I want nothing more than to go to OTC/OCS but my track record is awful


New Member
I was a dumb kid 4 years ago and decided to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol. Additionally, I failed to inform AFROTC about my speeding tickets, marijuana usage, and fake ID. I was removed from ROTC (rightfully) and graduated with a degree and no plan for the future. I want to apply to OTS, but with all of this history, I'm afraid I'd be wasting my time. I want nothing more than to serve as an officer but I'm worried that review boards won't even bother looking at my profile. I'm wondering if I'd be better off enlisting and trying again after a few years or shooting my shot now.


New Member
Update: I was the one that came clean to the rotc about my delinquencies and they made the decision to remove me.

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Do you have a DD-214, your discharge document? That will usually have an RE code that determines if you are eligible to enter the armed services.

Find an officer recruiter and have the candid conversation.

Though this source is unofficial, I believe it is accurate on RE codes:

The officer recruiter will not be found in your neighborhood shopping center office.

If you truly want to serve, there is nothing wrong with enlisting, and forgiveness may be found there. You will learn to be a technical leader but a follower first, and your college major could be a great asset in assignment and advancement. Be sure to research the E1-E3 pay tables vis a vis any college loans you may have, and any fine print about military deferment.

If you really want to be an officer, find the people who have the power to say yes or no, and learn the answer. Then determine next steps.


Prior-enlisted AF officer (and OTS graduate) here.

Currently, pre-service marijuana usage is not a DQ for the USAF unless it is attached to criminal charges. If you don't have a DD-214 (or DD-785 indicating you were contracted), then I'd suspect that usage would be considered "pre-service".

The USAF doesn't really have any officer recruiters-- for a civilian application to OTS, you will generally begin with a regular recruiter and clearly express your interest in OTS. Typically you will be passed on to a supervisor (usually senior enlisted) who handles OTS applications, prior-service enlistments, etc. This person may or may not be in the same office.

Keep in mind that you will likely need to submit a waiver for OTS-- depending on how you were disenrolled from AFROTC. Given the stated circumstances, I can't see how you wouldn't, but perhaps there is some nuance not shared here.

Your largest barrier (to enlistment or commissioning) will likely be tied to the fake ID and speeding tickets. If any of those resulted in any criminal convictions (even if plead down to a suspended sentence or probation), you're going to have serious issues getting a security clearance. I'm not aware of any AFSC's that don't require a minimum of a secret clearance. That clearance can get tripped up by seemingly innocuous things that actually indicate character flaws, like lying about your age to purchase age-restricted items.

I have served with plenty of fellow Airmen with rougher pre-accession backgrounds than yours, so there is definitely room for optimism. I have also had brand new troops ultimately discharged for failure to get their security clearance due to high debt burdens, a history of bad checks, and (yes) excessive speeding tickets.

My advice would be to enlist. Serve long enough to pick up Staff, get a little bit of supervisory experience, and build a solid military resume that shows you really turned things around. Then apply to OTS.

At least you don't have a DUI/DWI-- that would make accession nearly impossible at this point.

Good luck!


Keep in mind that time is a major factor in waiver considerations. The more time you have with good behavior and honorable service, the less of an impact your "dumb kid days" will have on your package.

If the AF won't take you now, apply to another branch and then transfer later.

If you can find a recruiter that is willing to at least attempt that OTS package for you, then you could feasibly run both packages (enlistment + OTS) at the same time. If you don't get picked up after a board or two, then head off to BMT at cheery JBSA-Lackland. There are a lot of really cool enlisted jobs that also offer bonuses, and you will also pick up E-3 right out of the gate due to your degree. You can also knock out your Master's with tuition assistance over the following 3-4 years.

However, understand that the AF generally only allows one commissioning attempt per lifetime. The waiver allows you a second chance, but if you get it, that's it, kid. If you get that waiver to commission, you got to make it happen-- don't even consider dropping out of OTS or waffling out last-minute.

It's been some time since I went through OTS, but the fundamentals are still the same, and there are a certain number of new cadets that inexplicably drop out each year after a couple of weeks. For those that understand the amount of effort that goes into a successful OTS application, it's absolutely baffling why one would go that far just to quit after two weeks of a generally unpleasant but wholly survivable experience.

Again, good luck. I hope it works out.

Stay away from the jobs requiring a TS for now :)