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Applying for an Aviation Slot in OCS
Last Post 10 Jul 2018 04:55 AM by Andisoss. 12 Replies.
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sbjordanUser is Offline
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sbjordan

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05 Jun 2018 08:14 AM
    I am in the process of gathering all of the necessary info for OCS for Coast Guard, but have come across just one confusing aspect.

    I am using my ASVAB score to apply for OCS along with the other required docs. My question isn't really what I need, but when do we take the ASTB if we are gunning for a pilot slot during OCS? Recruiter did not mention even taking the full ASTB before submitting a packet. 

    I figure it would be tough to keep up with flight study material during the 17 weeks of OCS, right? Should I just get in contact with a Navy recruiter and have them set me up with an ASTB-E test and get a score walking into OCS? Assuming I get accepted of course.

    Thanks really appreciate your help.

    Any good suggestions of OCS experience threads that you liked the most that proved most helpful for you?
    flyingbeaverUser is Offline
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    flyingbeaver

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    05 Jun 2018 01:40 PM
    You will take your ASTB and Class 1A Flight Physical after selection results are released for the OCS board you are competing for, but also before your OCS class commences (this assumes you are a primary selectee).

    With regards to OCS experiences, I can only speak towards the application process. I just completed my package a little while ago and am shooting for a spot on the July 30th panel. If you have anymore specific questions about the process go ahead and list them out!
    sbjordanUser is Offline
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    sbjordan

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    05 Jun 2018 03:09 PM
    GOOD LUCK!
    Thanks for the response. Timeline is much clearer now. 

    Correct me if I am wrong, the recruiter will require us to take the ASTB and Flight Physical if we express interest in aviation correct? Going to meet the CG recruiter next Monday and clarify that point. 

    So here's a follow up- what if we took the ASTB through a Navy recruiter? Does the CG HAVE to accept that score whether good or bad? Figure it will not be a bad idea to get a feel for the test, even if my next score replaces the former one. Or will the CG disregard the test score since we did not take the test under the CG umbrella?

    Related thread I found before I saw the reply: 

    https://www.airwarriors.com/community/index.php?threads/astb-now-vs-later.44597/

    Would love to hear updates about your experience through the app process. 
    flyingbeaverUser is Offline
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    flyingbeaver

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    05 Jun 2018 04:14 PM
    Thank you! It's all out of my hands now and up to the panel. Now to try and not overthink/stress for ~ 3 months until results come out.

    Your recruiter won't require you to do anything. I can't stress enough that this is your application and your responsibility. Your recruiter is wonderful resource for information and application best practices, but he's dealing with many other candidates and may not have the time to walk you through each and every step. Think of this as a way of weeding out people who potentially are not fully committed. If you want to peruse a flight billet, I would absolutely make your recruiter aware and have a plan on how you're going to accomplish that (which would include taking your ASTB and Flight Physical after successful selection to OCS).

    With regards to taking the ASTB through a Navy recruiter, I can't provide any useful insight. I'm not certain if there are limits to how many times you can take the test and what scores are taken. I would personally focus the majority of your effort on putting together the best application for OCS you can. OCS is extremely selective, your application needs to shine out of hundreds of others. Remember you're an officer first. It seems like there's plenty of ASTB study guides/websites/books out there for practice. I don't see too much benefit nor agree with going to a Navy recruiter if your intention is to join the USCG and not the Navy.

    Quick overview of my experience..

    1) Start your application NOW, it will take longer than you think it will. Life gets in the way and making everything perfect takes time. For reference I started my application mid-January and finished late May.
    2) Reach out to as many people as you can to hear about there experiences and learn from them! You're already doing this by posting on the forums, keep it up!
    3) Leadership, Leadership, Leadership! Make it shine throughout your application and bring in examples from all aspects of your life, personal, professional, and educational.
    4) Finally as I eluded to earlier, think hard about what separates you from the hundreds of other applications. What can you offer the USCG that no one else can?

    Best of luck!
    sbjordanUser is Offline
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    sbjordan

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    06 Jun 2018 06:02 AM
    This is great. Thanks so much for the input. For anyone reading I think the most important take aways are starting the application sooner rather than later and seeing that it is your responsibility and no one else's.

    I will find out more after I get the ball rolling with my recruiter next week.
    AndisossUser is Offline
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    Andisoss

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    06 Jun 2018 04:53 PM
    Officer / Former Recruiter here,

    DO NOT take your ASTB with the Navy. Once you sign up to go to MEPS for ANY reason with a particular branch, that branch "owns" your record. It's going to take extra time and paperwork from your recruiter to transfer your record over to the Coast Guard from the Navy. Nothing pissed me off more than working with an applicant to find out he/she has been working with a different branch at the same time behind my back. You are not in any position to be wasting your recruiters time because you are impatient or do not want to follow directions.

    Also, all 5 branches share your test scores on the same system. Just because you get a crap score with the Navy does not mean you get a free do-over with the Coast Guard, so study hard and do well. Good luck.
    PFranciscoUser is Offline
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    PFrancisco

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    06 Jun 2018 07:44 PM
    That's crazy, Andisoss. Good to know about the MEPS record "ownership".
    sbjordanUser is Offline
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    sbjordan

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    07 Jun 2018 07:36 AM
    Posted By Andisoss on 06 Jun 2018 05:53 PM
    Officer / Former Recruiter here,

    DO NOT take your ASTB with the Navy. Once you sign up to go to MEPS for ANY reason with a particular branch, that branch "owns" your record. It's going to take extra time and paperwork from your recruiter to transfer your record over to the Coast Guard from the Navy. Nothing pissed me off more than working with an applicant to find out he/she has been working with a different branch at the same time behind my back. You are not in any position to be wasting your recruiters time because you are impatient or do not want to follow directions.

    Also, all 5 branches share your test scores on the same system. Just because you get a crap score with the Navy does not mean you get a free do-over with the Coast Guard, so study hard and do well. Good luck.

    Wow. This is EXACTLY the answer I was looking for as well in the second part of my original question. I will cease talks with the Navy recruiter immediately. I have my ASVAB score from the Army recruiter taken at MEPS, hope that won't be an issue for the CG recruiter to transfer over. 115 GT score so recruiter said I won't have to take it again. Good enough?

    I'll hold off the ASTB then until OCS selection, IF I get selected of coarse. I have to wait 6 months under waiver guidelines for my PRK operation at the end of July, so my application won't be sent in until the next board which will be before summer of 2019. Plenty of time to bolster my application I figure, was thinking more volunteer work, potential certification training- any suggestions?

    I guess I'll have a year to prepare for the ASTB then? No excuse I can't get 9s then, right?
    AndisossUser is Offline
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    Andisoss

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    09 Jun 2018 06:45 AM
    Your GT score is fine.

    Transferring the ASVAB score is not a problem. That only takes a day. But I had problems once physical records were created that the other services would hold off on giving us the record, especially if the candidate is a quality has high testing scores. They cannot legally deny you the chance to switch from processing from one branch to another, but they can make it difficult.

    Volunteer work is good. Some of my best Officer recruits volunteered with the auxiliary to some extent. For potential Officer candidates, the one thing you can do to nearly double your chances of being selected is to simply enlist. We love to promote from within our own. It was not uncommon for me to do double OCS/Enlistment packages when the candidate would just enlist and ship out to boot camp as a back up plan if they were not selected for OCS. Also remember that even with a high ASTB score, there is no guarantee you will be selected for flight training while at OCS. Some officers ship out to the fleet and reapply for flight school while at their first duty station.
    sbjordanUser is Offline
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    sbjordan

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    11 Jun 2018 12:35 PM
    This is really helpful Andisoss. I will consider all the options as I have just under a year to really think about all the options. 

    With an acceptance rate of around 30% the most important thing anyone can do is make themselves shine out among the other applicants.
    phxcoastieUser is Offline
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    phxcoastie

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    16 Jun 2018 08:25 AM
    I don't exactly remember in what phase of OCS the ASTB was given (I was too old for flight school), but free time to study for anything other than program specific tests is almost non-existent. Definitely prepare for the test prior to reporting to OCS to give yourself the best chance at success.
    The first month of OCS is extremely stressful (to an extent, the whole program is) and those wishing to pursue a career in aviation are generally thrust into leadership positions right off the bat. This is a challenge because the folks in these positions are under more stress as they are accountable for the platoon as a whole. It's a good way for the staff to gauge how you react to stress, and it is a way of weeding people out. You're obviously being set up for failure, but the staff wants to see how you adapt to and overcome these failures. If you really want that flight school spot right out of OCS, keep your head down and keep charging forward! Hope this helps. Good luck!
    sbjordanUser is Offline
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    sbjordan

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    09 Jul 2018 07:47 PM
    Can you apply for the aviation program if you don’t initially get selected for pilot at the end of OCS?
    AndisossUser is Offline
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    Andisoss

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    10 Jul 2018 04:55 AM
    Posted By sbjordan on 09 Jul 2018 08:47 PM
    Can you apply for the aviation program if you don’t initially get selected for pilot at the end of OCS?

    Yes. This is common.
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