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Newbie Introduction / Lots of WOFT Questions


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Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

 

First things first, thank you for all the valuable (and incredibly difficult to find) info posted here.

 

Here's my background stats:

5 years USMC enlisted service, got out as a Corporal in 10/2010

MOS 6212 - Harrier Engine Mechanic, CDI/Plane Captain qualified

ASVAB: 97

GT: 149

Associates Degree prior to the Corps (Auto Technology)

2 years into a Mech. Engineering degree, 3.22 GPA

2 speeding tickets in past 7 years

No DUI's or reckless driving

 

I just started looking at the WOFT program a few months ago, and finally worked up the ambition to proceed with putting together a package. The LOR's are probably going to be the toughest part, since I'm no longer on active duty where it's easy to grab a Major (they're everywhere in a Harrier Squadron) and politely ask for one. However, I have contacted 2 of my former LtCol's on FaceBook, and both have expressed their support for my plans, as well as 2 of my former GySgt supervisors.

 

So far in my research, I have come up with several questions which the Army recruiter basically drew a blank when I asked him:

 

#1: After my EAS, I filed with the VA for disability. This is something everyone is told to do immediately after EAS while at separation classes. After a year of waiting, I was awarded a 20% rating for tinnitus (all jet mech's have it) and some minor numbness surrounding a hernia surgery. Both conditions seem fairly minor to me, but I can imagine what a picky selection board will think. The Army recruiter said that as long as I refuse my VA payments, he couldn't find any solid reason that I would be DQ'ed. Does anyone know if this is true, and if the board will instantly kick back my package because of it?

 

#2: I read the FY11 stats with regards to selection percentage. I was amazed that the in-service applicants were picked less than a third as much as the civilians. Does this perceived bias towards enlisted personnel extend to other branches, i.e. USMC? Or is it that the small number of civilian applicants tend to be more squared away and serious about their intention to fly?

 

#3: I have read several of the other posts on this forum from people asking their chances for selection, but I havent seen anyone else who is coming from aviation maintenance. Is this a good thing to have on your resume, or is the board rather indifferent towards it, as they apparently are to 120+ AFQT scores?

 

Thanks for your time and expertise in helping me.

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Well, I don't have an answer for most of your questions. I can tell you this though, there are relatively small amounts of civilians that apply for the WOFT program, and the big guy upstairs wants us at a rough 50/50 or 60/40 split, so that means the WOFT selection rates are higher than the guys already in the military. I know a couple of guys here from the USMC and USAF, so that must have not hurt them.

 

As for an aviation MX background? I am sure it cant hurt. A good chunk of the prior service guys here were crewchiefs, etc. I think it will help on some systems understanding, and might give you a plus on paper.

 

Good luck.

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Well, it's been a week since I posted this, and zero responses so far. Glad to see all the enthusiasm.

 

Relax... Often (but not always) people won't respond if they have no idea.

 

The only thing I have for you is this:

 

 

The causes of medical unfitness for flying duty Classes 1/2/2F/3/4 are the causes in paragraph 2–6, plus the following:

d. Inner ear

(3) Tinnitus, except when associated with high frequency hearing loss.

 

Seems like since it was due to some hearing loss related to jet engines, you're probably good, dependent on the severity. But I'm not a flight surgeon, and don't have access to your records. (I don't think anyone else is here, either.) Other than that, it doesn't matter. Apply anway. Forget what your chances may or may not be. Apply. Don't get selected? Fix your packet/get waivers whatever, and apply again. Rinse and repeat until you lose the drive. If you want it bad enough, you can get it, unless you're full on disqualified/non-waiverable for some reason or another.

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Thanks for the responses.

 

The tinnitus IS accompanied by high freq. hearing loss. The VA retested my hearing extensively during my disability exam, and said that I do have some loss at the 4k Hz level (which happens to be the same pitch as a Harrier engine...surprising) but my loss wasn't enough to grant disability. I guess that paragraph clears me.

 

The main impression that all my research into the WOFT application process give me is that no 2 packets are the same. There's so many different odd situations that can come up, that there's no way a single FAQ that encompasses everything could be written. No one ever fits the textbook example.

 

From what Ive read, the biggest red flags to the selection board would be waivers. The way its looking right now, I won't need any (as long as the disability thing isn't an issue). I'm hoping that's a big plus.

 

I'm just starting to fill out the heap of paperwork that comes with this, and I've been able to locate the DA forms and download the Lotus Viewer so I can fill them out. All the other forms are in some format called Pure Edge, which my computer won't open. I've also looked high and low for a Pure Edge download, but nothing is working. Will I have to get paper copies and fill them out by hand, or should a recruiter have a PDF fillable copy on a thumb drive somewhere?

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You sound like you have a solid packet to me. You unfortunately had the joy of experiencing one of the loudest engines in the USMC inventory - the second being the EA-6B. Waivers would probably be your biggest issue but it sounds like you have that resolved somewhat. Your prior enlisted experience is a plus and knowing a thing or two about engines (even mid-bypass jet ones like the Pegasus on the scarrier) is great. It's not just suck-squeeze-bang-blow like people make it out to be. You'd actually be a solid candidate with an engineering for USN/USMC aviation depending on your PFT (Needs to be atleast 280+) Not sure if you want back into that ballgame though - You've probably had enough of the yut yut side of the house and helos aren't garaunteed.

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Yeah, I definitely remember those ridiculous Prowlers taking off at Al Asad. I could be standing next to a running Harrier, with double hearing protection, and still hear the Prowler taking off over it all. They could rattle your fillings just rolling by down the taxiway. I heard they idle at something like 75% RPM......wow.

 

I have looked into the Navy's NUPOC program for nuke officers, but their GPA requirements and school curriculum are unbelievable. (3.2+ to be eligible, 3.5+ to be competitive) The only major benefit to their program is getting paid as an E-6 for up to 30 months prior to graduation. But, I've spent 4 months on an aircraft carrier, and it was NOT fun. I can't imagine getting stuck in a sub for 4 months between surfacing.

 

Another option I researched was the Air Force's TDSP program, which pays you as an E-3 for up to 24 months prior to graduation. The thing is, the program is only open to computer and electrical engineering majors for this fiscal year (changes every year). I looked into what it would take to change majors, and basically the whole first 2 years of classes are different. So, that's a no-go.

 

And the USMC pilot option.....yeah, I never got really close to a 280+ PFT. I was pretty good at the new CFT, but I'm one of the thicker Marines out there, and that 3 mile run always killed me. The 1.5 mile IST distance is my specialty though, and the Army's 2 miler sounds ok. Sit-ups could be interesting, since I had 2 hernia surgeries while in the Corps. Push-ups are not an issue after 5 years in the Corps.

 

You're definitely right about the whole yut yut thing. I was counting down days until my EAS starting from around 750. The life of a Marine jet maintainer is not a good one, especially in the lower ranks. Of course, you're not humping a pack through the mountains in Afghanistan taking pot shots from every direction, but it's still no picnic.

 

My primary dislike of my time in the Corps was the culture of, well, I don't want to call it hazing, but you know what I mean. I used to get negative marks on my evals because I didn't scream at LCpl's enough. That's one of the reasons I want to be a warrant officer.....much less yelling. I remember our CWO2 in maintenance control. If he was yelling, something seriously just hit the fan.

 

 

On a completely different note.....does anyone know how to get around this whole Pure Edge format issue?

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That's what I heard too. It works for the DA forms on the USAREC site (Forms 61, 160-R, 7434) but the rest of them are only posted as blank Pure Edge or completed read-only PDF's. I tried opening the Pure Edge files with Lotus, no luck.

 

I need USAREC forms 1932, 1935, and 1936. The LOR form isn't a big priority, since the site clearly says alternate forms of LOR are accepted. 1932 and 1935 are must-haves, though.

 

It seems weird that the recruiter told me that 95% of the paperwork is my responsibility, and then find out that it's almost impossible to locate the blank forms. Maybe it's a kind of test....like the 3 challenges Indiana Jones has to complete at the end of 'The Last Crusade'. I suppose making the application process ridiculously difficult cuts down on the amount of pathetic packets the board receives, since anyone willing to jump through all these hoops must be serious.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just an update....I have gotten 4 LOR's, from 2 USMC LtCol's, 1 Army Major, and a USMC Gunny. I figure that's a good stack. I still have no clue how/where to get blank USAREC forms.

 

I have not heard a word back from the recruiter in over a month since I first contacted him. Therefore, I'm going to the other office in town and looking for someone familiar with the WOFT app process. My wife met a guy at her gym who is currently applying for WOFT as well, and his recruiter has done 20-something packets. After all, it's not what you know, but who you know.....

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i figured it out... go here and download the "get lotus viewer software"

 

then once installed, go back to the forms website, right click on the pureedge form to be viewed and select save target as, then, save it you wherever you want to. then when you go to open the file, it should automatically open it with lotus viewer and youre good.

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