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Commissioning packages due April 11

Two Airmen at the commissioning board

Tech. Sgt. Audreann Wallace, NCOIC, Customer Support, 507th Force Support Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Shantel Ellis, 507th Air Refueling Wing Command Post, help each other prepare for the interview with the Non-Extended Active Duty airman commissioning program board Jan. 12, 2020 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Two airmen wait for commissioning board interview

Senior Airman Mary Begy, broadcast journalist, 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs and Staff Sgt. Jordan Scott, aerospace propulsion craftsman, 489th Maintenance Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, wait for their opportunity to interview with the Non-Extended Active Duty airman commissioning program board Jan. 12, 2020 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren Kelly)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 507th Air Refueling Wing is scheduled to hold a commissioning board for enlisted Reservists during the May UTA.

Packages are due April 11, and this year’s board has three vacancies for non-rated line officer positions, one aircraft maintenance officer position and two civil engineer officer positions.

Applicants may also be selected to fill overaged positions in the critical Air Force Specialty Codes of 14N (Intelligence) and 17S (Cyberspace) as a second priority, and applicants interested in commissioning into other AFSCs outside the above listed vacancies and critical AFSCs will be considered as a third priority, as officers can now be commissioned as overages into any AFSC.

The non-extended active duty airman commissioning program is a path for enlisted U.S. citizens of high moral character and personal qualifications possessing a bachelor’s or higher degree to earn a commission in the USAF Reserve to fill non-rated line positions. Other eligibility requirements include: Medical qualified or medically acceptable with waiver, and be under the age of 40 prior to graduating Total Force Officer Training, formerly known as Officer Training School.

The Non-EAD ACP is a “green light” from your wing leadership to apply to TFOT, and ultimately fill the wing’s position, according to the Non-EAD ACP Process Guide dated 29 June 2020. Once accepted as a candidate, all elements of the TFOT package, to include commissioning physical, must be submitted to the 507 Military Personnel Flight NLT one year after the member is notified of selection by the 507 ARW Commander. TFOT packages not submitted within one year of meeting the board will not be accepted and the member will be required to meet the next available board.

According to Senior Airman Mary Begy, broadcast journalist with the 507th Public Affairs office and the number one selectee on last year’s board, if members are interested in commissioning, it is in their best interest to start planning now.

“It’s a great opportunity to earn your commission and stay with the unit you love,” said Begy. “I’ve wanted to be an officer my whole life and now I’m on the path to do so thanks to last year’s commissioning board.”

Members should review their records, prepare for and take the AFOQT and speak to leadership now about letters of reference in preparation for future boards.

To meet with the board, eligible members must do four things: Gain unit commander approval, take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, complete an application package, and finally, interview with the Non-EAD ACP Board at a scheduled time.

According to one of last year’s board members and 507th Mission Support Group deputy commander, Lt. Col. Kevin Sorrels, the candidate’s ability to write and communicate nonverbally in their letter of intent is just as important as the board interview.

“The letter of intent is a one-page letter written by the candidate describing their military service,” said Sorrels. “Last year, I looked not only at their reason for applying but also for punctuation and grammatical errors.”

Sorrels said the interview portion is a time to look for the candidate’s ability to demonstrate their skills in leadership and critical thinking, as well as how they handle working through being nervous.

“We ask candidates questions that force them to think on their feet to demonstrate how they handle pressure,” Sorrels said. “It was less about what the answer was and more about the logic of how they came to that conclusion. It was very impressive to see the amount of talent we have within the wing.”

2nd Lt. Audreann Wallace, 72nd Aerial Port Squadron logistics readiness officer, said last year was her first time to meet a board. Wallace said she prepared for a year and a half, including six months of studying for the AFOQT and two weeks of preparing for the board interview, which ultimately paid off and she gained her commission less than a year later.

“Be yourself during the interview,” Wallace said. “The board doesn’t want to hear an Air Force answer; they want to hear your truthful answer to see if you are the right candidate for the job.”

Applicants are not limited to applying for vacancies in their current unit, they can look at job vacancies across the command. Understand that each wing may have its own requirements for their program and it is the member’s responsibility to contact the wing and obtain the requirements for their commissioning process.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit the Career Development Section of the 507th FSS Sharepoint or email 507.FSS.Workflow@us.af.mil or Staff Sgt. Hunter Conatser at hunter.conatser@us.af.mil or by phone at (405) 739-4047.