Tag Archives: Air Education and Training Command

AFRS tweetchat with AF flight surgeon

The Air Force Public Affairs Agency and Air Force Recruiting Service hosted a tweet chat with Lt. Col. (Dr.) David Duval, Air Education and Training Command’s medical standards branch chief and senior flight surgeon, Mar. 20 and received 29 questions from Twitter followers. During the 45-minute Web event, Duval answered questions about becoming an Air Force flight surgeon and nurse practitioner as well as and other medical career field-specific questions. The first 13 questions were answered during the tweet chat, but in case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat. Stay tuned for our next event, and follow us on Twitter.

Q1:  Do you accept applications from other nations to join the Air Force?  How do I get a Reserve recruiter to call me back?  I’ve called six times and left messages.

A1:  Yes, provided the individual has been residing legally in the U.S. for 2 years or longer, and possesses a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Registration Card, commonly called a “Green Card” (INS Form I-151/551).  Applicants must be between 17-27, meet the mental, moral and physical standards for enlistment and speak, read and write English fluently.  To apply for officer programs, you must be a U.S. citizen.  You may contact the Air National Guard at http://bit.ly/15P3wjP and Air Force Reserve at http://bit.ly/13d58AD.  Both have live-chat options on their website to answer your questions.

Q2:  What are the qualifications to becoming an Air Force surgeon?

A2:  You must not exceed 48 years of age, be credentialed in your specialized area and be otherwise qualified.  Please talk to an Air Force health professions recruiter for more guidance and information.

Q3:  For an upcoming high school senior, what is the best route to become a nurse practitioner in the Air Force?

A3:  While serving in the Air Force, you can apply for our Nurse Education and Commissioning Program (NECP).

Q4:  What are some good classes to take if I want to pursue this career field?

A4:  Medical schools publish their prerequisites, and accept various types of degrees to apply. Courses in math and science are good.

Q5:  Are tattoos on forearms and wrists a deal breaker?

A5:  No, as long as the tattoo does not exceed 25 percent or more of an exposed area, and is not offensive in nature.  Your recruiter will evaluate your tattoo(s) to determine eligibility.

Q6:  Are there scholarships other than AFROTC?

A6:  There are not any other scholarship programs for undergraduate degrees.

Q7:  Dr. Duval, what other fields/AFSCs have you been in and how did you get to where you are today?

A7:  I’ve been a physical therapy technician, nurse’s aide, lab technician and anesthesia technician. I earned my undergraduate degree on my own, and received a scholarship from the Health Professions Scholarship Program.

Q8:  What is the most realistic, achievable way of commissioning after enlistment?

A8:  Graduate from college, then apply for Officers Training School.

Q9:  Is an astigmatism a deal breaker?

A9:  No, it is not a deal breaker.  However, your vision will be evaluated to determine your enlistment eligibility.

Q10:  Can you join the Air Force as an officer if you are a single parent?  How about as an enlisted member?

A10:  Yes, you can be a single parent joining as an officer or enlisted member if you are otherwise qualified.

Q11:  How do I study for the DLAB?

A11:  There is no study material for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.

Q12:  What is the demand for medical jobs in the Air Force right now?

A12:  The need for medical jobs is ever-changing, so there is no way of knowing. Check with you recruiter for your best options.

Q13:  What’s better – ground or airborne linguist?

A13:  It’s up to you to decide if you prefer cryptologic linguist apprentice or an airborne cryptologic language analyst apprentice.

Q14:  Is the Air Force downsizing like the Army?

A14:  Yes, we are downsizing using various force management programs.

Q15:  If you can physically pass the PT test, but you’re overweight, can you still become an officer?

A15:  You must meet weight requirements based upon your height to qualify.

Q16:  Could I commission in the Reserves as a public health officer or is active duty the only option for this career field?

A16:  You must contact the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to learn more about their specific eligibility requirements.  Regular Air Force offers opportunities in the public health officer career field provided you are otherwise qualified.

Q17:  My recruiter said there’s a zero tolerance policy on single parents joining the Air Force. Is this true?

A17:  Recent changes have been made it possible for single parents to join the Air Force.  Please contact an Air Force recruiter, chat with an Air Force advisor on http://www.airforce.com, or call our National Toll Free Call Center at 1-800-423-USAF.

Q18:  Are there any extra benefits to entering the Air Force with a master’s degree as compared to a bachelor’s degree?

A18: Officer Training School boards have been suspended until fiscal year 2015.  You may contact an Air Force line officer recruiter for mmore information and guidance.  Applying for OTS requires a bachelor’s degree with a qualifying GPA of 3.0 or better.  http://bit.ly/15P53GT

Q19:  Why can’t you get any recruiters in the Kansas City area to return a phone call?

A19:  You may call our National Toll Free Call Center at 1-800-423-USAF, or visit login to http://www.airforce.com and chat with an advisor who will assist you in locating and contacting an Air Force recruiter nearest to you.

Q20:  Why aren’t there fighters at Hanscom Air Force Base?

A20:  Strategic decisions to place fighter aircraft units in specific areas is made by the Pentagon and our elected officials.

Q21:  What ASVAB score do I need in order to qualify for Special Missions Aviation?

A21:  You will need to qualify with an Armed Forces Qualification Test score of 50, a mechanical aptitude score of 60 and a general aptitude score of 57.

Q22:  How does it work if a recruit wanted to change residency to a different state?

A22:  If you are in the Delayed Entry Program, please notify your recruiter you are moving, and that you would like to request a courtesy ship.  Your recruiter will obtain the information, and your files can be transferred to your new location.

Q23:  I’m 14 years old and I’m interested in joining the U.S. Air Force. How can I join?

A23:  While you are still too young to enlist, it’s never too early to start preparing.  Study hard, graduate from high school and get the best grades you can.  Say no to drugs, and get an early start on meeting our physical fitness requirements.

Q24:  Does the Air Force even “need” more medical personnel?  I was thinking of joining after this semester, but I was thinking of doing something in the infantry field.

A24:  The Air Force is always looking for the best qualified people to join our service.  If you meet the requirements, and the job you want is available, you can have that job.  The Air Force does not offer “infantry,” but it does have over 140 jobs to choose from.

Q25:  I have a master’s degree in history and I served in the Air Force in the mid-90s.  Is there a historian position in the Air Force Reserves for someone under the age of 40?

A25:  To apply for the Reserves, please contact the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve. They both have qualified recruiters to assist you.

Q26:  I’m British and I tried to join the Air Force when I lived in El Paso, Texas. I was told I couldn’t work on aircraft because I’m not a U.S. citizen. Is this true?

A26:  You must meet U.S. citizenship requirements.  If you meet the requirements to apply, not being a U.S. citizen will limit you to jobs you may qualify to train and serve in.

Q27:  My daughter wants to be a military nurse and help those with PTSD.  Should she join the Air Force or Army?

A27:  To find out if your daughter meets the requirements to apply as nurse in the Air Force, please ask her to contact an Air Force health professions recruiter.  She will need to contact the U.S. Army to apply for their nursing program.

Q28:  What are the chances of getting one of the 10 AFSCs you’ve chosen at MEPS?

A28:  After meeting our ASVAB and physical requirements, and the job you qualify for is available, then you can have that job.

Q29:  I’m an associate graduate of Aeronautics here in the Philippines, and I want to be part of the U.S. Air Force. How do I join?

A29:  You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for Officers Training School.  If you are a U.S. citizen, OTS selection boards have been suspended until fiscal year 2015.  Please contact an Air Force line officer recruiter near you for future OTS boards.

Eglin ready for F-35 training, Dec. 18, 2012



An independent evaluation has found Eglin Air Force base capable of conducting F-35A Lighting II pilot training.

“The OUE [Operational Utility Evaluation] showed the men and women at Eglin are ready,” Air Education and Training Command commander, Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., said. “I’m very proud of both those in uniform and the contracted support who put in years of hard work. The culmination of those labors was successfully demonstrating the Integrated Training Center can conduct safe and effective flying operations in addition to academic training.”

During the OUE experienced F-16 and A-10 pilots transitioned to the world’s first multi-role stealth fighter. The results show the F-35 aircraft and its pilot training program are robust enough to conduct the planned transition and upgrade courses.

“The team at Eglin went through a rigorous process to lead the way for F-35A training. We look forward to starting off the New Year with more history in the making as they put the JSF Integrated Training Center to task to provide a world class training program,” said Rice.

Photo: Two U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Courtesy photo)

Major General Flowers: An inspiration for us all, July 19, 2012

By Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

I recently had the opportunity to interview a truly inspirational veteran, retired Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers, who served just a little more than 46 years and retired in January 2012. Only a fraction of the information would go into a piece about him for Pioneers in Blue, but I felt it was a waste not to tell the masses what he had to say.

From the moment the Public Affairs team entered his house, he lent an air of warmth and wisdom. Before I even interviewed him, I knew I would be sharing his story. So, here I am writing a blog about this experience.

Flowers grew up in what he calls a “very impoverished” upbringing. “I’m a product of teenage parents. One was 16 and one was 17 when I was born; they kind of gave me to my grandparents to raise, who were very socially, economically and environmentally impoverished.”

He went on to explain his grandfather was a share cropper who one year only made $300 – some years they had nothing at all. He knew he wouldn’t be able to afford college but wanted to rise out of his situation. The Air Force gave him this opportunity, as well as providing a way to earn four degrees.

“I can’t be more thankful and more blessed for that opportunity. My message to anybody who’s thinking about the military and having second thoughts, if you don’t have another plan, [the military] is the way out of any situation. You can always rise above your situation – it just takes perseverance. You’ve got to perform, have a good positive attitude and stay with it.”

Flowers’ second assignment in the Air Force was to Da Nang, Vietnam, during the Vietnam Conflict. “I was there as a 19 year old who served in all of the Tet Offensives of 1968. My first few months in Vietnam were unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, unlike anything I could imagine.”

As he sat there answering my question about his time in Vietnam, his eyes teared up.

“I had the opportunity – actually it was part of my job – to work on air and mobility teams. What we did in the evenings or early morning, we’d go out into the jungles and haul out dead bodies, wounded bodies, prisoners who had been captured. I won’t go into it, because I get very emotional about it. The number of young Americans we have moved, who I’ve assisted in moving, in transfer cases and body bags – I will never forget!”

Serving in both the enlisted and officer corps, Flowers had many accomplishments during his years of service – you can see them throughout his office. One accomplishment fulfilled a dream of his – when he was in charge of the Air Force’s budget as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller.

Another accomplishment resulted in a display case sitting in the corner of his office that included a military training instructor hat and rope he received from the MTI training corps.

“There’s another opportunity I had that I thought was very important and right up at the top of all of my experiences. It was as commander of 2nd Air Force – the numbered Air Force responsible for training Airmen.”

He said when he first arrived at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., his focus was on the enlisted force – how they were doing and what was being done to make Airmen. He was disheartened when he was briefed on the MTI force and found they were 58 to 59 percent manned.

“I took on an effort to improve the manning in the military training instructor force, and when I left 2nd Air Force, they were manned at about 98 percent. I am very proud of that. I think we did some good.”

Flowers also values his enlisted heritage, saying it helped him as an officer to understand how the enlisted force works. “That experience will make you a better person, will make you a better officer and will make you a better Airman. I’m very proud of that service.”

His service is what he hopes to leave as his legacy to the thousands of Airmen he crossed paths with.

“I’ve always believed the job of every supervisor and every leader was to make sure the folks you lead, mentor and train reach their fullest potential. It’s never been about me as a leader. What I want someone to say about me when they write my obituary and plant me in Ft. Sam National Cemetery in Texas is ‘there are thousands of officers, Airmen, NCOs and civilians serving who Al Flowers touched during his 46 years, 5 months and 24 days of service.’

It’s never been about me; it’s always about service and others. None of us are smart enough, none of us are bright enough and none of us are good enough to make ourselves successful; it’s other people who make us successful. I believe if you lead with integrity, do the right thing – I call it leading with heart – and have humility, enthusiasm, attitude and trust; if you focus on those four things and lead with heart, you’d be amazed at how successful the organizations you lead will be, how successful the folks will make us as individuals.”

As he sat there in his civilian attire, Flowers reflected on what being an Air Force veteran meant to him and how civilian clothes were now his uniform.

“I believe at some point we need to make the transition, once we retire. That uniform we wore proudly all the years we wore it and served in it. But, we have to move on. This is my uniform now – red, white and blue with the American flag and the Air Force symbol on the lapel, on the left side.”

Flowers wishes he could have stayed in for 56 years serving in the military branch he loves.

“I loved every day of what I did. Believe it or not, I would go to bed at night thinking about the difference I could make the next day and what opportunities and challenges [would be presented] that would allow me the opportunity to make a difference in our Air Force or an Airman’s life. I don’t know how many lives I’ve touched, I don’t know how many I’ve changed, I don’t know how many I may have saved, but I know that every one of them were important.”

Well, sir, you have definitely touched my life! I will keep the sound bite from the interview I had with you and play it anytime I get discouraged or lose sight of the path I’m on to reaffirm just why I want to serve my country in the Air Force. My hat is off to you Major General Flowers – thank you for your 46 years of service!

Maj. Gen. (ret) Alfred Flowers

Photo 1: Maj. Gen. (ret) Alfred Flowers served from August 1965 to January 2012, serving in both the enlisted and officer corps. (Air Force photo)

Photo 2: Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers, U.S. Air Force retired, poses for a portrait during an interview for Pioneers in Blue, July 16, 2012, San Antonio, TX. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Photo 3: Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers, U.S. Air Force retired, admires his Order of the Sword, July 16, 2012, San Antonio, TX. The sword was presented by the enlisted force of Air Education and Training Command April 6, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)


 By Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool
Air Force Recruiting Service

While on an aircraft recently my seven-year-old son pointed out the window and asked me what was below. As I replied “mountains” he got a strange look on his face and said “that’s funny, they don’t look so tall from up here.” Senior Master Sgt. McCool

As I reflected on what he said I realized his statement mirrored my career. As I was looking ahead at each challenge I faced, the mountains appeared so tall, but as I climbed them and looked back down I discovered they weren’t as tall as I thought they were.

My first “mountain” came on the morning of Aug. 3, 1995, when my dad drove me to the Military Entrance Processing Station in Phoenix, Ariz. I can remember it as if it was yesterday — standing under the fluorescent lights outside the building. The fear that had been building over the last year in the Delayed Entry Program was now staring me in the face. I was leaving home for the first time to attend Basic Military Training (BMT). The “mountain” seemed enormous and I almost begged my dad to take me back home, but his words of encouragement were the reason I was able to walk into the building that morning and survive the next six weeks of basic.

It wasn’t until three years later when I returned to BMT that I realized the “mountain” didn’t seem so tall. These experiences continued throughout my career as a health services apprentice, a member of the base honor guard, a military training instructor and here in recruiting duty. I have been fortunate to have many mentors and peers along the way who made the climb much more enjoyable. As you face mountains, find someone to help with your climb and know that someday you will be able to look back on each “mountain” in a different light.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen McCool (right), Air Force Recruiting Service recruiter screening team superintendent, counsels a prospective recruiter. She was recognized as the Air Education and Training Command senior noncommissioned officer of the year for 2010. (courtesy photo)