JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
Active-duty enlisted Airmen who aspire to be Air Force officers are now required to apply online rather than through their base education service centers.
The application process for the Basic Officer Training Program is handled through the Air Force Portal page managed by the Air Force Recruiting Service.
Senior Master Sgt. Leif Larson, AFRS Officer Accessions Branch superintendent, said the change in procedure will benefit applicants by streamlining the process.
"It is more streamlined because the SharePoint site that we set up explains the entire process from beginning to end and helps members determine their own eligibility and also has all Air Force Instruction references to ensure accuracy," he said.
Larson also explained the reason for the change.
"The chief of Air Force volunteer education determined that Officer Training School is not a volunteer educational program due to members already having a degree," he said. "Therefore, the base education offices should not support members completing applications for OTS/BOT."
The change does not affect civilians, Larson said.
"Civilian applicants continue to apply through their local recruiter while active-duty members apply through our SharePoint site," he said.
The number of enlisted Airmen who apply for the BOT program varies from year to year, Larson said.
"We see anywhere from 50 to 400 applications per board and there is normally around a 20 to 40 percent select rate for active-duty members," he said.
The next OTS selection board will meet Aug. 25-29 to consider candidates for rated, or flying, openings; the application cut-off date was July 24. The next board for non-rated, or non-flying, openings will meet Oct. 20-24; the application deadline is Aug. 22.
The board reviews each application, looking at Air Force Officer Qualifying Test scores and grade-point average as well as subjective factors such as work experience, accomplishments, character, leadership ability and potential for future growth.
Enlisted members who wish to apply for the BOT program must be a U.S. citizen and be between 18 and 34 years old. They must also have at least a bachelor's degree and their permanent assignment unit commander's approval or recommendation, and must meet minimum AFOQT scores and GPA.
Gay Close, 802nd Force Support Squadron education services specialist, said it's important for BOT program applicants to score well on the AFOQT and to maintain a high GPA.
"We recommend that they buy a study guide for the test," she said.
Acceptance into the BOT program and completion of OTS is one of several ways to become an Air Force officer. The others are graduation from the Air Force Academy, completion of an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps college program and three medical programs administered through Air Force Personnel Center. The medical programs are the Medical Services Corps, the physician assistant program and the Nurses Education and Commissioning Program.
Base education service offices will continue to assist anyone eligible to become an officer, Close said.
"If they have questions, we will be happy to answer all of those," she said.
For more information, call 1-800-423-USAF.