Posted on Jun 14, 2019
SrA Crew Chief
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Good Afternoon Everyone,
I have been on the enlisted side in the ANG for 4 years as a 2A3X3, crewing both 16s and 15s. I have been planning to begin ROTC in the fall as a commissioning route into the active duty, aiming for a UPT/CSO/ABM slot. I chose this route over OTS because the undergraduate degree I already possess is not relevant to aviation. If I do the ROTC program as planned, I will commission at the age of 26. If I went the OTS route (Only would do this if I could secure a pilot slot) I would commission at the age of 23/24. I am 22 now.

I come from an older mentality: Most new LTs are 21-23, and in my mind this would make me less competitive in my goal of becoming a General. Is there any validity to this? Does age really matter when competing for promotion on the officer side? Many thanks,
Nick Cammaroto
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COL Gary Gresh
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Try not to get ahead of yourself. Set one goal at a time. I knew many people who tried to map out their entire career and when it went sideways they were devastated. Your goal now should be to earn a commission. The path does not matter it’s the attitude that counts. Some of the best officers were former NCOs and went OCS or ROTC. West Point gives a great education but does not necessarily mean you will be a great officer. The best officers often happen by accident. I had a female commander once who I really respected because she was REAL. No phony ego. She gave some of the best advice. “ bloom where you are planted”. In other words do every job as if it was your intended goal. By doing every job well, you will reach your intended potential. Believe me, being a General is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s often more political than military. I worked directly for two 4 star generals and they were often unhappy people. But I had a mentor that never made it past Major but he was the best damn Major I ever served with. Likewise I knew several sergeant majors who were really first class leaders. You should not choose a career in the military because you want to be a general. You should choose a career in the military because you want to be part of something bigger and better than yourself. You want your life to mean something.
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SrA Crew Chief
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Sir,
I am grateful for your input! One goal at a time, with a focus on always being the best leader I can be. My end goal is service; To make a lasting and positive impact on the men and women whom I will lead. So far, on the enlisted side, I have been blessed to have extraordinary opportunities to lead Airmen, and hope that continues in the future.
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COL Dana Hampton
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At those ages, the only thing that will dictate your future is your duty performance and physical fitness. That will be true throughout your career regardless your length of service.

Do your job to the best of your ability, take care of your unit mission, those around you and become a life long learner. These rest will take care of itself.

FYI - Around 5% of officers reach the rank of Colonel. Becoming a GO is less than 1%. That’s rare air. It will take a great deal of talent, intellegence, ability, remaining healthy, and a certain amount of luck / timing to advance to the senior ranks.

Good luck, but I would caution you to focus on you job, where you are and be the best at it you possibly can. Goals are good, but swinging for the fences early in your military care can cause you to alinate peers and seniors. You might hurt your chances and come off as cocky. There is a lot to be said for a humble servant leader....

Just a thought.
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CPT Ray Gilmore
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Get a commission before looking for stars.

Goals are great, but if you are looking too far out, you will fall on your face.

OCS vs. ROTC - Neither guarantees a flight school slot, unless you are a state ROTC scholarship student who is going to a specific slot.

You get boarded with every other candidate in your year group, and needs of the force drives your job assignment.
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