966th AACS instructor selected for Officer Training School

Staff Sgt. Victoria Thompson, left, an instructor with the 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron, explains the various functions of the P66-1 circuit breaker panel to Airman 1st Class Hannah Jean-Marie from the 552nd Training Squadron.

Staff Sgt. Victoria Thompson, left, an instructor with the 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron, explains the various functions of the P66-1 circuit breaker panel to Airman 1st Class Hannah Jean-Marie from the 552nd Training Squadron. Sergeant Thompson was recently selected to attend Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, okla. -- Staff Sgt. Victoria Thompson, an instructor with the 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron, was recently selected to attend the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Following three months of training, she will be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the personnel career field.
Competition for selection for the school is tough and getting the career field you want is even tougher, said Thompson. “There were 461 individuals that met my board and out of those, 129 were selected to attend OTS,” said Thompson. “And out of those 129, only two were selected for the personnel career field, which was my first choice.”
Since joining the Air Force six years ago, Thompson has been steadily earning credits toward an undergraduate degree in criminal justice through an online degree program from American Military University. “The online program enabled me to work on my degree while deployed or on temporary duty, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was attending classes in residence at a university,” said Thompson. “It was important to me to further my education and pursue a commission.”
Thompson will finish her class requirements in December, but will not receive her degree until February 2018. “You can apply for OTS when you are a year out from your degree completion,” said Thompson. She has a window of three OTS start dates; two classes in September and one class in January 2019 that she can be placed in.
Over the years Thompson has observed the leadership styles of various officers who have inspired her to develop and enhance her own leadership skills. “I have always been a leader throughout my life and have had people respond positively to my leadership. I feel I can make a difference in leading as an officer. I’m ready to take on more responsibility,” Thompson said.
For those contemplating applying to OTS, Thompson has some advice. “It is not enough to have an undergraduate degree,” she said, “the board also looks at your grade point average.” Another suggestion she offered is to have senior leaders review your application package. Two other important items are the letter of recommendation and a personal statement. “Try and obtain a recommendation from your wing commander and when you write your personal statement, be sure to describe what you can offer the Air Force as an officer, not just describing the highlights of your career.”