USAF Commissioned Officer Training course trainees stand in formation on May 24, 2018, at Maxwell AFB, Ala. OTS has recently merged COT with the Total Force Officer Training course to increase the quality and quantity of officers it can produce annually. Air Force photo by A1C Samuel Contreras.
Total Force Officer Training and Commissioned Officer Training will disappear from USAF’s Officer Training School by year’s end, and will be replaced instead with a new eight-week course that merges the programs for line and non-line officers.
The move, which creates an “off-ramp for a limited number of non-line specialties,” looks to boost “the quantity and quality of” the leaders the institution graduates, according to a Dec. 27 release.
The shift from a three-training squadron model to “a more efficient two-training squadron model” has enabled OTS to adopt the “one syllabus for one officer” concept, said Lt. Col. Erick Saks, 24th Training Squadron Commander.
“The initiative increases officer production capacity from around 2,700 graduates annually to 3,300 with a surge capability of up to 3,800,” the release said. OTS students will also get to train with officers with whom they wouldn’t otherwise interact “with until much further along in their careers,” giving both types of officers a common core.
Line and non-line officers will take classes together at OTS starting this month.
Col. Peter Bailey, the school’s commandant, said the change will ensure that all of the school’s students are offered “the best leadership training” in a learning environment that better parallels the one they’ll serve in. It’ll also help make the Air Force more resilient, he said.
Raising up quality officers and leaders isn’t just “a force multiplier,” added Bailey, it’ll also help breathe new life into Air Force squadrons—one of Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s top three focus areas.
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