by Airman 1st Class William Blankenship
Air University Public Affairs
12/4/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- Beginning
in January, the Air Force Officer Training School's Basic Officer
Training course will be shortened by three weeks, officials announced
Cutting the course from 12 weeks to nine weeks was the result of finding
efficiencies in the course's scheduling processes and curriculum, said
the OTS commandant.
"Our staff was able to adapt its operations and curriculum in several
innovative ways to save money and Airmen's time while still producing
fully qualified and capable second lieutenants," said Col. Thomas
Coglitore. "We've also beefed up our total force academics in order for
our trainees to better understand the cultures between the active,
Reserve and Air National Guard components."
The commandant said, shortening the course falls in line with Air
Education and Training Command's cost-conscious culture initiative, or
C3, which challenges AETC units to seek more efficient ways of using
"By developing and delivering qualified second lieutenants in a new way, we preserve our resources," he said.
Coglitore said estimated savings of about $1.9 million may be gained from the change.
"There is a potential for much larger savings as the result of the
decreased course length and an increase in the number of classes offered
annually by allowing for a more efficient training pipeline flow," he
In fiscal 2012, OTS officials graduated 642 second lieutenants from
its basic officer training course and are expected to graduate 1,055 new
officers in fiscal 2013. BOT graduates both active-duty and Reserve
line officers. OTS's officer production numbers fluctuate in response to
variations between projected and actual Air Force Academy and Air Force
ROTC accessions and Air Force end-strength requirements.
"If we get hit with a national emergency and need to commission more
officers quickly, OTS gives our nation the surge capacity to do it, and
this new construct increases our maximum capability," said Coglitore.
The syllabus is now pared down to the minimum necessary to fulfill federal commissioning standards.
"There are 116 tasks directed by Air Force instructions to commission
someone as an officer and 10 more from the Joint Chiefs of Staff," he
said. "I am comfortable that we are not lowering standards, but becoming
more efficient with how we schedule and conduct the training."
Producing motivated officers of character who embody the American
warrior ethos and are culturally aware, expeditionary minded and
prepared to lead is the mission of OTS. Blending those principals with
the culture of cost consciousness in today's Air Force assures the
future of air power, said Col. Scott Wiggins, OTS vice commandant.
"When things have been done a certain way for a long time, and while
tradition is important, sometimes you have to weigh tradition versus
progress," he said. "We always need to be willing to ask why do we do
something a certain way and how can we do it better."