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21753 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2013 5:56 PM by 520thTAML RSS 1 2 Previous Next
User 15 posts since
Sep 11, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 2, 2011 5:11 PM

AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

Military Exp: 1 year (AF: E-3), I enlisted once I finished grad school.
AGE: 28, be 29 this Dec.
BS in Applied Health Sci, Chemistry minor; 2.75 GPA
MS in Biomedical Science: Industrial Hygiene Major; 3.00 GPA
Air Force Intel technical school: Distinguished Graduate
Air Force Intel technical school: Outstanding Contributor Award
Basic Training: Dorm Chief
Basic Training: Thunderbolt fitness award
2004 brother of the year for my fraternity
*President of my fraternity chapter in college, also in other groups.
Current security clearance: TS/SCI
72D Direct Commission applicant: Board date; 17 OCT 11


My question:

I had 7 items turned to collections in Undergrad but all paid off. All small amounts, nothing more than $300. For the board I have the following LORs...
based on my statistics do I seem competitive for the upcoming board? Specifically, will my GPA hinder me and additionally, does the board really adhere to the whole person concept???? I'm scared that my gpa will ruin my chances.

7 Letter's of recommendation:
1 from the vice commander of my base (Army 0-6)
1 from the commander of the 1st Fighter Wing (Air Force 0-6)
1 from an Air Force 0-3
1 from my grad school professor and member of my thesis review board
1 from my former boss at enterprise-rent-a-car
1 from an Army 0-4
1 from my fraternity area manager

Please respond...thanks everyone.

  • User 26 posts since
    Aug 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 2, 2011 6:55 PM (in response to Airman2Green)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    I applied to last year's 72D board was placed on OML. Also, I applied again to this year's board. So, I know a little about the application process, so here it goes.

     

    My qualifying degree was a MPH in Epi & BioStats and a supporting MS in another field. No one ever mentioned my GPA's (3.6) again after wrote them down. The things they did do a lot on my degrees was verifying the institutions and the majors.  There was a lot of course by course breakdown on the first application.  Unlike the other services, the Army looks at your coursework and not just the degree type.  In the other services, all they looked at was the MPH and GPA, and moved on.  They did not even look at my other degrees or background.  Therefore, when comes to the degrees, I feel the Army looks at more than a degree and GPA.

     

    What most likely hurt my first application is that I am coming from a clinical research background and many of the items I placed on the application were technical. Last time I did not spell things out on the CV and LoR's.  (Big No-No.) This time I spelled everything out and explained what I did and how it impacts my ability to be an officer and a 72D.  Also, the recruiters this time around worked on the whole person concept of being an ethical and trust worthy officer. This actually amazed me since in the middle of my CV was fact I have been bio-ethics board and notes that I have handled large amounts of money in previous positions. I also have no criminal background, no financial issues, lead small research teams and have taught in the medical setting.  Looks like these were missed by last board.  Showing I was good in groups had to be improved, so the LoR's had to be modified.  It was most likely the lack of spelling things out and explaining that hurt me the most, so that would be the biggest thing to look at in the application (in my opinion).

     

    The recruiters also explained that last year's board was the first under new guidelines, and this board may also have different guidelines than last year's.  (They did not explain and I did not ask.) This board will be looking more at person as a whole to fill a role as an officer in the MFA selected, as well as an officer overall in AMEDD.  The item stressed a lot was the application will not be as role specific as previous boards and more of officer material. (And if the grapevine if true, I understand why.)

     

    I put up a post last March about applying as a 72D after I reviewed the AMEDD recruitment handbook, and recruitment and retention history for AMEDD (which is now behind a AKO firewall).

  • User 26 posts since
    Aug 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 3, 2011 9:20 PM (in response to Airman2Green)
    Re: AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    Considering how many people have reviewed this post (100+), posting things here may be helpful to others besides the two of us.

    These are my thoughts on the application process.

     

    1).   The GPA aspect is only a portion of the application.  It was not heavily stressed in either of my applications.  Since the "total officer" concept was stressed more than anything else, I assume the total picture is what is being looked at first.

     

    2).   As for LoR's.  I had five and they were of the academic and research nature.  The thing that was noted in application process a lot is the preference towards people with previous military experience.  Therefore I will assume have four officers writing LoR's will definitely help.

     

    3).   Keeping things straight forward and spelled out is a big deal.  If the term is something only people in your field understands (in my case Institutional Review Board), explain it.  If you have all bases covered in what you did and how, you have done well.

     

    4).   Flexibility.  This year's process had this as key word.  Can you be flexible in doing the multiple types of jobs under the MFA 72D. This was mentioned a lot. (I am aware of an Army research center that uses 72D's from everything from  data  analysts to hands on, in field data collectors to clinical support.)

     

    5).   Need is something that we must consider.  Even if the top fifty people in the field apply and they need  five people this year, there will be people going home unhappy.  We will never know the true numbers, so if we are not awarded the position we should remember this.  This is not a field that takes in hundreds or even dozens of people a year.  It is a small group and we must remember this.

     

    I am an ex-clinical research associate.  I help make research happen from the point an idea is created to the point of submission to a journal.  I know everything from HHS protocols, FDA guidelines, biomedical ethics, database creation, advanced statistics, results writing, financial and budget management  and team management. I also have more years of graduate school that most PhD's.  This also massively works against me since it works against #4 above. (Hey, being honest here.)

  • User 26 posts since
    Aug 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 4, 2011 5:21 PM (in response to Airman2Green)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    11 spots?  I did not even get a number for this year's board.

     

    1).   I am a 40 yo male (41 if I get in).  I was told that age is not a problem until the age of 42.  MEPS said compared to the other people my age for AMEDD, I was pretty good.  So I am not worried.

     

    2).   For what is stressed, I asked my recruiters a lot of questions.  They are the ones who alerted me to the changes and when.  They also asked other recruitment centers (Army and non-Army) what they are doing.  The officer as a whole came into play when we edited last year's application for this year.  Technical items were explained, and officer as a whole emphasized. Some areas of my application were completely redone.   Leadership and ethics examples were added.   My application went from applying to be a scientist to applying to be an officer.

     

    3).   No military service for me, and if you remember the application had pages and pages devoted to this.  So I asked about this.  The response was basically that the board really looks at this. Since it did not pertain to me, I did not ask more.

     

    4).   No military LoR's from me.  That could hurt me.  Hoping all the doctors who wrote ones will balance that.

     

    5).   Packet went in last week.  I am good.  The QA team found only one small error.  Which means if anyone else who wants to be a 72D is reading this and has not applied yet, they need to wait a year.

     

    Did your recruiters drop the bomb that unlike last year which (took four weeks for the results to be official), they want two weeks for official results and people off to OBLC as quickly as possible.  I made a joke about  winter in Texas, and their reply was better than the summer.

    This website has the workforce breakdown for Medical Service Corps (http://medicalservicecorps.amedd.army.mil/career_mgmt/histograms.html).  They used to have MFA's broken down by rank and years of service.  If these are like the 2007 report that I once had access to, they should help a lot.  It is behind AKO firewall.  It should give a good picture.

  • User 2 posts since
    Oct 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Oct 7, 2011 7:00 PM (in response to Airman2Green)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    Talk about a small world.

     

    I was looking at sending in a packet last year for 72D, however I missed the board by a few days. I had put the thought out of my mind until the recruiter got in touch with me recently and asked if I was still interested.

     

    I can give you some info on what I've discovered through my research:

     

    1) There are two different strata for applicants: Bachelor's and Master's+

         -the board will choose a certain amount of each; I don't have a breakdown on the numbers

     

    2) Age will only matter once you reach the threshold of 42; everywhere else but the professional corps of the services it's being able to have 20 years of service by age 55.

     

    3) The "whole" concept is used by all of the services to evaluate prospective candidates. In the context of an 72D, the Army is looking for a combination of leadership, professional and academic qualities. And, where the emphasis is placed, not sure. Keep in mind, as a 72D, they don't typically assume command (company, battalion, etc), but in the end they are still officers - much like anyone in the USMC is a rifleman regardless of MOS - and are expected to lead. 

     

    4) Typically only folks with doctoral (PhD, MD, etc) degrees get brought in as an O-3. With a Master's, you wind up as an O-2, but just as likely as an O-1. 

     

    5) LoRs are good if they do spell out your leadership qualities. It's a bonus if they come from service members. And, it's a bigger bonus, if they come from a service member that was your supervisor. The board will be able to see through "fluff" in LoRs. Most, if not all, will have experience at writing and looking at Officer Evaluation Reports (OERs).

     

    6) The Army will going through a draw down in FY'12. It's going to happen, and the board knows it. So, they will try and get the best of the "total package".

     

    Since we it looks like we'll be competing for slots, I'll throw my info out there.

    Current:           Active Duty - O-3/Lieutenant.

    Service:           National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps

                           Prior Enlisted, Army

    College:           BS - Marine and Coastal Ecology, *** Laude w/ Distinction

                          MBA - from the Naval Postgraduate School, 3.65

    Experience:     6 years as commissioned officer with NOAA in field and theoretical research and operational support (logistics and acquisitions). Qualified as working and scientific diver.

     

    Wish you guys luck.                             

  • User 26 posts since
    Aug 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Oct 7, 2011 7:47 PM (in response to Fishguy)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    I am being boarded as an O-2.  I was reviewed for a possible O-3, but years of experience is counted only after the "qualifying degree" so I did not get it.  I was told the two tiers (O-1 / O-2+) was eliminated in either this year's or last year's board.   It appears it created two different quality levels for entry.  I was also told that MFA 70A/B was out for external entry applicants.  I looked into these two since I am a clinical researcher with an Epi background. 

     

    If their quick turn around is true. We could be informed after the end of the month.

  • User 2 posts since
    Oct 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Oct 11, 2011 6:00 PM (in response to Airman2Green)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    I'll give you the best answers that I have. The caveat being that there appears to be some conflict with the intel that is on the streets these days.

     

    1) The recruiter that I was dealing with asked me which of my degrees would I be using to be considered. I don't know if there is any plus or minus to having a Master's degree already. If you have a Master's, is it a matter of having an applicable Master's in PH, or just a Master's? Don't know. My Master's is not applicable in the sense of professional competency. Rather, an MBA is a "leadership" degree, and it is from a DoD school. From what I was able to dig up, the only time a applicable Master's comes into play was retention at the field grade level, i.e. O-4 (Major).

     

    2) I submitted three. Two from O-5s, both previous COs, and one from an O-4. We were in grad school together and was basically my "senior"; I was an O-2 at the time. I come from the school where it's better to have several excellent LoRs than hitting the max with mediocre, fluffy ones.

     

    3) I appreciate the vote of confidence. But, my chances are just as good as anyone's. The board will be looking at what they need now and in the future. Without knowing what it is exactly they will be looking for, it's hard to say what the strongest candidate is. Besides, as an active duty O-3 now, would I get to retain my current rank, or take a reduction to get into the door? And, would this put me behind my peers in my year group? My guess would be that I would be an O-2 placed at the higher end of the Active Duty List (ADL) if I were to get selected.

     

    I hope that you articulated the fact that you speak 5 languages on your application and in your LoRs.

     

    4) Turned 35 this year.

     

    5) I was told it was a pretty quick turn around.

     

    6) When they submitted your application for verification, they should have done a rank determination on your packet for prior experience. Also, if you get selected, you should seek out to get that big "E" after your rank, e.g. O-2E - it means more money in pay. The last I knew, and this was several years ago, it was four years to get that designation, but things are always changing.

     

    Along those lines, I suppose the question could be asked: why did you enlist right out of grad school and not seek a direct commission/OCS, and what's your MOS (not sure of the AF equivelant for enlisted jobs)?

     

    I suppose at this point, all we can do is sit back and watch the fireworks.

  • User 26 posts since
    Aug 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Oct 23, 2011 11:33 AM (in response to Airman2Green)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    Last year it took 4 weeks to hear anything back, and another 4 weeks to have the list become offical.  In my case, a waiver was missing in my pack.  I heard from someone that went in as a Vet that it was over half a year between her getting accepted to when she finally went to Texas for officer training.  So, if we do get in...may have time on our hands.

  • User 26 posts since
    Aug 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Oct 24, 2011 8:34 PM (in response to Airman2Green)
    AMEDD BOARD: 72D Applicant

    I just heard from my recruiter.  I got OML again.  One person was accepted immediately and six are pending review.  I ranked high on OML, so I need to wait to see if any of the seven selected for active withdraw.

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