Posted on Aug 20, 2015
SSgt Rf Transmission Systems Technician
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I currently have an assignment to Kadena, no orders yet... And I am currently in Germany. I know I am not eligible for OTS right now because of my DEROS. Does anyone have any advice if I were to try to apply now? The acceptance rate is incredibly high, so right now is the time to do it but I'm unsure of anything after being willing to cancel my assignment to apply.

Any advice of any variety regarding OTS would be great, thanks!
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LCDR Deputy Department Head
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Without knowing very many specifics, my default comment/recommendation on any kind of special program is that you never know unless you apply. If it's something you want to do, waiting until the time is right will never end up working out.

That said if you are flat out ineligible for some reason, applying now will also make it look like you didn't look into the program very well, which can be a negative. Do your homework and make sure you do qualify (including with waivers).
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SSgt Rf Transmission Systems Technician
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Thank you for your input! I appreciate your insight, you make a good point about the whole waiting and making it look bad.
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LCDR Deputy Department Head
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SSgt (Join to see) I definitely don't want to discourage you, so I want to clarify a little bit. Keep in mind these are generalities about special programs, not specific to OTS:

1. Applying every cycle indicates to a board that you are truly dedicated to that program and want it badly. That's huge and can overcome some other issues in an application.
2. Making sure administratively everything is correct prevents you from getting judged before the content of your application is even reached. This one is huge and I have found SOOO many errors on some of my Sailors and Marines packages that it made me cringe. A few of them they didn't even ask me to look at until after they submitted them. I go two different ways with this. One if they want to do the program it's on them, and they should be taking care of that stuff. But I also feel it's my responsibility to help them! On this note if you decide to apply and need a second set of eyes on anything I am ALWAYS willing to help review, just message me. That goes for anyone here that needs help.
3. Timing. Think of it like having kids (no idea if you do or not). There is never a "good" time and even less so a "perfect" time, but if you want them, you have to just do it when it's the "right" time. This is different for everyone. What I don't want you (or others) to do though is to keep putting off a long-term goal (in this case becoming an officer) to pursue short-term ones that don't help with the long-term. In this case I would say something like wanting to make sure you get X qualification, or one more promotion, etc. If those things are things you can do WHILE your application is going through or between cycles, then absolutely, just don't sacrifice your end goal for some other ones that are less important to you.
4. Perform well. Every board looks at your performance and it is never too late to turn it around if you don't quite make the cut of what they prefer. This is general not specific to you, but I have had Sailors who started off on a very bad foot end up being selected for very restrictive programs by making positive efforts to improve at their current job. You also don't want your current bosses to think that you are going to stop performing because you are going elsewhere. Force them to realize you are both excited about the program, and still the best damn Sailor/Marine/Soldier/Airman that they've ever seen right now.
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LCDR Deputy Department Head
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Just looked at that response and it's really long... Sorry!
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SSgt Rf Transmission Systems Technician
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Wow, I really appreciate you taking your time to give me your input! This is exactly what I was looking for with posting the question. Things always make sense in my head until someone gives me their input then I start to see this from another angle. I will continue to research and hopefully make the best decisions I can. :)
Thanks a million!
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Maj Benjamin Beadles
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Request an exception to policy and don't back down when told it can't be done. It worked for me when I applied for OTS.
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Maj Mike Sciales
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If you want it bad enough -- go for it. Don't worry about possible assignment outcomes. We need smart people with experience. Once you get through with OTS they'll put you in some other AFSC where the AF needs you and then in a slot some where they need you. Enjoy the ride.
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