Job Assignments After Graduation?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by crackerjack, May 17, 2018.

  1. crackerjack

    crackerjack New Member

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    Hello all! I'm a soon-to-be senior in high school, and I've started my application to USAFA. However, I'm a bit fuzzy on how cadets get their job assignments following graduation. How much say do cadets have in what their career will be? I've heard that it is based on class rank and, of course, the needs of the Air Force, but I haven't had this confirmed.

    FYI, I'm an aspiring CRO, in case that changes anything.
     
  2. Velocity2012

    Velocity2012 Member

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    I found this thread which may be helpful relating to the competitiveness of CRO positions:

    https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/combat-rescue-officer.56073/

    Class rank certainly plays a role, but there are other aspects - activities that you undertake during your 4 years, roles within squad. My DD is completing her first year, and I am certainly no expert, but it seems as if you are tested from the day that you start at the Academy until the day you hang up your boots years later. Good luck on your application.
     
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  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Keep in mind that the needs of the service always have priority. So if you're interested in job A, but they don't need any new Lts for job A, then you won't get job A. Make sure there are alternative jobs you are willing to live with. If you're after a pilot slot then your airframe won't be assigned until some time late during pilot training.
     
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  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    Let me add a couple things.

    While the NEEDS of the military do come first, there are many jobs that have pseudo prerequisites. E.g. don’t expect to get a job as an engineer, if your major was in history, and you got a “C” in the couple of engineering classes required by all students. Not saying it’s not possible..... just much more difficult and unlikely.

    Also, some jobs, like the CRO you are interested in, as well as STO, and others in the Special Ops community, go way beyond the military needs or what you want. There’s a screening process that is quite extensive. My son is a STO. Many individuals applied for this job. Of all of them, they only select about 25-28 to even TRY OUT. If you put in for this, you’ll have a chance to apply and POSSIBLY Try Out, your senior year at the academy. Of the 25-28 who are selected to try out, only about 10-12 make it through the try outs and don’t quit. Of those 10 or so, only about 5 are actually selected to enter the pipe line to become a STO. Then there’s about 2 1/2 years of multiple stages of training, where many people get cut or quit.

    If you don’t make the first cut of 5 or so out of the 25-28 offered a chance to try out, chances are that you’ll be given a different job on your “Dream Sheet” at the academy. It’s rare to get a second chance to try out. My son didn’t make it his first try, but he was in graduate school after the academy, so being he was still in training, and not learning a JOB yet, they allowed he to try again. He did make it the 2nd time around.

    Anyway, I was elaborating on the special ops jobs, because that’s what you’re interested in. While my son is in fact a STO, and the Air Force definitely wants people in that job, there’s LESS than 100 STOs in the Air Force. The requirements are to demanding to just fill slots.

    There are some jobs, where your degree has no impact. Basically, your class rank at the academy has no impact. Certain jobs like a Pilot. Basically, if you want pilot, graduate, qualify physically, and aren’t a screwup, you can pretty much guarantee a pilot slots. However, once at UPT, how you perform there will determine if you keep a pilot slot, and whether you’ll fly fighters, cargo, refuelers, choppers, etc.

    Best of luck
    Mike
     
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  5. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    The AFSC selections take place in the fall of your senior year at the Academy and are split up into two categories. The first is for cadets desiring a RATED AFSC and the second is for NON-RATED. The rated AFSCs include Pilot, RPA, Combat Systems and Air Battle Manager. If a cadet wants to go rated then they obviously must be medically qualified. They can input preferences for a particular rated career field but could be chosen for ANY of the four based on the needs of the Air Force. It's an all in policy but there is a disproportionate amount of Pilot slots, which is naturally the most sought rated AFSC. I have the numbers but I'm not sure if I can publish them. Let's just say that there are 10 times more Pilot slots than any other rated AFSC. Roughly half of a given class year will go rated (500/1000 Academy cadets)

    If you want to go non-rated, then you give your AFSC preferences for no less than 6 jobs (preferably more). It's pretty much a dream sheet. You can add comments to this preference sheet (if you speak a different language) as rationale for why you should be picked for that job. There are also a number of jobs which require specific degrees such as Civil Engineering, Developmental Engineering, Scientist, and Finance (which only requires specific accounting courses) and are reviewed by the respective academic department heads to make sure the cadet is actually qualified and not just a C student. Once all the preferences are in, an algorithm is run at AFPC to optimize the selection. It is a combined model, so Academy and ROTC cadets are thrown into the same mix. The selection model runs off of a list of priorities:

    1) Meet Air Force TARGETS for all AFSCs
    2) Maximize number of DESIRED degree-AFSC matches
    3) Balance AFSCs to reflect AF priorities
    4) Maximize Cadet PREFERENCES

    Lastly are the boarded AFSCs which include OSI, Medical Service Corp, Biomedical Science Corps, Special Tactics Officer, Combat Rescue officer and Air Liaison Officer. You apply to these outside of the preference sheet and are notified of selection. But you will have been selected for a rated or non-rated AFSC by this time from which you must request release to pursue a boarded AFSC (mostly granted).

    There are also slots for cadets to continue to graduate school immediately following USAFA.
     
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  6. crackerjack

    crackerjack New Member

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    So just to be clear - I would list a set of AFSCs on a preference sheet, but apply to be a CRO separately and see if I'm selected?
     
  7. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    Essentially yes. There will be more info once you get to the Academy. The assignment selection process is not kept a secret.