Rated Preparatory Program now accepting applications for FY21 Fall class

The wings Senior Airman Brenten Boler, 47th Operations Group T-6 simulator instructor, earned upon graduating Pilot Training Next, are displayed on his desk, August 31, 2020, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Boler plans to finish his degree in December 2020, and he hopes to commission through Office Training School as soon as possible after that so he can break the glass, wear his wings and fly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Active duty Air Force officers and enlisted personnel interested in becoming rated officers have until May 25 to apply for the Fall 2021 Rated Preparatory Program.

As the program continues to expand, the fall class will partner and train with the Civil Air Patrol wing in Columbus, Indiana.

“We recently completed the third iteration of RPP, with 40 officers and 20 enlisted personnel in attendance,” said Maj. Sean Stumpf, Aircrew Task Force branch chief. “The inclusion of enlisted personnel in the program marked a significant milestone and helps cast a wide net to attract the best the Air Force has to offer and is another step toward expanding the program. We plan to continue to grow in FY22 and FY23, ultimately peaking at 240 students per year.”

Officers who complete the program are required to apply to the next available Undergraduate Flying Training selection board. Enlisted participants are required to apply to at least one of the three Air Force commissioning sources: U.S. Air Force Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps or Officer Training School.

Applicants selected for RPP will first complete a self-paced, online ground course followed by a one-week, in-resident course to introduce them to aviation fundamentals. Program participants will garner approximately seven to 10 flight hours, ground instruction and additional training time in a Federal Aviation Administration-approved flight simulator.

“The Rated Preparatory Program is a unique opportunity for officers and enlisted,” said Col. John O’Dell, Aircrew Task Force deputy director. “For anyone who is considering pursuing a career as a rated officer, and wants to gain basic aviation skills to become more competitive, RPP can make a significant difference. The experiences gained in RPP will help members compete at Undergraduate Flying Training boards.”

Senior Airman Dell Fonda, radar airfield and weather systems technician, who recently participated in the Spring 2021 class, agreed.

“The opportunity to participate in this program reaffirmed my desire to be a rated officer and what I need to do to achieve it,” Fonda said. “The Rated Preparatory Program has been intense but has given me the insight on how to prepare a successful OTS package, as well as what to expect in Undergraduate Pilot Training if I get selected to be a pilot.”

Interested applicants can find additional information on how to apply through PSDM 21-31 on the MyPers website at https://mypers.af.mil/.