The Leaders Encouraging Airman Development (LEAD) Program is an ongoing effort to give our best and brightest airmen the opportunity to excel by offering them appointments to the United States Air Force Academy. There are 170 appointments available for the Academy and the Academy Prep School for regular and reserve airmen.
The program, initiated by Gen Fogleman in 1995, delegates authority to Unit Commanders to nominate highly qualified airmen to attend the Academy or Prep School. Commanders have the opportunity to identify outstanding and deserving airmen with officer potential for this commissioning program.
I finished my application around the end of November/early December. I expected to hear word back around April/May because I heard the same as you but I was pleasantly surprised when i checked my portal this morning. I nearly gave everyone in my shop a heart attack with my sudden celebration!
I applied through LEAD and finished my application on Oct 15. I have been checking my portal and this forum at least once or twice a day for news and still havn't heard back. Any Airman applicant out there is still waiting?
I heard March 20th last year. I had a PM with a parent of a Prior who was told the week before I-Day. The out-processing at the base was done fast for that Airman. For me, I had a slower time due to orders not coming until much later but in plenty of time to out-process. Hold in there. I only got accepted my 2nd time. I was denied USAFA and the Prep my first time. If you are young enough to reapply, do it. If you want this and they give you the Prep, take it. You will know so many people when you get here and it helps with academics. It's a bit of a struggle for me having been out for 3 years with little to no preparation for jumping back into academics.
Don't forget to continue doing your best at what you do now. Continue what you would do to set up your enlisted career in the future and enjoy every day that you have left as enlisted. When I was turned down the first year, I had told myself I would celebrate either way. It felt bad knowing I had been rejected, but it honestly was a great additional year that I was able to spend enlisted and further some of the friendships and make new ones with my enlisted peers. I sincerely miss my closest friend from my enlisted service, and he helped me a lot in this past year. Continue to look to make SSgt and if you get appointed, use any and all experiences left to help develop yourself before you get here. It's amazing some of the things you get to teach Firsties about the AF and what they can encounter.
The wait make my head running with all kind of questions. I wonder what is the acceptance rate to the academy or prep school for prior enlisted airmen. They said that slots are never fill for LEAD program, but I know there are stories to that. Airmen are scored on their performances, and academics are "not as important." But to what level?
Turns out that my Commander called me this morning even though he was on leave out of Korea! I had a mini heart attack when he said "Do you think this is good news or bad news?". I said "I hope I said I'm praying its good news sir."
he then told me I was appointed!