What is the enlisted application/selection process?
Before officially starting the recruiting process, applicants should determine their eligibility to retrain. Typically applicants fall under two categories: First Term Airman (FTA) or Career Airman (CA).
OSI primarily recruits FTA within their retraining window IAW 36-2626. CONUS FTA may apply no earlier than the 1st duty day of the month during which they complete 35 months of their current enlistment (59 months for 6-year enlistees) but no later than the last duty day of the 43rd month of their current enlistment (67 months for 6-year enlistee). FTA stationed OCONUS must apply between the 15th and 9th month before the DEROS and must enter the 35th month of service (59th for 6-year enlistees) on or before DEROS.*
Career Airmen may apply outside the FTA window with the support of their command.*
*NOTE: If you have any questions on how to determine your eligibility to retrain into ANY career field, please contact your base Career Assistance Advisor (CAA).
AFTER an applicant has determined their eligibility to retrain:
The first official step in the recruitment process begins when an applicant completes an OSI Potential Applicant Form on the OSI Enlisted Agent Recruitment Portal. Potential applicants can request access to the portal by sending an email to the OSI Enlisted Recruiting Team organizational box, AFOSI.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If determined eligible, applicants will complete the required paperwork associated with application. HQ OSI will then contact the applicant's Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) Career Field Functional Manager. It is the AFPC Functional who determines whether or not to release the applicant from the career field. NOTE: All applicants will need a letter of recommendation from their current commander. FTA applying after their window will also need a commander endorsed exception to policy letter supporting retraining outside the FTA window.
If the applicant has been released, the applicant will be contacted by the local OSI unit for an initial suitability determination, which will include an interview and other assessments. If the applicant passes the initial determination, the local OSI unit commences a suitability investigation on the applicant. Following the investigation, the results are reviewed by the local OSI's wing level commander known within OSI as a Region commander. The Region commander's decision is sent to the local OSI unit who in turn notifies the applicant whether or not they have been selected.
What ranks can apply?
Enlisted personnel in the ranks of senior airman (with less than 6 years' time in service), staff sergeant and technical sergeant (with less than 11 years' time in service); technical sergeants with more than 11 years can apply on a case-by-case basis and should have command support BEFORE contacting their local OSI detachment for more information. NOTE: SrA applicants that have NOT completed Airman Leadership School (ALS) before the applying will be considered on a case by case basis.
What are the time-in-service restrictions?
Time-in-service restrictions apply based on one's Total Active Federal Military Service Date (TAFMSD). At the time you would begin OSI training, your time-in-service (measured from your TAFMSD) must not exceed the following: for senior airmen, 6 years; for staff sergeants and technical sergeants, 11 years. Under certain circumstances, the time-in-service restriction can be waived.
(Time-in-service restrictions can change based on the current OSI recruitment focus. Check with the OSI Enlisted Recruiting Team organizational box, AFOSI.email@example.com for updates.)
An additional restriction applies to an applicant's length-of-enlistment obligation. A First-term Airman serving a four-year enlistment can apply for OSI between his or her 35th and 43rd months of enlistment. A First-term Airman serving a six-year enlistment can apply between the 59th and 67th month.
If the applicant is serving overseas, the retraining window is different. Airmen stationed overseas apply between the 14th and 10th month before the DEROS as long as they will enter the 35th month of service (59th for 6-year enlistees) on or before DEROS.
What are the time-in-grade requirements?
Time-in-grade requirements apply to the length of time served at a certain grade level. Time-in- grade restrictions often change based on the current OSI recruitment focus. Check with the OSI Enlisted Recruiting Team organizational box, AFOSI.firstname.lastname@example.org for updates.
Can I apply if I am on a controlled tour (MTI/MTL, Recruiter, Tech School Instructor, etc...)?
CAREER Airmen serving on a controlled tour assignment cannot apply until they are 15 months out from their controlled tour completion. FTA may apply as long as they are within their FTA retraining window.
Do I need to have a college degree? If not, does having one help my chances?
You do not need a college degree to apply. However, a degree may help, as it demonstrates your ability to complete a significant goal. A degree may also positively influence your chances if it is a degree in a field of study we value, such as foreign languages, computer sciences, and electronics.
Can I apply if I have derogatory information in my record?
Yes, however we will consider all derogatory information during the overall determination of suitability.
Members who are currently on the Control Roster or who have a current Unfavorable Information File are not eligible. However, members with letters of counseling, letters of reprimand, or some types of Article 15s in their record are eligible to apply. Airmen currently participating in the Air Force drug or alcohol rehabilitation program are ineligible, but those who have completed either of the programs may apply.
Can enlisted members of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard apply?
No. All enlisted personnel, even those coming from other branches of the armed forces, must serve in another Air Force career field prior to applying to OSI. All applicants must meet the rank and time-in-service requirements stipulated above.
If a person from another branch of service enters the Air Force with qualifying rank (senior airman through technical sergeant), how long must he or she serve in another Air Force career field before applying?
The same rules apply to everyone, whether you've come over from another branch of service or not. A person serving a four-year enlistment can apply for OSI between the 35th and 43rd months of the Air Force enlistment. A person serving a six-year enlistment can apply between the 59th and 67th month of the Air Force enlistment.
Can I apply if my current career field is on the critical list?
Yes, but understand that the chances of being released from your current career field are small. Also understand that OSI does not make or influence the decision to release you or not. That decision is made by the functional manager of your control Air Force Specialty Code.
Can I apply if I have a projected assignment?
No. If you have a projected assignment you cannot apply for retraining into OSI. If you apply and have been released by your AFPC Functional Manager, and are later selected for PCS/PCA reassignment, OSI will continue processing the retraining application. If you are selected for OSI duty, we will request assignment cancellation.
Can I apply if I am currently deployed?
No. If you are currently deployed you must wait until you return to your home station to begin the application process.
How long does the application process take?
The complete application process takes from 2 to 5 months.
Do I have to be a security forces member to apply?
No. OSI accepts applications from airmen in all career fields.
What career field, if any, increases my chances of being hired?
Specifically, none. Your demonstrated character and skills - not your career field - are what will increase your chances. OSI looks for high-caliber people, those who've demonstrated maturity, professionalism, good judgment, and compliance with Air Force standards and core values.
Do certain skills or abilities give me an advantage?
Certain skills are looked at favorably. These are fluency in a foreign language, high-level computer skills, and electronics. However, possessing these skills is no guarantee of success, because we make our decision based on the whole-person concept.
Does pre-enlistment trouble with the law enter the equation?
Prior service involvement with law enforcement will surface during the background investigation and will be taken into consideration when we evaluate your character. It is vital that applicants are honest and forthcoming during every stage of the application process.
If selected, will I be able to remain at my current location?
In rare cases, members will remain at their current assignment. However, the majority of agents are relocated after retraining into OSI. As with any other Air Force career field, you'll have input regarding the locations you desire, but the needs of the Air Force come first.
If I am selected but currently serving an overseas tour, when will I retrain?
You must first finish your overseas assignment, based on your Date Eligible to Return From Overseas (DEROS).
How often will I move to another assignment location?
In general, the frequency of our permanent change of station rates aligns with the rest of the Air Force, although we do tend to have a slightly higher-than-average move rate. The needs of the Air Force and prescribed tour lengths determine how frequently our agents move.
What about work-related travel and temporary duty?
Temporary duty travel varies according to an agent's assignment. Some OSI units require a great deal of work-related travel, especially those that are responsible not just for one installation but for others within a region. Other units require much less travel. The nature of OSI work, however, practically dictates at least some travel for everyone, as any investigation could require an agent to conduct an interview or gather evidence at other locations. And, from time to time, agents are called away to testify at courts-martial at their previous assignment locations.
What about deployments? Do agents deploy?
Yes, just like most members of the Air Force, agents deploy.
What are the physical requirements?
There are no special physical requirements. You must simply be worldwide qualified and have a current passing score on all components of the fitness assessment. More information is available from your military personnel section.
How do I get into certain specialties, like technical services, computer-crime investigations, etc.?
You apply directly for those positions upon entry. Make your desire known to your base OSI unit at the outset. Your aptitude in the specialty will be evaluated by a practicing agent within that specialty, who will assess your current level of knowledge and ability to learn more.
If hired, will I wear civilian clothes to work?
When performing agent duties, you'll wear "agent attire," which is typically the same as business attire for males and females. However, you will be required to maintain a full complement of Air Force uniforms for Professional Military Education, ceremonial purposes, and other instances that may arise that require uniform wear.
Current as of 10 March 20