Good afternoon people.
I have been told by the USAF recruiter in my area that I will not be looked at for Officer school based upon my GPA. He states that I can go Enlisted as an E-3 for a year and then put my paperwork in for OTS, but we all know that's easier said than done. If I do that, I will be going against E-5's and higher, who no doubt will blow me away because of time in grade and experience. I phoned another recruiter and they said the same thing, that my GPA was too low. Are there not any exams, waivers or trials that they could put me through, to give me a chance? If I go through the route that the recruiter states, by signing the contract, I guarantee 4-6 yrs of my life as enlisted for a "hope" that I can become an officer. But if I get a chance at OTS, its a guarantee that I am going to be an officer, unless I mess it up of course. The difference between the two paths is just too great to say "the heck with it, sign up and do your duty". Don't get me wrong, enlisted is good, and without that backbone in the service, the USAF would crumble, but with a degree in management and some darn good ASVAB scores, there has to be something I can do to get into OTS from the beginning. Also, the areas that I am interested in are Intelligence Officer and Health Care Administration Officer. I choose these because with the intel, I can get out eventually and work with FBI, CIA, NSA or other govt agencies. With HCA I can help run a hospital from a business aspect, to make them more efficient and effective. Does anyone have advice on what I should do in this dilema? I'm 26 yrs old and time is getting short.
Please advise, and thanks to all who help out.
Bachelors in Business Administration (Management, 05/2007)
ASVAB Scores (2nd time around, 09/2007)
ASVAB Scores (1st time around, 07/2007)
Wow good score. I was thinkin bout going OTS or something 4 years in but good luck to you.
The ASVAB test is not used for officer candidates. The Air Force Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT) is used. It is true that your GPA will cause you problems. To overcome it, you would need very high AFOQT scores, excellent recommendations, and you would also need to show that you have exhibited outstanding leadership skills (school & private organizations, etc). To put it bluntly, you would need to convince the Air Force that despite your low GPA, you have skills and abilities that they need.
GPA is no longer used in the officer boards (this year is the first year that is true). There were two big changes this year that refer to this.
1) No GPA information is supposed to be listed on p.5 of the AF56. The institutions are still listed, but "N/A" is to be put in the blank areas next to each one. I guess it is supposed to be handwritten in there since letters cannot be entered in these areas. (This sheet has unit commander initials on it so some re-accomplishing may be required if you already have signatures.)
2) GPA is not listed anymore next to any listing of graduate work on p.7 of the AF56.
So, I wouldn't probably inform your recruiter of this and go on with your officer board. Do not go enlisted if you want to be an officer. It will NOT increase your chances of being selected and you will be stuck enlisted for at least 2 years.
That's what happens when you're an old retired fart like me. Things change, and no one tells you. Thanks for the info!
Ok, so if GPA is no longer used in the officer boards, then my 2.5 shouldn't hinder me from trying to qualify for Officer in the USAF, correct? You state that I should go on with the officer board, but not to inform the recruiter of this. How would I go about entering the service as an Officer then, if I can't tell me recruiter the updated news?
Tell your recruiter exaclty what you read here about your GPA and see what he says. Get your package together and get him to send you to MEPS where you'll have to get a commissioning physical and take the AFOQT. After you do the MEPS thing and get your papers together, you'll also have to get an interview that your recruiter will have to set up for you (usually someone like an active duty Colonel). That's all that goes into the application process. Don't let him/her tell you that you won't be considered - no harm in trying And if you have other skills and leadership things, you'll be right up there with all the other applicants. Good luck!
That was my mistake, I meant to say "I would probably inform your recruiter..." So much for my proofreading skills.
Very few recruiters have done officer recruiters since the Air Force is switching away from officer and enlisted recruiters to just plain old recruiters. Therefore, it's likely your recruiter just doesn't know what is going on. (I know my recruiter had no clue during the whole process this year.)
Just tell him/her that GPA is no longer a requirement and go the officer route.
I would just go all-out and apply and see what happens. You have 0% chance of making it if you don't go for it, and who knows what might happen if you give it a go. I wasn't aware of the GPA change either, and if that is indeed true, your poor GPA shouldn't hinder you.
Just a quick update (in case you haven't talked to your recruiter yet so you can give them the heads up).
You are no longer supposed to put "N/A" in the GPA block. You are now supposed to simply leave that area blank.
Thanks so much for the information guys. I havent spoken to a recruiter yet though. I have called them 4 times in the last two weeks, to show interest in getting a call back. Because of my work schedule, I have to call them during their closed hours, but I leave them detailed msgs about who i am and how to reach me. Seems they just arent interested or just too busy to call me back. I might have to drive the hr it takes to the "officer recruiter" location to do a face to face. Im 26 years old and time is passing me by. I need to give meaning to my life, and I hope that the USAF will instill everythying that I am lacking. Hardest part is getting these people to accept me...I ace these exams they give me...I just goofed around in college too much for that darn GPA to bite me in the ass now. Oh well...
Vince...FYI, I'm a Healthcare Administrator, and we don't commission through the traditional OTS way.
You would apply through a Medical recruiter, take the GMAT/GRE instead of AFOQT, and if selected go to Commissioned Officer Training (COT) rather than Basic Officer Training (BOT)...they're both under OTS but COT is 5 weeks and much less intense than the 13 week BOT program.
Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure GPA IS still a part of our application package. Was at a conference this week where the 2009 select stats were briefed and GPA was included (average select was around 3.4-3.5). Also, the age max is something like 40 for an MSC (Medical Service Corps) officer, so you being 26 is not a factor. If you're concerned about your undergrad GPA and are extremely interested in the field, you could always go back to school and complete your MBA or MHA and submit that GPA instead...you'd also come in as a 1st Lt instead of 2nd Lt with a graduate degree.
It's a good job though...I like it.
Two questions guys.
If GPA is not a part of your OTS package, then why do you have to provide official transcripts?
And I am just about to graduate with an MA, but it will be after the board meets. Should I put in as an Intel package (no MA asked for) or Ops Support (MA desirable)? Either would be fine by me, I just wonder if they would scoff at a lack of an MA in an Ops Support package.
Most likely to prove that you meet the requirements of having a degree. A diploma isn't considered proof, they can be easily faked.
Some degrees can be technical or non-technical depending on the specific classes that were required according to the Air Force description. You also have to prove you actually completed (like Gil said).
As to the MA question, I would go ahead and apply now as long as you are going to be done with your degree in less than a year. That is a requirement. You can still list the degree on there (as expecting) and you'll have to fill out an extra form or two but there are some big benifits to doing it this way.
The biggest benifit is you have something to do during the waiting period. The Air Force officer program is incredibly slow. It will be almost 13 months since I sent my application in to when I finally leave for basic training (a little over 15 months since I started the application process). From talking to others that applied with me, that seems about average for waiting (some will wait almost 2 years before they finally go!!).
So I would apply now and finish your degree while you are waiting.
Wow, two years??? This is actual wait time from the time you get your acceptance letter to the time you step out in Montgomery?? That's crazy. I was hoping to leave by at least June if all goes well. That's not plausible is it?
Two years is a worse case scenario and that's from the time you send in your application to when you leave for basic.
As for leaving in June, almost certainly not going to happen. I applied to the 08OT02 board last year (and I believe from your other posts you'll be applying to the 09OT02 board). So those are about the same time each year. If it works the same as it did for me, you won't even find out if you got accepted or not until sometime in April.
Since you will still have to go in to MEPS again to get sworn in and BOT classes only start every 6 weeks or so on average, unless you are in a critical career field, you are not getting in until much after that. Judging by your degree, you will probably not get put in a career field that will push your application through quickly.
November of next year is probably as quickly as you'll get to go with January or March of 2010 more likely.
Jeez! I'll be old and crusty by then
I have a question;
my recruiter told me, as well, that my gpa would prevent me from going officer initially... I dep'd in after taking the PAST test... so I guess theres nothing I can do?
my GPA is around the same as the original poster, but I have letters of being on the dean's list from my previous community college experience. I have helped found clubs and groups at my school (for the leadership aspect) as well as through highschool (not that it matters?)....
....so is there a chance in heck that I can still go OTS from basic, or am I sol because I've dep'd in?
my recruiter told me after 2 years I could put in my request, and if i take my afoqt test and have my letters ready it should be smooth...
...also, is it true that you don't select the mos you are posted for as an officer, they select it for you? I would like to go CRO at some point...
thanks so much in advance for anything you can offer me-i know im a green horn Dep'r but any scraps you could throw would be amazing
I don't know about what you can do after you've already DEP'd in for enlisted. I've heard that you can get out at any time before basic but it might look bad on your record doing so when your application went up to the officer boards. Can't help you there.
As to what jobs you get, for officers, it's a bit different than enlisted. You put a sort of wishlist of your top choices down. Then the board assigns you whatever they feel is best for the Air Force. It is usually one of your choices, but not guaranteed.
If you don't like the job they gave you, you have no obligation to accept it. Unfortunately, if you don't like the job, you will have to turn down the acceptance all together and apply again later (at least 6 months later) and that might look bad on any future boards you apply to as well.
It's also apparently much harder to cross train as an officer than an enlisted, but that's just what I've heard from SNCOs and officers that I've talked to. I don't know it first hand. So if you really don't want the job, you probably shouldn't take it.
Sorry if I wasn't super helpful, but hopefully you can take something from this. Good luck with whatever you end up deciding to do.
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