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Civilian to WOFT questions


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#1 JerryN12

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 17:44

Hi everyone,

 

I'm a 23 y.o college grad in the process of applying to the WOFT program. I have a couple questions regarding the application and selection process, if anyone would be so kind as to answer.

 

I've seen a lot of people with letters of rec from pretty high ranking (0-6+) military members. The best I have is an O-1 air force drone pilot and several department chairs from my alma matter. I know military LoRs aren't a requirement for civilian applicants, but I understand that they can help greatly. Should I push to meet some (friend of a friend of a friend) aviators and higher ranking officers? Is there any specific format or set of requirements for these letters?

 

I've seen that you need to pass the APFT before acceptance into WOFT; is this still true, or do you only need to pass the AFPT at the end of basic? I'm not in the best shape (twig-like) but could pass the minimums in a month or two, and improve past the minimums in three or four. Any workout advice? My stats now are 40 PU/min, 25 SU/min and a 14:00 1.5 mile.

 

I took at do-at-home printable Snellen eye chart test which showed that my uncorrected distance vision is about 20/100, correctable to 20/20 (I wear glasses). My recruiter says not to worry about that until I get the actual results from the MEPS/Flight physical (which makes sense) but I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with poor vision waivers.

 

I've also heard of waivers for prk/lasik, and wanted some clarification: are they waivers that allow you to begin the WOFT process after having eye surgery, or waivers that allow you to begin the WOFT process with the requirement that you get eye surgery before flight training?

 

The WOFT officer board calendar doesn't show 2019 dates yet; is there any sort of regular schedule I can expect the boards to operate on; or is there a danger of me timing things wrong and having to wait 4+ months for the next board?

 

General info:

 

I have a B.A in Film with a 3.3 GPA

 

I took the PICAT when I was considering air force enlistment and came out with a 95 AFQT score.

 

Flight experience: None

 

 

 

All advice, comments, or criticism are welcome, and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to answer my questions. 

 

 

 



#2 mike0331

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:37

The consensus is you will want 3 solid LOR's, including at least one from an army warrant aviator. I would think one from a professor wouldn't hurt. 

 

You not only need to pass an APFT to get accepted, but you want a solid score to be competitive. Furthermore, while everyone in the military need not be an athlete, you will be expected to maintain good physical health and conditioning. Also consider you will be doing ruck marches in basic, WOCS, and possibly further on in your career. It might not be a bad idea to meet with a trainer and tell them your goals to get some guidance on working out. Given your PT stats I'm making the assumption you haven't been an athlete before/gym rat, etc. That's totally fine, but you want to start off doing it right so you don't hurt yourself and best utilize your time. 

 

If you have uncorrected 20/100 vision you will likely need LASIK BEFORE being accepted into WOFT. If/when you go this route, make sure you have the army tell you what paperwork you will need on either side of the procedure. 

 

Boards typically seem to run every couple months. However, if you need LASIK you are looking at at least 6 months until you get the flight physical. This is good, because you are really starting from the ground up on PT, so a few months to get a competitive APFT score is a good idea. 

 

Also, not sure when the last math/science class you took was, but you want to start studying for the SIFT test by reading the FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook and getting a SIFT study guide. 

 

You need not have flight time, but I'd recommend taking an introductory helicopter lesson to make sure it's something you like.  

 

Mike


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#3 SBuzzkill

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 11:45

Don't go out and get eye surgery without first getting a flight physical.  My eyes were over the limit and they gave me a waiver.  I was worried about it because I thought my eyes were 20/100 as well, but in the end they said they were 20/50 and 20/70.

 

If you are going to get a letter of rec from a Warrant Officer I would make sure it's from a W4 or W5.  Honestly though I'd rather have some really good ones from people who know me well.  That's what I did and looks like it worked.  I think your efforts can be better focused elsewhere.

 

Start working out for your APFT.  Do a lot of pushups, full sit-ups, and get on a track and do intervals.  There are countless resources online to help you improve.  Get as close to a 300 as you can, but don't waste time because you don't think you're ready.  If your packet is done and that's all you're waiting on just knock it out and take your score.

 

Basically my advice is find yourself a motivated recruiter, get your packet done as soon as possible, and get it in.  Focus all your effort on a sprint to do as well as you can as quickly as you can and just get the damn thing in.  Too many people waste a year putting it together slowly.  I got mine done in a month.  It's important to get it in while the pickup rates are high.

 

Make sure to pay attention to the details.  Your resume should be polished and well formatted, your letter should be reviewed multiple times and focus on leadership not just flying, choose your suit and tie carefully for your DA photo, etc.



#4 JerryN12

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 16:01

Thank you both for your answers! I agree with your point about applying as soon as reasonably possible to take advantage of the high pickup rates. Worst case I can apply again in a few months. I'll work on PT and the packet for now.



#5 redlightning54

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 17:36

If you HAVE to do lasik, do it now. I started this process in November and am now waiting to hear back for the July national board. Im sure it could happen quicker, but I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the test, APFT was squared away, etc. I have around 20/50 correctable to 20/20 and passed my flight physical no problem.

#6 Creep0321

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 04:25

Military athlete has a good APFT prep, and an Army OCS prep workout plan. I suggest both of them, and follow them to a T. Youll be fine. Eat more meat too.
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Swift, Silent, Deadly.


#7 JerryN12

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:43

I figured this wouldn't be a bad place to ask for any critiques on my Army Aviator essay as well. I've seen some other essays on here and it seems like the general consensus is to keep them short and to the point. Please let me know what you think.

 

 

"The decision to become and army aviator is not one that I take lightly. I am eager to embrace a career that challenges me in new ways every day. I believe my strong leadership experience and problem solving skills will be of great use to the army. I have a drive and desire to protect people both directly and indirectly through my service. I believe my strong sense of personal and moral integrity will benefit me in a leadership position as well as in circumstances where I am forced to make difficult decisions. I understand that if accepted to the program, I will be training to operate some of the most technologically advanced and expensive machines in the world, and respect the massive responsibility that comes with that charge. I embrace the opportunity to learn, improve, adapt, and change throughout my time in the army. I will stay anchored by a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the intricacies of the Warrant Officer role."


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#8 mike0331

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 19:03

It's a lot of "I will do this," "I will do that." Nothing wrong with laying out your points, but you need to work on your flow. Never hurts to go through a personal essay and circle in red ink all the "I"s and do your best to cut down on them (so long as it doesn't sound awkward). You literally started every single sentences after your first sentence with an "I." 

I think you're onto something with hitting on your understanding of the gravity of the decision you are about to make, both in joining the military and becoming an aviator. I wouldn't spend too much time on that, as a good deal of your boards will be hitting on those very points -- but at least getting it out there probably is a good thing. When you do reformat this, I'd recommend you balance well the wanting to be an aviator (and why you want to be an aviator, tied into your current life so far) with wanting to serve your country as a Soldier. I don't know if you have or have not thought about this yet, but you are in for a rude awakening if you think the military is like the commercials. There is a whooooooole lot more to it, some good, some bad. 

I'd spend more of the essay focusing on what makes you a strong candidate, a little about your background, etc. Essentially, they are going to read over this (short) essay and you want them to come away with a good impression and at least a little bit of a picture in their head of who you are as a person. 
 

Do some googling on formatting cover letters and personal essays. 

 

Mike



#9 Simpsj17

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 20:54

I personally wrote more confidently. Less I believe!

#10 wheelsup

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 21:16

"The decision to become and army aviator is not one that I take lightly. I am eager to embrace a career that challenges me in new ways every day. I believe my strong leadership experience and problem solving skills will be of great use to the army. I have a drive and desire to protect people both directly and indirectly through my service. I believe my strong sense of personal and moral integrity will benefit me in a leadership position as well as in circumstances where I am forced to make difficult decisions. I understand that if accepted to the program, I will be training to operate some of the most technologically advanced and expensive machines in the world, and respect the massive responsibility that comes with that charge. I embrace the opportunity to learn, improve, adapt, and change throughout my time in the army. I will stay anchored by a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the intricacies of the Warrant Officer role."

 

 

For what it's worth, I like it. It's short and sweet just like it should be. Maybe I like it because it sounds like something I'd write. Either way, I say it's fine just the way it is. 



#11 Willhp

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 23:36

I figured this wouldn't be a bad place to ask for any critiques on my Army Aviator essay as well. I've seen some other essays on here and it seems like the general consensus is to keep them short and to the point. Please let me know what you think.
 
 
"The decision to become and army aviator is not one that I take lightly. I am eager to embrace a career that challenges me in new ways every day. I believe my strong leadership experience and problem solving skills will be of great use to the army. I have a drive and desire to protect people both directly and indirectly through my service. I believe my strong sense of personal and moral integrity will benefit me in a leadership position as well as in circumstances where I am forced to make difficult decisions. I understand that if accepted to the program, I will be training to operate some of the most technologically advanced and expensive machines in the world, and respect the massive responsibility that comes with that charge. I embrace the opportunity to learn, improve, adapt, and change throughout my time in the army. I will stay anchored by a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the intricacies of the Warrant Officer role."

The only thing I would make sure is triple check your grammar. Now I do realize that this forum as of lately does not post commas or apostrophes or things of that nature. I did notice the word and in your opening sentence right before Army when an should be used. Just be sure to pay attention to little details like that. That is all I really have on it. Good luck!

Edit: I placed quotations around the words and along with an to prove what I said about comas or apostrophes on this forum lately. Sure enough not present when I clicked post!
Off topic: Mike and wheelsup, are you guys posting from mobile devices or computers? I ask because all of your punctuations are present in your posts but when I post from my mobile devices mine are not.

#12 mike0331

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 08:20

Depends where I'm at... trying to kill time in the car as a passenger or procrastinate from studying. My last post was from a laptop. 

 

Mike






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