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2nd Round Selection Advice


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All,

 

I have been a "lurker" for some time; this is my first post. First off, let me say hello and I really enjoy the tone and advice of these forums. You seem like a helpful professional bunch.

 

Let me get right down to it. My WOFT story is very lengthy and ill try and keep it short.

 

I joined the Navy in '98 was going enlisted as an MN. Hoped to be an Officer and fly Seahawks. Car accident June '99 2 days before basic training, 2 broken legs and I were unable to attend. I was medically separated. Saddest day of my life. In '05 I walked into an Army recruiter’s office to inquire about being a Helo pilot, by then I’d realized Army had better stuff. Took ASVAB, and sent my medical paperwork to MEPS. Recruiter said sorry they don’t even want to see you; you’ve been through too much.

I thought I had the answer I needed regarding the Military and could move forward with my life without the constant "what if" always nagging at me. So I became a Firefighter/paramedic. Unfortunately the "what if" feeling never went away and the topic was brought up again through a friend whose National GuardCO happened to be a CH=47 aviator. I sat down with him in early 2010 and discussed my options. He suggested active duty might be the best bet and put me in touch with a recruiter he trusted that would work hard and give me straight answers.

I took the ASVAB and had to wait for my MEPS physical due to eye surgery. After a 6 month wait I get to MEPS and the Doctor holds up a stack of paperwork, says he’s "been waiting all day to see me" and does my physical. Says he’s glad he saw me and clears me without limitations for Military service. Then I find out that the recruiter in '05 never sent my paperwork to MEPS, ironic now that I think about it.

Flight physical at West Point and received the waiver for the hardware in my legs. Class 1-W issued April '11.

Went for my Battalion Board in Oct '11 and received a 75/75 with recommendation.

 

Age: 31

AFQT: 90

GT: 126

AFAST: 131

APFT: 268

LORs: Army AV LT, a Senator, Fire Chief, my CFII, Fire Captain and a Mason.

 

Currently 3-4 hours away from my PPL-H

 

I was called a couple weeks later and told I was not accepted. Out of 38 applicants they took 8. All 8 had degrees.

I was also not taken on my second look.

 

Looking forward to reapplying In April, even though it may be my last chance before I hit the age cutoff of 32. I will be able to retake the ASVAB as mine will expire in Feb '12, give me a chance to bring my scores up.

 

My question is, besides not giving up, any advice?

Will the Army know its my second time? Will it matter?

I went to board last time with around 40hrs of flight time, i should have my PPL and day now. Will the PPL matter versus only having hours the first time?

I anticipate updating my LORs and I have a CWO-2 to add.

Anything i havent asked that i should have?

 

Thanks for your time and advice.

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If you can improve on your GT it could help, but it is good as it is. I'd suggest updating your resume, pointing out you have your PPL (or will when by the time your packet is looked at again). Go over your essay once again, and try and interview with a CW3 or higher. Meet with the CW2, but if he likes you ask if there is someone he can put you in touch with for another interview. Or try to interview with several CW3s or higher. A LT is new to the game and his letter might not hold much weight, same with a CW2. If you can improve on your APFT, go for it as everything helps.

 

The age cut-off isn't 32, you can't be older than 32 at the start of flight training - aka 33.

 

They only took 8 civilian applicants? Which board month was that? November's took 26.

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Why didnt they board you automatically for the second one?

 

I would recommend better LORs. Someone high ranking. I had 2 Generals, 3 Colonels, and a CW4 Nightstalker.

 

The month I was selected they took 13.

 

FY11 accepted 70% of WOFT applicants. Hurry up and try again.

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You definitely need a higher ranking LOR. The civilian LORs look like they would hold some weight but a letter from a LT or CW2 isn't worth anything, and might even hurt you. Find a W5. Even if you don't know any, look up some phone numbers and start cold calling. You'll find someone who will give you an interview and hopefully a recommendation afterwards.

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Make sure your letters are powerful.

 

What doesn't work:

 

"Joe Schmoe is good guy who is hard working and intelligent. I recommend him to be an aviator."

 

What does work:

 

"Mr. Schmoe has been a crucial asset to our team. He is a dedicated individual who accomplishes his goals at all costs. He performs above and beyond all expectations and you must select him to join your ranks and become an outstanding aviator."

 

Read through the letters you have. If they aren't strong enough let the person who wrote them know. A lot of times people just aren't very good writers and need some coaching to get their point across.

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Tony-

Sept/Oct was my first an second board. I was told Oct only took 2. I actually never recieved a phone call the second time, I called them. They said i was not selected and i inquired to make sure i was actually on that board and I was assured by the Battalion Operations NCO and my recruiter that I was.

As for the age cutoff, they told me that in "April '11" the age cutoff was lowered from 33 to 32. All other sources say it is still 33. Ive noticed that information is not forthcoming and contradictory during this process, even as i work to seek answers. I.e. emailing the Warrant Officer recruiting team.

 

Aks-

They did.

I am hurrying up, I was told I had to wait 6 months to reapply. And yes, FY11 and the projections for FY12 look very promising as far as WOFT.

 

Buzz-

My letters actually sounded pretty good. At one point I commented that my Chief was trying to get rid of me. But I now see a few things I can improve on and will work to correct them. I will also work to find a CW3 or higher around here somewhere.

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I thought the September board was canceled...? At least what I heard from the recruiter. In my dealings with proponent and MEPS the age is that you need to begin flight training before your 33rd birthday. It seems to change a lot, so who knows, but that's true the last I heard. As for the 33 to 32, the wording confused my recruiters as well and they interpreted it as you can't be 32, but the way it was explained by proponent is you can't be older than 32. And 32 isn't older than 32, 33 is.

 

Your LORs might sound great, but it also does depend on who is writing them. The LT, for example, shouldn't be in your packet just because of their rank. Go for a major or higher, or CW3 or higher.

 

My packet had a former mayor, judge I interned for, CW4, CW5, and a captain who was the battalion recruiting commander - required.

 

Good luck

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  • 5 months later...

Just an update for all who have given me advice and support

 

I had to retake my ASVAB because the other one expired and was able to incease my AFQT to 92 and GT to 127. A minor increase from the last one, but an increase non the less.

 

Also retook mt APFT and improved that to 274.

 

Went back to the Batallion Board 10July, got a 75/75 and was told my packet was all set. Couple days later i get a phone call saying the board meets 16June and I should find out then about selection.

 

Yesterday received a call from my recruiter saying that he got an email "from the powers that be" telling me i need to update my MEPS Phys and Flight Phys., saying "they are going to expire soon" (flight in Oct 2012 and MEPS in Nov 2012) and it has to be done by end of July so i can be on the 6Aug selection board.

 

Frustrated to say the least.

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Ok so what are the magic words to get a congressman or senator to give you a letter. Without them knowing you from childhood. Im currently 0 for 4 is this boat and wonder how you guys go about getting it

Edited by Yamer
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The congressman that wrote mine actually knows me. He lives In the district I work (Fireman) and I interact with him at union meetings and politcal events.

 

If I didnt know him, Most Congressman have a website where you can look for what you need. Mine Congressman's site actually has a section if you need help with West Point.

 

Good Luck!

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yeah they all told me they do the congressional recommend for military academy stuff but are unwilling to do just a regular letter of recommend for flight school packet submission.

 

i figured the trick was to know them.

 

-fellow firefighter from AZ

Edited by Yamer
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