll have to step it up once she starts the program. Thanks to everyone here for the words of wisdom. Always good to be fully informed.
     
  12. semperfi

    semperfi Member

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    Although my DS is NROTC-MO, I thought this was a great piece of advice. I included it in an email to him. Thanks!
     

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