Tom got some good news this week. He has spent the past several months getting things in place to compete for what is called a "rated position" in the Air Force. The board for these positions chooses who will get to be in them during junior year of ROTC. Rated positions are those that are aviation related--pilots, combat systems officers (a newly created position to combine navigator, weapons specialists and electronic warfare officers into one job), air battle managers and remote aircraft pilots. It is fairly competitive and there is a scoring system that is used based on ratings from your ROTC commanding officer, GPA, PT test, field training performance, Officer Qualification Test, a pilot aptitude test and you have to meet the medical requirements to be a pilot. If you don't get a rated position, then you have to figure out what other branch of the Air Force you would like to work in like public affairs, intelligence, etc.
Tom found out on Tuesday that he has been selected to be a combat systems officer. He is so excited. His first choice was pilot but he is so excited and looking forward to being a combat systems officer and fly in the back seat. He had already thought about becoming an intelligence officer if his rated position didn't come through but is happy that he got a flying position like he wanted. And he is on an alternate list for pilot should any positions open up that he could move up to. I am thrilled for him and so proud.
I've tried to look up what I could about it on the internet. Looks like he will have more than a year of training once he graduates from college which obligates him to six years in the Air Force. After six weeks of basic training in Alabama, he should be headed to Pensacola for a year of training. I think I will want to make at least one trip down to Florida to see him. I have never been to Pensacola so that sounds fun. There is supposed to be aircraft specific training after that but I suppose it depends on what kind of aircraft you get selected for as to where that training occurs.
Congratulations Tom! One more box checked toward getting your Air Force career started.