CROs, STOs, & 13L ALOs Application Information


Staff member
The attachments provide the most current guidance pertinent to submitting a candidate application for consideration to become a Combat Rescue Officer (CRO), Special Tactics Officer (STO) and 13L Air Liaison Officer (ALO). Entry Classification (initial specialty placement) into these AFSCs are competitive in that the best candidates are sought out for a very few in numbers opportunities.

The commissioned officer Combat Rescue (CRO), Special Tactics (STO) and 13L Air Liaison Officer (ALO) specialties are collectively utilization aligned as officer classifications in the Space, Nuclear and Missile Operations, & Command and Control (C2) Utilization Field (13XX).

The 13DX CRO and 13CX STO officer classification were established, approved and activated effective 8 December 2000 and the 13LX ALO officer classification was established, approved and activated 1 August 2009. Although Rated ALO duty positions existed since 1947 and Combat Control Officer unit specific duty positions existed since 1952 no specific screening and selection process was utilized to put officers into such duty positions during years prior to 2000.

The Air Force’s origins to implement formal screening and selecting process to facilitate arriving at certain initial entry classification screening decisions to put officers into career paths requiring the performing of certain hazardous duties in every part of the world under harsh conditions at the extremes of human physical capabilities coincided with the concurrent establishment and activation of the CRO and STO specialties.

The screening and selecting process and methodologies emphasize but are not limited to a physical fitness assessment, medical readiness examination recommendation to perform flying and special operations duty, and an adaptability assessment. Although similar to comparable enlisted screening and selecting process and methodologies the officer screening and selection differs due to the entry level leadership responsibilities that come with holding an awarded military commission.

Generally, civilians desiring to become a CRO, STO or 13L ALO have no eligibility or qualification to submit an assessment application (entry classify, job placement/entry) into these AFSCs prior to completing OTS and being entry classified into another AFSC.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">AFI36-2013 OFFICER TRAINING SCHOOL (OTS) AND

3.3. Basic Officer Training (BOT). This program is open to all civilian applicants to include AF Reserve, Guard, Sister Service members, and AF active duty Airmen wishing to pursue an opportunity to become a commissioned officer in the Air Force by attending OTS. <span style="color: #990000">All applicants other than active duty Airmen must initiate the application process with an AF Recruiter.</span> Active duty Airmen initiate the application process with their FSS Education and Training Section.

3.3.1. There are primarily two program categories, “Rated” and “Non-rated.” Rated is comprised of the Pilot, Combat Systems Operator, and Air Battle Management subprograms. The Non-rated category is comprised of Technical and Non-technical subprograms.</div></div>

Understanding the nature of military commission appointment has a career development path different from enlisted career development path is critical to deciding if attempting to be entry classified into such officer specialties is a desirable sought-after specialization of career duties in comparison to other available Air Force officer specialties. Particularly since being selected only places the candidate into the required initial skills training that is the mandatory required courses and other training required for award of an officer specialty.

DOD Instruction NUMBER 1310.02, Appointing Commissioned Officers is strongly suggested reading.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> (I emphasized the important element in red text) DOD Instruction NUMBER 1332.32, Appointing Commissioned Officers stipulates it is DoD policy that:

4.1. <span style="color: #990000">Only those persons who have clearly demonstrated the potential for full careers will be appointed as military officers</span> to sustain the quality and effectiveness of the officer force.

4.2. Each Military Service will use an effective and impartial system to identify and select for appointment as commissioned officers the best-qualified persons available who possess the skills necessary to meet the needs of the Military Service concerned.</div></div>

As CRO, STO, and 13L ALO differ in "best-qualified" connected primarily to medical recommendation requirements to perform duties and occupational-specific fitness standards there are differences in screen and selecting process and methodologies.

Regardless, the assessment process is impartial regarding opportunity for eligible persons to submit an application for consideration. For example AFI 36-2626, AIRMAN RETRAINING PROGRAM, instructs “ Officers will have the opportunity to volunteer to crossflow to the following non-donor AFSs: 11X Pilot, 12X Combat Systems Officer, 13B Air Battle Manager, 13C Special Tactics, 13D Combat Rescue, 13L Air Liaison, and 18X Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot. Officers requesting crossflow into the above AFSs will be directed to the appropriate CFM for consideration first but will also be vectored by the MCP with a secondary career field as a back-up.”

The attached documents found at bottom of this post discloses information on eligibility and how to submit an application to apply as a candidate to be entry classified into the specific CRO, STO and 13L ALO AFSC.

The following definitions may be useful:

Advanced Training (AT)— Formal course that provides individuals who are qualified in one or more positions of their Air Force Specialty (AFS) with additional skills and knowledge to enhance their expertise in the career field. Training is for selected career airmen at the advanced level of the AFS.

Air Force Career Field Manager— OPR appointed to ensure assigned AF specialties are trained and utilized to support AF mission requirements. Works in concert with MAJCOM, FOA, DRU, ANG, and AFRC Functional Managers (FMs) as required.

Air Force Specialty— A group of positions (with the same title and code) that require common qualifications.

Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC)—A combination of numbers and alpha characters used to identify an AFS. Officer AFSCs consist of four characters; enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters. Alpha prefixes or suffixes are used with the numerical codes when more specific identification of position requirements and individual qualifications is necessary.

Competitive Category—A group of officers who compete among themselves for promotion. The established categories are: Line of the Air Force, Judge Advocate, Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Chaplain, Medical Service Corps, Biomedical Sciences Corps, and Nurse Corps.

Course—Entire program of academics, simulators, and aircraft conducted in all media during the programmed training days as outlined in a specific syllabus.

Course Training Standards—Training standards describing the skills and proficiency level required of course graduates.

Elimination—A student who does not complete a training course and does not graduate due to academic or performance deficiencies or non academic reasons.

Formal Technical Training Course—An officially designated course conducted by or at the request of AETC, and reflected on AETC technical training course charts.

Functional Manager— Senior leaders designated by the appropriate functional authority, who provides day-to-day management responsibility over specific functional communities at the MAJCOM, FOA, DRU, or ARC level. While they should maintain an institutional focus in regards to resource development and distribution, FMs are responsible for ensuring their specialties are equipped, developed, and sustained to meet the functional community’s mission as well as encourage force development opportunities in order to meet future needs of the total AF mission.

Graduate—A student who successfully completes a formal course of instruction.

Health Professions—A collective term that refers to officers in MC, DC, BSC, MSC, and NC as defined under the term competitive categories listed above.

Initial Skills Training (IST)—Training that leads to the award of an AFSC.

Initials Skills Training (IST)— Used as an overarching term for EIS and OIS. A formal school course that result in an AFSC 3-skill level award for enlisted or mandatory training for upgrade to qualified officers.

Misconduct—One reason for elimination from training. It occurs when a student was involved in a test compromise, or a dishonest attempt/completion of a course measurement; or deliberately failed a course measurement (formerly known as prejudicial conduct).

Mission Driven Changes— Those changes in requirements resulting from changes in force structure or mission requirements.

Mission Readiness Training Program (MRTP)—Formal training courses to aid mission accomplishment. MRT provides supplemental technical training for courses of up to 99 academic days (less than 20 weeks), for officers, enlisted and civilian personnel when other types of training (OJT, unit training, exportable and mobile training) will not satisfy the need.

Noncombatant service-The term "noncombatant service" shall mean (a) service in any unit of the armed forces which is unarmed at all times; <span style="font-weight: bold">(b)<span style="color: #990000"> service in the medical department of any of the armed forces, wherever performed</span>;</span> or (c) any other assignment the primary function of which does not require the use of arms in combat; provided that such other assignment is acceptable to the individual concerned and does not require him to bear arms or to be trained in their use. Reference Executive Order 10028, January 13th, 1949. Federal Register page and date: 14 FR 211, January 15, 1949.

Noncombatant training-The term "noncombatant training" shall mean any training which is not concerned with the study, use,
or handling of arms or weapons. Reference Executive Order 10028, January 13th, 1949. Federal Register page and date: 14 FR 211, January 15, 1949.

Officer Initial Skills Training— Provides skill sets required to be successful in awarded AFSC. Officer initial skills training is not AFSC awarding, but is used in conjunction with experience, OJT, and other supplemental training to provide required skill sets.

Orientation or Familiarization Course—Course that provides introductory information on methods, procedures, equipment, systems, environment, or job requirements.

Performance Objective—Objective written to satisfy one or more TS task performance requirements. Conditions and standards are required.

Retraining AFSC—The AFSC for which an Airman is approved. It is not an awarded AFSC and does not reflect the individual's qualification level.

Self Initiated Elimination—Students in specified courses (e.g., combat control, pararescue, SERE, air traffic control, explosive ordnance disposal) may elect to eliminate themselves from this training by removing volunteer status.

Specialty Training— Training process used to qualify airmen in their assigned specialty.

Standards—Specifics expressed by such terms as accuracy, speed, percent/ratio, number of permissible errors, degree of excellence; standards may reference other directives, such as TOs.

Trained Personnel Requirements—Total initial skills course Air Force production requirements for nonprior service, retrainees, or a combination of both.

Training Quota—An individual allocated seat in a specific class.

Utilization Field—A group of Air Force officer specialties, related by required skills and knowledge. A utilization field can consist of only one specialty if the skills and knowledge required are unique and don't relate to other officer specialties.


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