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Commissioning in the Air Force

U.S. Air Force officers answer questions from enlisted Airmen August 27, 2019 on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Officers hold commissioning panels for enlisted Airmen who have questions about the commissioning process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Natalie Rubenak)

U.S. Air Force officers answer questions from enlisted Airmen August 27, 2019 on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Officers hold commissioning panels for enlisted Airmen who have questions about the commissioning process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Natalie Rubenak)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --

There is more than one route to become an officer in the Air Force; Officer Training School (OTS), attending the Air Force Academy, or joining the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

OTS accepts those who’ve completed their degree while enlisted or those who have already completed their degree as a civilian.

1st Lt. Scott Wyman, 366th Munitions Squadron flight commander, was enlisted before he was commissioned as an officer.

Wyman explained that after his ten years in the enlisted position, he wanted to serve on a higher level and positively impact those around him.

“There’s a lot of experience that the prior-enlisted bring to the officer side,” Wyman said. “Prior-enlisted officers can bridge the gap between enlisted Airmen and officers by being more relatable.”

Prior-enlisted officers are able to pull from their enlisted experience to better communicate and help take care of their Airmen while completing the mission.

Although it may help to be prior-enlisted, becoming an officer after receiving a college degree brings a different set of advantages.

1st Lt. Adam Cudney, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield operations officer, took that path.

Becoming an officer with no military background allows them to enter the operational Air Force with a fresh set of eyes. This unique perspective helps drive the Air Force to innovate its processes to ensure a competitive advantage over other nations is maintained.

Whether it’s commissioning after ten years or getting a degree and then pursuing OTS, each individual brings a different perspective to their unit.

Cudney explained that Airmen are a big asset and programs like commissioning give Airmen the opportunity to pursue more, if that’s their goal.

“Everyone has the potential to commission,” Cudney said. “It all comes down to your ambition.”

For civilian to officer, contact: cortney.orrego.2@us.af.mil (Officer recruiter)
For enlisted to officer, talk to your supervisor