Jack Contino con New Lieutenant's Guide to Kicking Ass on Air Force Active Duty: The Unwritten Rules and Secret Handshakes (English Edition)
So you’re fresh out of Air Force ROTC, OTS, or the Air Force Academy. You’re probably feeling damned good about yourself, about what you’ve accomplished, and that you’re about to roll into an admittedly cool job making more money than most of your graduating peers. Safe to say, you’ve made some good decisions up to this point and should pat yourself on the back. I won’t lie, you’re going to have a blast on active duty, unless your first duty station is Minot AFB (I’m kidding….or am I?)
You probably think you’ve learned some useful skills in your commissioning source as well, right? That is the whole point of the training after all, whether you went to a small technical school in the rockies, OTS, or were molded by one of the dozens of ROTC detachments across the country.
But what if I told you that there were some things that your cadre didn’t teach you that are equally, or even more important, than the things they did teach you? Sure, you learned some basic leadership principles, how to mentor those below you, how to take direction and reinforce the commander’s intent, and you’re ready to kick some ass on active duty.
But did they give you any hard concrete tactics about how to become the #1 Lieutenant in your squadron, group, and even wing?
Did they teach you, at a minimum, the very basics of writing a real OPR on active duty, the hidden meanings, and which lines actually matter?
Do you know what an HPO (High Potential Officer) is? More importantly - how do you get flagged as one?
What about the different tiers of stratifications on OPRs? You do know about stratifications, right?
Ever seen a PRF (promotion recommendation form)?
What exactly did they tell you about getting your Master’s degree? I bet it’s different than what I’m going to tell you…
Do you understand the phrase “proximity to the flagpole?”
If you are fully acquainted with everything listed above, Godspeed to you - you’ve been educated by some special cadre that have given you a VERY unfair advantage over your peers. If you’ve read these questions and are asking - what the hell is this guy talking about? - you need to keep reading.