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OTS beta courses aim to test shortened commissioning program for SNCOs

Officer Training School cadets in OTS class 16-07 take the oath of office during their graduation parade at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama on June 17, 2016. In April 2019, Maxwell AFB announced two beta courses, called Officer Training School-Accelerated Commissioning Program, that will shorten OTS from 40 training days to 14 training days for selected senior NCOs. (US Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)

Officer Training School cadets in OTS class 16-07 take the oath of office during their graduation parade at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama on June 17, 2016. In April 2019, Maxwell AFB announced two beta courses, called Officer Training School-Accelerated Commissioning Program, that will shorten OTS from 40 training days to 14 training days for selected senior NCOs. (US Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

Today, Air Education and Training Command officials are reimagining how Airmen are developed and are announcing two beta course tests that would shorten the officer commissioning program for senior NCOs.

The proposed beta tests, called Officer Training School-Accelerated Commissioning Program, will shorten the program from 40 training days to 14 training days and take place at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The first test is slated to begin in August 2019. The first beta test includes 36 candidates: 26 active duty Air Force, 5 Reserve, and 5 Guard officer candidates in the ranks of master sergeant to chief master sergeant. Candidates must have completed the SNCO Academy course via in-residence or distance learning (Course 14) and been selected for OTS via the normal board process.

The shortened training capitalizes on AETC’s Continuum of Learning initiative, which integrates education, training and experience in developing Airmen.

It may be possible to expand this concept and explore other opportunities to award competency credit for education, training, and experience throughout the enterprise. 

Ultimately, the aim is to drive agility and flexibility in our processes and programs so that we more efficiently and effectively deliver qualified, trained, educated and experienced Airmen to meet mission requirements. 

Following the completion of the beta tests, the program will be evaluated with measurable criteria to determine the value provided the Air Force and the Department of Defense.

Editor’s Note: Senior NCOs selected for the OTS-Accelerated Commissioning Program (OTS-ACP) beta tests scheduled for August and October 2019 were selected through the normal, current OTS board selection process.  These senior NCOs voluntarily applied to OTS, and those Airmen selected for OTS by the January-February 2019 selection board were then reviewed by members at Air Force Recruiting Service to find candidates who were master sergeants and above and had completed Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy either by correspondence or via in-residence. The OTS-ACP is not a program to which Airmen apply directly; instead candidates for OTS-ACP are selected from the pool of OTS selects, using the normal OTS application process. 

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