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Jester2138

Before seeing a recruiter, I should ____

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Here's the gist:

 

I will graduate from college in May 2014. I want to fly helicopters for the Army as soon as possible after graduation. To that end, sooner or later I will be seeing a recruiter and putting a WOFT packet together.

 

However, given that many recruiters know very little about WOFT and can be less than helpful as a result, what can I do to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible before I even set foot in the recruiting office? Are there forms I could fill out in advance, appointments to make, people to see?

 

A little about me:

 

I have bad vision and will need LASIK/PRK. I have a very successful educational background but a work history that is probably average for college students working during summers and other breaks. I do not know where exactly I'll be getting my LOR's from but I have a few family friends in the Army/AF/Navy as well as former bosses/professors who liked me. I'd like to think that I am a very responsible, driven, (maybe even) intelligent individual who tends to be taken seriously and trusted by his peers.

 

P.S. Congratulations to all who just got selected! I follow these forums every day but rarely post since I'm so far away from the beginning of my own journey. I was silently celebrating with you.

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Call around to find a recruiter who has done WOFT packets successfully before. Then, show up with a folder consisting of:

 

1. Completed SF-86 (google this form)

2. resume

3. Why I want to be an Army Aviator essay (typed and written)

4. High school and college transcripts

5. LoRs

6. Ready to take PT test at your recuiter's earliest convenience

7. Ready to take and blow away the ASVAB

8. Ready to take and blow away the SIFT.

9. Be post-op from LASIK/PRK and have ALL of your Pre and post op paperwork completed (make LOTS of copies of this stuff and do NOT lose it!). There's a post somewhere around here with the form you need your eye surgeon doc to fill out (Pre and post) and some specific tests he will need to print out in full color.

 

If you do that, you will be the most squared away person your recruiter will have probably ever seen.

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My limited experience has shown the most important step is find a first sgt or a recruiter somewhere that knows about the process... Dont start with a fresh recruiter so to speak. From there, before you even see them the first time, have your end of documents done... Lors, and essay. All of the other forms from what i can remember are checkbox stuff and meps forms that you fill out in the office or your recruiter does for you. If you know you need vision correction get it done asap. That way its healed and good to go when its time to see the recruiter. Some others might have better insight as to which is better and stuff, i dont know much about it. And ditto exactly what lindsey said

Edited by Yamer

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Oh ya, Jester--how bad is your vision in diopters? Diopters as in -6.00 or something as opposed to 20/150.

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From what I understand, I'm within range for a qualifying correction. My worst eye is -4.00.

 

Thank you both for your advice. While I'm at it, about how far in advance pre-graduation should I see a recruiter? I know the process of simply applying will take several months, even if everything goes properly. Would having everything on my end squared away and the recruiter involved at T-six months be a reasonable timeframe to have in mind as it approaches?

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Yeah that sounds reasonable but make sure they know not to submit until you include your degree

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Jester start filling out the SF-86 now because there are a lot of sections that are a huge pain in the a** if you've forgotten addresses of employers, prior contacts, etc. I just finished a rough draft of mine (everything filled out, just have to contact a few people for addresses, etc) and it took forever.

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Get your MEPS and Flight Physical done ASAP, if you need a waiver for anything it can take months, if you get approved for it at all (my personal experience, ymmv), and be very careful what you say/write down on your MEPS physical, they are trying to turn people away these days..good luck

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Thanks again for your advice. I have another question for the new year!

 

A Lt. Col in aviation who used to be on WOFT boards once told me that it's easiest to get selected towards the beginning of the fiscal year (Oct. - Dec.) when the Army has only just started filling up the year's slots. Does that align with anyone's experience?

 

I ask because I'm applying with the hope of joining after a May graduation. if this is true, which I may assume to be safe, I will want to make the Fall semester my "application semester" and not the spring semester. Through DEP, I believe I can, if accepted, sign a contract with a post-May ship date if I'm not given one anyway.

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I don't think that's true. The number of applicants they bring in remains practically constant throughout the year.

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Call around to find a recruiter who has done WOFT packets successfully before. Then, show up with a folder consisting of:

 

1. Completed SF-86 (google this form)

2. resume

3. Why I want to be an Army Aviator essay (typed and written)

4. High school and college transcripts

5. LoRs

6. Ready to take PT test at your recuiter's earliest convenience

7. Ready to take and blow away the ASVAB

8. Ready to take and blow away the SIFT.

9. Be post-op from LASIK/PRK and have ALL of your Pre and post op paperwork completed (make LOTS of copies of this stuff and do NOT lose it!). There's a post somewhere around here with the form you need your eye surgeon doc to fill out (Pre and post) and some specific tests he will need to print out in full color.

 

If you do that, you will be the most squared away person your recruiter will have probably ever seen.

 

I know this is an old post but you are a rockstar Lindsey.

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My recruiter told me I "need" individual flight training to be competitive. I know this is BS because I am prior military and know these things don't work in that fashion. All the websites and documents I read do not reference anything about prior fight training. Has anyone else run into this issue?

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My recruiter told me I "need" individual flight training to be competitive. I know this is BS because I am prior military and know these things don't work in that fashion. All the websites and documents I read do not reference anything about prior fight training. Has anyone else run into this issue?

 

You are correct. I was selected with ZERO flight time. I was not a isolated incident either, numerous have gone on before. Does it help, obviously, necessary to be competitive, absolutely not. If you are competitive in other areas it will compensate for the lack of flight time. For instance: advanced degree with good GPA, strong APFT score, nice resume with demonstrated leadership, high SIFT and GT scores, etc... It all plays into the whole person concept.

 

Sale yourself to the recruiter by showing your strengths and convince him it is worth his effort to build your package.

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My recruiter told me I "need" individual flight training to be competitive. I know this is BS because I am prior military and know these things don't work in that fashion. All the websites and documents I read do not reference anything about prior fight training. Has anyone else run into this issue?

When I applied in the 90s, a pilots license was listed as one of the "preferred prerequisites." Now I'm pretty sure the board guys look at it as showing determination by getting your license, but it will matter little once you start training. I had a fixed wing license and the first flight out the IP gave the controls and I flew pretty well. He said "you have a license don't ya." The next day I tried to hover and almost killed both of us. So the extent as to which my airplane rating mattered lasted all of one day. Even if you get your helicopter license it won't matter much. You'll learn academics quicker and be able to hover sooner, but you still have to learn a whole new aircraft and a whole new way to fly.

 

You got plenty of aviation college "kids" going through that have their ratings but they don't have the military experience like what a former NCO brings to the table. Being prior military your experience should be a trade off for not having a PPL. Plus the program is designed with hours blocked for people that have no experience anyway. I actually preferred flying with someone that had no flying experience. It was more exciting, and you actually got to see an improvement in their flying. With prior CFIs, they're pretty much solid from the get go. No fun in that.

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With prior CFIs, they're pretty much solid from the get go. No fun in that.

 

Oh, we could make it fun. ;)

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I know this is an old post but you are a rockstar Lindsey.

 

Nah, I'm just really organized by nature.

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I have a question with regards to the SF-86. Is that required for security clearance purposes? (As has always been the case with my civilian jobs) If so, and I already have an active Secret clearance, is it still mandatory? I noticed on the USAREC website that provides documentation for the WOFT packet, that it only says "security clearance" as a supporting document. http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/download/WO_Brief%202011-6%20for%20website.pdf

 

Am I correct in assuming that my recruiter could include the documentation showing an active clearance that was granted by the DoD? Or should I just fill it out (once again) and include it anyway?

 

I'm sure I know the answer here... but hoping that by a miracle it's not necessary. I've filled that document out too many times and my eyes start to bleed just thinking about it.

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...and my eyes start to bleed just thinking about it.

 

Careful, that's another waiver. ;)

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The answer is yes. I was in the same boat. Your recruiter has to key it into his system. See if you can get a copy from your security manager, it will save you lots of time. Also, you will still have to get a clearance interview at MEPS as well. They do not care you are have an active clearance. Sorry.

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That's what I figured. And I think I have the digital copy saved on my computer from the last time I submitted it. I was just taking a shot in the dark. I would probably be more suspect if they DIDN'T have me resubmit it and just went of someone else's investigation.

 

Thanks for the confirmation.

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