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Air Education and Training Command leaders are diligently working to remove barriers, promote mutual respect, and encourage tough conversations in safe spaces.

The First Command is leading efforts to strengthen diversity through deliberate actions to raise awareness about opportunities; developing partnerships with underrepresented groups; removing barriers to serve and providing mentorship to our current force.

 Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-7001, Diversity & Inclusion, broadly defines diversity as “a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities consistent with the Air Force Core Values and the Air Force Mission. Air Force diversity includes, but is not limited to: personal life experiences, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural knowledge, educational background, work experience, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender.” The Air Force increases its warfighting capabilities and lethality by attracting talent from a diverse body of applicants and leveraging their unique characteristics, experiences, and abilities.


Learn more about the U.S. Air Force Rated Diversity Improvement Strategy here. 

Learn more about the Department of the Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Groups (DAFBAWG) here. 


UPDATE: Airmen interested in learning aviation fundamentals, becoming a rated officer can apply for Rated Prep Program until Dec. 31

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kenya Pettway
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Air Force extended the deadline for Airmen applying for the Rated Prep Program until Dec. 31.

Active duty Air Force officers and enlisted personnel interested in becoming rated officers have until Dec. 31, 2021 to apply for the Spring 2022 Air Force Rated Preparatory Program (RPP), scheduled for March 20-25, 2022, and March 27-April 1, 2022 in Denton, Texas.

U.S. Air Force rated career fields consist of pilots, combat systems officers, air battle managers and remotely piloted aircraft pilots.

RPP provides qualified Airmen interested in cross-training to an Air Force rated career field the opportunity to gain and strengthen basic aviation skills.

“The Rated Preparatory Program provides a unique opportunity for officers and enlisted personnel to become rated officers,” said Brig. Gen. Brenda P. Cartier, AETC director of operations and communications. “Through RPP, qualified Airmen gain skills they may have not had the opportunity or resources to gain before entering the Air Force. We want to provide our Airmen the tools to pursue their lifelong dream of flying in the Air Force—a dream they may have never thought possible.”

Program participants will receive self-paced ground training, about eight flight hours in a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182 Skylane, and additional training in FAA-certified simulators—helping them become more competitive for rated selection boards.

"RPP has proven successful in improving students' Air Force Officer Qualifying Test and Test of Basic Aviation Skills scores, which are considered at rated selection boards, by about 40 percent," said Kathryn Gifford, AETC rated diversity improvement program analyst. "Of the 93 RPP students trained in fiscal years 19 and 20, 70 applied to the undergraduate flying training board, with 55 (78%) of applicants selected for a rated position."

Airmen who can meet the requirements below are encouraged to apply.

Officer requirements:

  1. Be of high moral character.
  2. Obtain group commander (or higher) approval and endorsement (on application).
  3. Score at least minimum passing for the Air Force physical fitness test.
  4. Take the AFOQT and TBAS to receive Pilot Candidate Selection Method initial scoring results prior to RPP. Then, retake the AFOQT and TBAS two-four weeks after completion of RPP. Note: The AFOQT and TBAS cannot be attempted more than three times total. RPP officials will provide an exception to policy for RPP graduates who require a waiver for retest intervals, and for those who have tested twice already.
  5. Have less than five hours of total civilian flight time. Note: Applicants with greater than five hours of flight time will be considered on a space-available basis.
  6. Prior to attending RPP, obtain the appropriate Air Force flight physical specific to the rated carrier field. For example, Initial Flying Class 1 for pilots.
  7. Meet UFT board requirements post RPP in accordance with AFMAN 36-2100.
  8. Review Civil Air Patrol-assigned study material prior to class start date.


Enlisted personnel requirements:

  1. Must be under 33 years of age on March 20, 2022.
  2. Prior to attending RPP, have or obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with at least a 2.5 GPA.
  3. After completion of RPP, apply to an Air Force officer commissioning source at the next available opportunity.

Airmen interested in applying to the program can find additional information via the call for nominations on MyPers HERE (CAC required).

For any questions, e-mail with “Attn: Rated Prep Program” as the subject line.

The Air Force Rated Preparatory Program is led by Air Education & Training Command’s Rated Diversity Improvement Team, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, and supported by Civil Air Patrol.


RPP is not a commissioning program, nor does it guarantee participants will be selected for an Air Force rated position.

*Editor's note: The application deadline for the RPP has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021. 

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U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Curry, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, speaks about diversity and inclusion at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Jan. 5, 2022. More