Reserve Commission Officer Training (RCOT) In-Processing Information
It's all you need: your CAC card.
RCOT In-Processing Information
There is some information available for RCOT on the official Holm Center website: http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/OTS/COT-RCOT/index.asp, however it seems to conflict itself and doesn’t offer more information other than what’s on the page. The other thing I noticed while talking with other students in the course was that some were given information on in-processing prior to attending, while other students received nothing but their orders and plane tickets and that's about it. This article is written to give people looking forward to attending RCOT an idea as to what expect as far as information flow goes throughout the course.
What you need to realize is that the website, although it says it’s for RCOT students, is actually for BOT, AMS, COT and RCOT so the information is not directed to you specifically. Most of the information is actually for BOT and AMS students. This is an excerpt of what is on the page:
Upon arrival we will need the following information:
- Your Commander's full name and telephone number
- Air Force Specialty Code
- Base and unit to which you'll be assigned after graduation
Everyone must bring the following items:
- A pen
- Travel Orders plus amendments (minimum 10 copies)
- 2 forms of identification - One must be a picture ID (Military ID card, Drivers License, Passport, etc.) and one must be a social security card.
- All official documentsAny recent medical tests or records
- Marriage certificate (3 copies)
- Birth certificate (3 copies)
- Children's birth certificates (3 copies each)
- Immunization record (if you have one)Vehicle Registration/License Plate # (If driving)
- Without a verifiable immunization record, you will receive a full set of immunizations within the first four training days
- Contact information (Names, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security Numbers) for immediate family members or close personal friends that you may list as points of contact on official paperwork or beneficiaries of Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI).
- Voided Check (to start your payroll record)
- Form 2231 completed & signed by financial institution (Direct Deposit Form found HERE)
If prior service:
- DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
- DD Form 368, Request for Discharge or Clearance from Reserve Component
- NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service (if applicable)
- DD Form 93 (Emergency Data Card)
- Original SGLV 8286 (SGLI, life insurance form)
- Addresses of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance beneficiaries
- Military ID card, if you have one
NOTE: Active Duty, AFRES, ANG, and IMAs who have already in-processed into their base will only need a copy of their orders and a valid military ID card."
RCOT students have all been commissioned into a unit so you can basically forget everything but a pen, at least 5 copies of your orders, and the "NOTE" at the very end. There’s no need to bring “Social Security Card etc.” All you need to bring is your "valid military ID card", which is better known as a Common Access Card, or CAC card.
This is the first major example of how RCOT (and COT, and probably AMS as well) instructions are an after-thought of the active duty Air Force's BOT course. All Air Guard and Air Reserve officers (or officer candidates, as in the case of AMS) have already been gained into DEERS as they're accessed into an assigned position in a particular unit so the great majority of the instructions for RCOT students does not pertain to them.
As I wasn't certain about the instructions above I had taken all the items I had which were listed but none of them were needed or asked for at any time. If you are paranoid like I was definitely take what you like, but don't say I haven't warned you.
RCOT In-Processing: Day Zero
Your first day of fun doesn't actually count in the 14 official days of training, so it's called "day zero". The instructions are very clear, you must arrive between X and XX time for in-processing (the required times for my class was 1100 - 1500, but this may vary). The reason for this specific time-frame is that RCOT starts the moment you decide to arrive at their doorstep.
There are two people sitting behind a desk barking directions as soon as you roll your luggage within yelling distance. If you drive there you need to unload your luggage quickly and park your car where they direct you. Don’t park where you think you should park and then drag your luggage there as they’ll make you go back and move your car to the correct parking lot (which is far, far away) anyway, yelling at you the whole time you're dragging your luggage to them then as you scurry back to your car to move it. If you flew in the day of registration chances are almost everyone on your plane is attending RCOT and they will be easy to identify as most of the attendees are fit and are carrying a black backpack or something else that says Air Guard or Air Reserve on it. And definitely eat before you register as you will not be eating for hours and hours after you meet the two friendly people at the in-processing table.
The two people at the table (both were enlisted in my case) were yelling for 4 copies of orders, my CAC card, and exactly 90 dollars in cash. (Yes the instructions on the official Holm Center website says 40 dollars, but it was 90.) As I couldn’t find exactly 90 dollars in cash they did relent after a bit and say they could get me change, but if you prefer being yelled at less than more it’s best to show up with exactly 90 in cash for them.
(Side note: Please do not get wrapped around the axle that there are two enlisted people yelling at you. This is a training facility and they are told to do so, trained on how to do it, and will proficiently get you through in-processing whether or not you're prepared.)
They then directed me to put my luggage somewhere on the cement area in front of their table that did not block other people’s luggage. There was luggage everywhere that looked like it had been dug through so perhaps having your orders and CAC card easily available would make your life run smoother at that point. Also there were people who had uniforms on hangers out on the open and those beautiful uniforms all ended up on the ground eventually from other people in a rush trying to get their things for the people at the desk, so I advise if you’re driving to have all your items in suitcases or other protected means to keep your uniforms clean and off the ground.
If you’re assigned to a room anywhere but the first floor you will be able to use the elevator to get your luggage to your room - but again for ease and expediency - rolling luggage may be the best bet because you will be in a rush to get up there once they’re done with you.
Holm Center RCOT Inprocessing Instructions
- Inbound COT Trainees
Although the link does say "Inbound COT Trainees", the instructions also pertain to RCOT.
RCOT In-Processing Location
The location of RCOT In-Processing. If your experience is like mine, it will be on a concrete pad right outside your dormitory.