Posted on Aug 11, 2023
PO1 Master-at-Arms
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Good Evening All,

A specific question first; I am searching for information on the letters of recommendation (LOR’s) required for a WOFT packet. I have reviewed the example packet at https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/PACKET_DOWNLOADS/ as well as AR 611-110, Selection and Training of Army Aviation Officers, 29 March 2019, but have not yet found guidance covering my specific case (explained below). If someone could point me to the black and white on this, I will happily educate myself before further wasting anyone’s time. Otherwise, if anyone has credible first hand experience on the topic, I greatly appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks!

I am currently serving Active Duty USN as a PO1 (E-6) with 9 years of active federal service (AFS). I separate from the Navy next month, and intend to submit a WOFT packet for Active Duty USA at the earliest opportunity. I am in the beginning phases of building the package, and am uncertain on who the three required LOR’s should be requested from in my case. At the time of submission, I will no longer be serving on Active Duty. The Navy, at present, is not approving inter-service transfers or conditional releases for critically undermanned job specialties, which includes me. So I will be applying as a civilian with prior service. In this situation, is it still necessary (or highly recommended) that my LOR’s come from specific persons in my former chain of command? Am I required to obtain a letter from a Senior Warrant Officer? Or can the letters come from professional contacts as general character references?

The example packet shows letters are required from the Company Commander, Battalion Commander, and a Senior Warrant Officer, although I am unsure if this only applies to general Warrant Officer MOS’s that have specific feeder communities, or if it also applies to the 153A community, and if so, does it still apply to civillian applicants?

I sincerely appreciate any and all advice on both my above questions and the WOFT application process as a whole. Any current 153A’s or Senior Warrants out there, I am in need of some mentors in your community, if anyone can spare the time.

Hoping this thread can also serve other future 153A hopefuls as a resource for some updated advice as they search RallyPoint for information.

Thank you all in advance.

V/R,

Petty Officer First Class Klinkhammer
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COL Randall C.
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You’ll be a bit outside the norm of those looking to become an Army Aviator, as you’re a “in-service” now, but will be a “civilian applicant” when you drop your packet (i.e., “Street-to-Seat” or “High school to flight school” WOFT application).

I’m not sure of what additional background you have to sway the board into accepting your application, but typically, the WOFT only accepts civilians applicants for about 40% of the program’s slots. Most had at least an associate’s degree and about half had some flight-training experience.

On the plus side, the Army is (actually all services are*) experiencing a significant shortfall in Aviation WOs, and has increased their accessions by over 50% (from 308 to 475) through FY24 and the latest figures* are that they

First, make sure you look over all the basic qualifications and administrative requirements from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s website* to ensure you are looking at the right pathway (and not, for example, looking at what is required for an in-service transfer).

As a civilian WOFT applicant, the LORs would typically come from retired military, clergy, community leaders, etc. (BTW, ignore the comment on the USAREC page about not needing them).

LORs would normally speak to your values and character that shows you would embody the type of individual to become a Warrant Officer. However, if you do have technical expertise that is applicable to being an aviation warrant, and if it doesn’t show up easily in your packet, then if one of the individuals who are writing the LOR can comment in order to bring it to the board’s attention, by all means, have it included.

Take advantage of your contacts now. Instead of waiting until you were discharged, approach some of your senior leaders about writing a LOR for you now. If you know some Naval aviators, that would be a big plus to get an LOR from them as for in-service transfers (not that you’d be one), they are given equal weight to a senior warrant officer’s LOR. Again, if not possible, then stick with getting a few LORs from senior officers/warrant officers in the Navy and fleshing it out with others before you submit your packet.

As all questions in the Answers topic of RallyPoint are, you are correct.

A bit old, but a lot of the advice of this post* still holds regarding letters of recommendations – especially the advice of LTC (Join to see) and CW4 (Join to see) when it comes to doing “cold calls” with Army aviators.

Additionally, there should be a number of additional posts recommended at the bottom of the page that are associated with your WOFT submission and if you search for WOFT and search for WOFT in Answers, you'll see previous posts that are applicable (go to the search bar, enter in WOFT and search, select 'Answers' and all the previous posts with WOFT in the question will be shown).
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* https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/153A/
* https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/Civilian_WOFT/
* https://www.rallypoint.com/answers/how-do-i-go-about-acquiring-letters-of-recommendation-for-a-warrant-officer-flight-packet
* https://prhome.defense.gov/Portals/52/Documents/Report%20to%20Congress%20on%20Initiatives%20for%20Mitigating%20Military%20Pilot%20Shortfalls%20cleared%20for%20public%20release.pdf
* https://prhome.defense.gov/Portals/52/Documents/RFM/MPP/docs/Cleared%20FY23%20DMPR%20-%20Approved.pdf?ver=z3UZ5K8VgTbCN6I0-nED1A%3D%3D
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COL Randall C.
COL Randall C.
11 mo
PO1 (Join to see) - Referring to the "I was unaware Naval Aviators hold the same weight as senior Warrant Officers in regards to this program", I should clarify that it's true for inter-service applications and not a general rule (the assumption is that you don't really have an opportunity to interview with a senior Army Aviation Warrant Officer). If you DO have an opportunity to get a LOR from one, then by all means, do so.

I've looked over a few of the "guidance for writing a WO recommendation" sites and the one from Indeed* seems to be most on point regarding content. As for format, the program* recommends that they are put on the USAREC Form 3.3*.

Make sure to engage with an Army Recruiter (not the Warrant Officer recruiter) about the program at your earliest opportunity once you're stable (if you're sticking around where you are now, then there's no time like the present). They will be able to give you the latest/greatest information as well as starting the process of getting you setup for the SIFT and Flight Physical.
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* https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/warrant-officer-letter-of-recommendation
* https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/Civilian_WOFT/
* https://recruiting.army.mil/Portals/15/Documents/WO/UF%20Form%203.3.pdf
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PO1 Master-at-Arms
PO1 (Join to see)
11 mo
COL Randall C.

Sir,

Again, greatly appreciate the resource! I’d looked around at the different “how to write WO recommendations” sites as well but couldn’t be sure which was a better template. Will be sure to provide this to any recommenders.

I will be staying local and began working with Army recruiters last month. Unfortunately, I can’t formally begin the process with the Army (SIFT, Flight Physical) until I have a DD214 in hand, as the Navy denied my conditional release per the new policy canceling all early out programs from FY22.

I was working on my personal statement yesterday, and it occurred to me I’ll likely need to address my somewhat unique situation to explain why I didn’t pursue WOFT earlier. This lead me to dig back into the instructions for specific wording, and I noticed inter-service transfer applicants are required to have at least 12 months of active duty service left on their contracts when applying. In your opinion, would you foresee this being a disqualifying factor in my case? Since I am prior service but chose to separate rather than apply with 12+ months remaining? Obviously this wasn’t an option for me anyways, as the Navy requires conditional releases to be approved PRIOR to anyone applying for commissioning programs, but still, I’m technically going against the requirement here.
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COL Randall C.
COL Randall C.
11 mo
PO1 (Join to see) - No (to being a disqualifying factor as a application for WOFT as a civilian). Regarding the Civilian WOFT program, "Civilian" is defined as qualified individuals who are non-prior service (NPS), prior service, or Glossary PS (entry level discharge <180 days).

You're not "going against the requirement" - you're applying for a different enlistment program. The odds of getting selected are harder in the Civilian WOFT program as ~60% of the slots in WOFT are from individuals that are currently enlisted, so while some may have an ill-informed subjective opinion about the route you're taking (which is what I think you are looking for), you're not 'gaming the system', 'taking a shortcut', or anything else.

If you really feel the need to address it (I assume you think you need to address it rather than the recruiter saying you should), I would just stick with it not being an option for you as the Navy won't approve inter-service transfers for critically short MOSes.
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PO1 Master-at-Arms
PO1 (Join to see)
11 mo
COL Randall C.

Understood Sir. Can’t thank you enough for your time.
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CPT Robert Madore
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Edited 11 mo ago
I attended WOFT, but that was 56 years ago, so I am afraid that I can not help you. Sorry. I wish you the best of luck. Warrant is/was the best way to go, as no one knows how to treat a Warrant. And a Warrant cannot, 56 years ago, hold command. Except as an aircraft commander, as I did in Vietnam. Only accept a direct commission to 1LT or higher, if offered, for a significant pay increase. I took a direct to 1LT for pay and got to attend the Rotary Wing Instrument Examiners Course, which upon graduating, became an instructor. I have no regrets, but Warrant was the better rank. Just a FYI.
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SGT Unit Supply Specialist
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Contact one of these three gentlemen... they are very knowledgeable in Military related questions/issues.

MSG (Join to see) MSgt (Join to see)
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PO1 Master-at-Arms
PO1 (Join to see)
11 mo
Appreciate that SGT. I’ll give this some time for eyes to be laid on it then reach out separately. Thank you for your service.
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