Need Guidance: AFROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Bob Loblaw, Aug 11, 2016.

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  1. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw New Member

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    I'm currently a high school senior who's been hell bent on being a pilot for as long as I can remember. I'm very interested in enrolling in AFROTC at Penn State. So far I've been ignored by the local recruiters, and get generic copy and paste email responses from the cadre at PSU. I am basically lost and just need some help getting started. I can share anything you guys need
    Thanks
     
  2. Sled

    Sled Member

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    For AFROTC you never talk to any "recruiter." What you need to do is sign up for the AFROTC classes (Leadership Laboratory, PT, Aerospace studies). Also contact the detachment by calling the number on their website. http://www.airforce.psu.edu/
     
  3. AlphaAlphaSigma

    AlphaAlphaSigma Member

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    A phone call will get you farther than an email request. Calling is a lost art these days that if you do call they see that you're taking initiative.
     
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  4. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw New Member

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    I've already decided to do that tomorrow. I'm not partial to text and email anyway, it just seems that that's what people "should use"
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Bob,

    If that is your real name and not a moniker, I STRONGLY suggest you contact the mods and ask them to open up your account so you can change your moniker. This is an anonymous forum for a reason. You don't want to put your name out there like that because unlike facebook you can't do private settings regarding posting.

    Back on topic.
     
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  6. txpotato

    txpotato Member

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    Obviously you guys have never watched Arrested Development ("Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else... noticed?").
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OBTW, an FYI. Recruiters have little to do, if anything with ROTC. Their job is to recruit enlisted or assist in OCS. They are not informed enough on the HSSP/ICSP scholarships, nor the system for AFROTC... ask them about SFT, and 10 will get you twenty they do not know that acronym. Whereas every AFROTC det. can tell you the stats you need to be deemed competitive for SFT.

    SFT is Summer Field Training. As a Sophomore (C200/250) you compete for a slot at Maxwell AFB. Not selected typically equals disenrollment, end of AFROTC for you and thus, no commissioning.

    I am not saying recruiters are not a great asset. I am just saying that their job is more oriented to enlisting.

    I would also say that AFROTC units as large as PSU, are insanely busy right now, while working on a skeleton crew.
    ~ Cadre cannot take vacation aka leave time while school is in session.
    ~ AF moves staff during the summer. You could have cadre on leave, one member leaving, one member coming in. They are getting their staff settled.
    ~ PSU is probably doing orientation for incoming class of 2020. Kids that did not get an AFROTC scholarship are showing up for PSU freshmen orientation. They will meet with the unit at that time too.
    ~ Class of 2016 commissioned only 2 months ago and they are doing the paperwork for their report dates as now a commissioned AF officer.
    ~ Class of 2017 rated will be right now going through their FAA FC! physical at Wright Pat. More paperwork for the unit.
    ~ Class of 2017 non-rated are getting ready to be boarded in the fall at HQ AFROTC for their career fields, thus they are getting their paperwork in order for that board.
    ~ Class of 2018 are at SFT, and they are dealing with their paperwork
    ~ Class of 2019 on scholarship can bolt. They need to clear out those cadets.
    ~ Class of 2020 is entering and they are making sure that their DoDMERB, and final paperwork is submitted so they can activate the scholarships immediately.

    I am not trying to be rude. I am trying to illustrate how much is done between May and Aug. just for the cadets that are within their system. I would be shocked if they have more than 5 staff members to handle all of that paperwork. A large unit can have over 200 cadets in their system.

    I hope this helps for you regarding why you just need to start your AFROTC scholarship now. It is not about ignoring you. It is about there just not enough hours in the day to connect unless you reach out more, such as a direct phone call.

    Hint: Great to want to be a pilot, but I would not lead with that. You know what they call an O2/O3/O4, etc. pilot? Lt./ Capt. Major. They do not call them Pilot loblaw. They will ask what if you can't wing due to medical or flight training aspects? You need to be able to answer that question if you want their support.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't think any of us were raking him over the coals. Sorry, I never watched that show, which in turn made me want to protect them from that aspect. Ready for my 2,016,000 wet spaghetti noodle lashes for being so ignorant in my tv programming choices! OBTW, if someone posted their name as Alan Harper's DS (can't remember his name), I would say the same thing. I know there was Charlie and Alan, but can't remember that 1/2 man's name from 2 1/2 men. Nor can i remember ALan's ex wifes name.
    ~ It was meant with kindness.

    Waiting for the replies to tell me his name was..... Alan's ex was.... her 2nd husband was.... I do know that Alan's 2nd wife was Candy.

    There you go...a new thread for off topic...name that tv character! When I was young I wanted to be Jeannie Nelson, than it was Fran Sheffield, and now I feel like I am Sophia Petrillio.

    Back on topic...sorry for my rant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  9. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw New Member

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    Just say Bob Loblaw 10 times fast. And thanks
     
  10. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw New Member

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    Thank you I hadn't taken the rush of the new school year into consideration. You seem very knowledgeable so if you don't mind I'd like some more info before I call PSU either tonight or tomorrow. in regards to your question about rank, I do understand but how does that apply to the questions I'll be asking? Upon graduation doesn't every cadet become a second Lieutenant? Also I don't have any outstanding medical issues that would prevent me from flying but would have no idea about flight training. I apologize for being so ignorant, I do not come from a military family so I have had to learn the little I have through personal research.

    Thanks-Blah Blah Blah
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is not the questions you will be asking, but the questions they will be asking when I say do you know what they call a pilot that is an O2? Not Pilot Smith, but Lt. Smith. You are very common for the AF wanting to fly at this age, and they know it. However, the fact is once you are operational, you will not be flying 5 days a week, maybe 2, 3 at tops. The other days you will be flying a desk. Thus, that is another reason why they typically will have the follow up question of IF you don't get pilot what else do you see yourself doing in the AF? You don't want to say, WELL, I have dreamed of only flying and have never thought about the other career fields, such as, cyber or missiles, etc. etc.

    Yes, everyone does commission as a 2nd LT. For AFROTC unlike AROTC, you will go AD. Currently you cannot go to the Guard or Reserves. It is what the AF calls a Reserve Commission, but do not confuse that with going Reserves. What it means is for lack of better terms, your commission is not like a USAFA commission. If a Reduction In Forces (RIF) occurs, the AF must cut through the ROTC commissions before tapping out the USAFA grads. You have the same bennies as USAFA grads.

    As for medical issues. As a cadet you will go for the DoDMERB exam. It includes medical history from the time you were 13, including medications, visions, etc. Most kids get caught up on things that they never thought would be an issue or did not know they had. Color deficiency, astigmatism, mis-diagnosis of asthma. These may or may not require a waiver. This is the easy exam.
    ~ It also will ask if you have smoked marijuana or drank underage. In my years here, I have seen all different numbers for marijuana. They know you are all not angels, but there is a number that is not published which becomes the difference between experimental and habitual use. That number is going to be a factor too. Do not lie about this number, because you will also need a Top Secret clearance, and it will come out later. If you lie you risk not only being commissioned, but also they can now hand you the bill for the scholarship due to the fact that you lied.

    For rated you will be sent to Wright Pat AFB for 3 days. 2 of those days are doc exams. You will have everything done from an EKG to a dental visit, plus, vision, plus hearing, plus urine, cholesterol, in essence head to toe. It is 8-4 the 1st day, and 1/2 day the 2nd day ending with a quick exam from a flight surgeon. You must meet the FAA FC1 flight physical requirements. It is not common, but also not rare that a cadet can pass the DoDMERB, yet fail the FAA.
    ~ Bullet, my DH, passed the DoDMERB, but when he went up for the FAA they DQ'd him for scoliosis. His parents took him to a renown specialist in the scoliosis world and that doc submitted paperwork proving that the AF tech giving him xrays did it improperly and the AF accepted their medical decision. However, it was about 3-6 months to go through the waiver process, during that time HQ AFROTC had to start a back up plan for him, which would = flying a desk....see above why they ask what if you can't fly.
    ~ DS had 1 in his class that had an RPA slot, but was on the alternate pilot list. @ 3 months prior to commissioning he was given a pilot slot. The reason why he was told was because there obviously cadets that went through the FAA FC1 and did not get a waiver, thus the pilot slot opened up.
    ~ My DS has an astigmatism. He passed DoDMERB no problem, but to this day he has a waiver for it from the FAA.

    The FAA is the FAA, the AF is not going to overrule the FAA's decision regarding the FC1 regulations. Just saying it is a 2 prong medical aspect to become a rated officer. Once ADAF, you will rotate between a DoDMERB (short) and FC1 (long) exam every year. 1 year it is short, the next year it is the long.

    I am not trying to be Debbie Downer, just trying to show that most of these CoCs have either seen it in their career as a rated officer where things happen beyond their control or with cadets within their unit.

    You are at letter A and to get a pilot slot is letter G. To get to UPT , between the FAA and TS clearance is letter P. To wing is letter Z. Hitting home again why you need to be prepared to have a better answer than I am joining the AF because I have dreamed of being a pilot since I was 6. You will be an officer first, and a pilot second.

    The more you know and understand the better decision you can make, and that is something they like in a cadet. My DS walked in and said he wanted to be a pilot, but when they asked the what if, he was prepared. He immediately said Intel with the hopes of eventually getting a JAG slot. JAG is more competitive than getting a fighter slot....not lying.
    ~ OBTW, of the 13 that got a rated slot out of his class, only 8 winged. Those that busted out of UPT, all of them are still serving due to their committment, but they are flying a desk either in Intel or Cyber. His 2 best friends did not wing. 1 was gone at IFS. 1 busted 2 months from winging. It happens....again why they ask that question if that CoC has wings, be it pilot, RPA or CSO.
     
  12. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw New Member

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    I am well aware of everything covered in your first two paragraphs and do have back up career paths in mind. And in all honesty my primary goal is to acquire active duty flight time in the airforce and once my contract is up, transfer to the coastguard. I realize anything can happen in 7 years and nothing is even relatively set in stone, but just saying.
    I've not had any medical conditions or health issues as well as I make a point not to go to the doctor's often so there probably isn't much medical history to find something wrong. I have 30/20 in my left eye and 25/20 in my right eye, I believe so vision shouldn't be a problem. I don't want to give you my whole medical history, ha you don't really need that. I have never touched alcohol and I may have been contact high while I was at a public event in jr high, but I'll make sure to be forthcoming about that.
    Don't worry about seeming like a downer or too critical I see it as very constructive criticism.
    Now when you mentioned in your seventh paragraph about letters (A,G,P,Z) what do you mean by that? Are they just levels of clearance? If it's not that important now and I'll figure it out later then don't waste your time.
    Last thing. It is hard to find an accurate score goal for different tests. What are the desired ASVAB,SAT, and ACT scores. I have yet to take the ACT but plan on taking it this school year. My ASVAB score was either an 87 or an 89 but take the lower score for reference sake and an 1130 on the current SAT which I believe just switched back to the 1400 point scale. I plan on retaking the SAT this year a second time because I did not prepare for my last one and I know I can get a higher score. Are these competitive scores? Be honest, you won't hurt my feelings lol.
    Thanks
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think you might want to re-think your plan if flying for the coast guard is your ultimate goal.

    If you are selected for rated and wing, you will owe 9 years. Typically AFROTC grads will start UPT @9-12 months after commissioning. UPT is 54 weeks long. Thus, it will be about 11 years before you can leave the AF. On top of that the CG does not fly many of the airframes the AF does.
    ~ AF has very few helos, and the CG does not fly fighters, bombers and most of our heavies.

    Next, the CG would have to accept you at your age, and again most likely send you through their xtraining for whatever airframe they give you. I know pilots that have switched from the Navy to the AF after their commitment was up, but it is not common because you need that other branch to accept you at that incoming rank, which would be an O4. By the time they re-train you and get you operational, you basically would only have @ 7 -8 years left before you would be eligible to retire.
    ~At least for the x-branching between Navy and AF, they give you credit for that time in the other branch. It may be different between the CG and the AF because the AF is DoD and CG is Homeland.

    Regarding letters A-Z. It has nothing to do with the security clearance, it has everything to do with the hurdles you have to clear. IE getting a ROTC scholarship is letter A. Than the next hurdle is SFT selection. Than the rated board. Than passing the FC1. Than the TS. So on and so forth.

    You do not take the ASVAB for the AF as an officer. You take the AFOQT. For rated later on they will replace the AFOQT with the TBAS. The AFOQT is a 4 part timed exam like the ACT, but you will have components such as, Pilot and Nav.

    As far as I know the new SAT is a scale of 1600, not 1400. For AFROTC scholarships they do not superscore. It is best sitting. They have never used the writing portion so it has always been a 1600 scale. The avg best sitting depending on the type ranges from @1280 to 1330. The avg best sitting ACT ranges from @29 to 32 or 33 (can't remember). According to college board the 75 percentile for the new SAT is suppose to be @1200. To me when you look at the avg SAT for AFROTC scholarship under the old compared to the new you still want to be closer to that 1300.
    ~ Statistically @16-18% of all AFROTC scholarship candidates get one. Extrapolating those numbers, than you can see again that you need to be closer to that 90% not the 75%.
    ~~ 80% of all scholarships are type 7. If you get a type 7 and PSU is OOS, than you will not be able to activate it until your sophomore year.
    ~~~ 85% of all scholarships go to tech majors. If you want to go non-tech, than expect that those stats for the SATs to be higher due to the fact that they give out way fewer to non-tech. IE. Only 5% of all scholarships are type 1 are awarded nationally. Out of that only 5% go to non-tech. If you run the numbers, than you are talking about maybe 2 or 3 out of @900 scholarships. Very, very competitive. Type 2 is just a little bit better with @45-50 nationally.

    Scholarships are national and they do not care if 1 college has 100% on AFROTC scholarship and 0% at another. It is tied to the cadet and their major. You can take it to any college that accepts the AFROTC scholarship.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OBTW, where did you get the 7 year number? Being a sr. in hs. even if you went non-rated, you are honestly talking about 9- 10 years from now on a good day. Here's how I get that number.
    Class of 2021 if on a 4 yr program. (5 yrs from now)
    4 yrs ADAF release 2025.

    Now, the fact is your release date is not based on your commission date, it is based on your report date to your 1st operational base. Most ROTC grads will wait @6 months before they report. Thus, if you commission May 2021, and report Nov. 2021, your goodbye date is Nov. 2025.

    However, as I stated in the last post, if you want rated you are looking at 2032 when you can walk.

    There is no 7 year contract that I know of for pilots. It can change, but with the expected shortage of pilots it would not shock me if they change the commitment owed to even longer than the 9 they owe now after winging.
     

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