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Usaf Reserve Cots, Flight Nurse School, Survival Schools?


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#1 Priller

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:11 PM

Curious to know about COTS, the Flight Nurse School at USAFSAM (Brooks), and Survival school.

I checked out COTS web site and only one place can I find reserve COT length. It looks like there might be 1 Reserve COTS (2 week length) per year. Being I am a reservist and have a full time civilian job I would want the 2 week one. (not to mention I have already been to Basic training) ;) Do most all reservists get the 2 week option instead of having to go 4 weeks? Any stories of your experiences good, funny, or bad?

Would like to hear about people's experiences at both the USAFSAM flight school and the Survival school? Do these two typically run consecutively one after the other? How long is one away for these schools? How long and where do you go for the survival school?


Also it appears I could conceivably get my direct commission sometime around June or July 08. Would I get to do any CONUS training type flying before attending COTS, Flight school, or Survival school? Hoping so.

Thanks for the scoop!
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#2 SickPuppy

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:06 PM

Hey Priller

As for COT: it is about 4.5-5 weeks long (the RCOT is 2 weeks). RCOT is limited- most Reservists go to COT (the people that I know that went to RCOT were MD's who just couldn't be away from practice for 4.5-5 weeks). You'll probably have to go to COT. When I went it was like summer camp- it was a joke. They've tried to "toughen" it up, but it isn't anything like basic (it's like a bad joke that nobody laughs at).

As for FN school and SERE: these 2 courses are concurrent. You go straight from FN school to SERE (FN school ends on a Friday and SERE starts on Monday). FN school is 4 weeks long and SERE is 2 weeks long (approximately- you will be gone for 6 weeks total). You must complete COT before you can got FN school. FN school is (currently) at Brooks City-Base in San Antonio (near Lackland, but it may be moving to Wright Patterson in the near future). SERE may have been moved to either Camp Bullis (part of the Ft. Sam area) or to Farichild AFB (in WA), but to the best of my knowledge it is still at Brooks.

Your training will go something like this: COT, FN/SERE, then ground school, then flight training (which will get you qualified). After you're qualified, you'll have to do AECOT, and if you're lucky and know somebody, C4 (Combat Casualty Care Course).

As for fun stories: COT was boring, but FN and SERE were fun (SERE more so than FN school). When I attended FN school, Brooks had a golf course (it sucked). There were 2 AFSOC guys going through the course, and the 3 of us and another guy played golf a few times. I earned the nickname "Obtuse" for my skills of hitting a ball behind me from the tee box with my 2 iron. I had to drop my shorts to pick up my ball (it didn't get past the ladies tee), took a mulligan, and repeated the same shot with the same result (almost taking out one of the guys in the process).

SERE had its moments too. I got frost bite on my right foot in 28 deg temps one night- ALWAYS change your socks before you go to bed. I got lazy/complacement the last night and couldn't feel the toes on my right foot for 2 months as a result (fortunately I still managed to finish the evasion portion before anybody else, and I didn't get caught once). I got to enjoy watching a short, stubby, Napoleanic a$$hole get his entire group lost on the navigation course. He kept bragging that he was prior Army and was an expert navigator (I guess he got his compass merit badge?). The funniest part were his excuses for getting lost.

Hope all this helps.
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#3 Priller

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 03:13 AM

Hey Priller

As for COT: it is about 4.5-5 weeks long (the RCOT is 2 weeks). RCOT is limited- most Reservists go to COT (the people that I know that went to RCOT were MD's who just couldn't be away from practice for 4.5-5 weeks). You'll probably have to go to COT. When I went it was like summer camp- it was a joke. They've tried to "toughen" it up, but it isn't anything like basic (it's like a bad joke that nobody laughs at).

As for FN school and SERE: these 2 courses are concurrent. You go straight from FN school to SERE (FN school ends on a Friday and SERE starts on Monday). FN school is 4 weeks long and SERE is 2 weeks long (approximately- you will be gone for 6 weeks total). You must complete COT before you can got FN school. FN school is (currently) at Brooks City-Base in San Antonio (near Lackland, but it may be moving to Wright Patterson in the near future). SERE may have been moved to either Camp Bullis (part of the Ft. Sam area) or to Farichild AFB (in WA), but to the best of my knowledge it is still at Brooks.

Your training will go something like this: COT, FN/SERE, then ground school, then flight training (which will get you qualified). After you're qualified, you'll have to do AECOT, and if you're lucky and know somebody, C4 (Combat Casualty Care Course).

As for fun stories: COT was boring, but FN and SERE were fun (SERE more so than FN school). When I attended FN school, Brooks had a golf course (it sucked). There were 2 AFSOC guys going through the course, and the 3 of us and another guy played golf a few times. I earned the nickname "Obtuse" for my skills of hitting a ball behind me from the tee box with my 2 iron. I had to drop my shorts to pick up my ball (it didn't get past the ladies tee), took a mulligan, and repeated the same shot with the same result (almost taking out one of the guys in the process).

SERE had its moments too. I got frost bite on my right foot in 28 deg temps one night- ALWAYS change your socks before you go to bed. I got lazy/complacement the last night and couldn't feel the toes on my right foot for 2 months as a result (fortunately I still managed to finish the evasion portion before anybody else, and I didn't get caught once). I got to enjoy watching a short, stubby, Napoleanic a$$hole get his entire group lost on the navigation course. He kept bragging that he was prior Army and was an expert navigator (I guess he got his compass merit badge?). The funniest part were his excuses for getting lost.

Hope all this helps.



Thanks for the good info Sickpuppy.

So where does ground school normally take place? How long? What is AECOT? How long and where is this taught?
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#4 SickPuppy

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:30 PM

Ground school is about 5 days long and done at your squadron. After that, you'll do your instruction flights and your check ride (then you're qualified). This can take a while, because you'll get at least 5 instruction rides (maybe 6) before your check ride.

AECOT is done at Shepphard AFB, TX. It is about a week long course that teaches you about the ground portion of the AE system (ie: working with the Army in a liason role, etc.). You'll have both classroom and field training stuff, but it isn't too bad a course (driving with NVG's was a blast).
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#5 BadPieces

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:48 AM

I agree with Sick but would like to add on that while COT is not anything like enlisted basic (I did both), it is a far cry from being easy. In lieu of the physical stress imparted on you in BMT, COT replaces it with academic stress....and lots of it. You will be very, very busy studying military history, officership, etc. It's really very do-able and more of a "paying your dues and clocking your time" type of experience. Enjoy it for what it is, you'll make friends there that you will come across for many years in your career.
Flight school is a scientifically challenging course with technical applications that might seem overwhelming sine you'll learn numerous different airframes. There will be MANY distractions there (parties, tourism, etc), learn to manage your time wisely and everything will be fine. Very few people fail this course.
Medical SERE (important distinction...it's not the regular SERE) is also quite challenging. You WILL lose weight, you will suffer and you will learn a shit load about staying alive. Take it serious and your life might be the one you save someday.
Good luck!
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#6 Priller

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 05:16 AM

There will be MANY distractions there (parties, tourism, etc), learn to manage your time wisely and everything will be fine. Very few people fail this course.
Medical SERE (important distinction...it's not the regular SERE) is also quite challenging. You WILL lose weight, you will suffer and you will learn a shit load about staying alive. Take it serious and your life might be the one you save someday.
Good luck!


Good info. Yeah, I was stationed at Brooks AFB from 95-98 before it became "city base." San Antonio is a pretty fun town but just too dang hot!

Definitely don't need to lose weight. Already too high of a metabolism as is. Do we get fed real food or is it all you can eat grub worms and insects?
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#7 BadPieces

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:54 AM

I went through the first time as an AET in 96 and they fed us like crazy. I went through agagin as an FN in 2004 and we were issued some power bars and that was it, the rest we had to rummage up in traue living off the land lifestyle. It might have changed again since then. It seems as thought the cadre are always trying to improve year after year. I went through during the late summer.......omg did it suck. river h20 and iodine tabs are friggin nasty.
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#8 SickPuppy

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 03:57 AM

Good info. Yeah, I was stationed at Brooks AFB from 95-98 before it became "city base." San Antonio is a pretty fun town but just too dang hot!

Definitely don't need to lose weight. Already too high of a metabolism as is. Do we get fed real food or is it all you can eat grub worms and insects?

I had the pleasure of insulting the guy who was in cahrge of converting Brooks to a city-base while I was at the airport in Tampa (while going through the FN course). I was conversing his wife (they were total strangers, so I didn't know what he did) and just happened to mention what a horrible screw-up I thought Brooks was. She blushed and said, "Too bad. My husband is the one in charge of the conversion." You'd think I would have felt bad, but I didn't.

Keep bragging about your metabolism- that'll change, dammit! :(
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#9 popbob

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:40 PM

Do you do any shooting during COT, or is just learning how to march?
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#10 SickPuppy

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:35 PM

Do you do any shooting during COT, or is just learning how to march?

Not much of either. You won't shoot until you get to your base, and then they may only send you to qualify before you deploy. As for marching- they cover that a little, but not too much (and you'll probably never march again, unless you go to C4- then it's hilarious to watch the Navy and AF folks trying to remember how to march).
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#11 popbob

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 12:35 AM

What exactly is C-4? Is that optional training?
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#12 BadPieces

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:03 AM

C4=Combat Casualty Care Course
Completely optional and actually quite hard to get a slot for b/c it's a very popular course.
And again (see previous posts)...COT isn't just marching (and like Sick said, you will do some) it's a whol ebunch of other busy work and lots of presentations. Hope you aren't afraid of public speaking. There is no weapons training at COT b/c just liek Sick siad, that all happens with the Combat Arms folks at your base.
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#13 SickPuppy

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:47 AM

C4=Combat Casualty Care Course
Completely optional and actually quite hard to get a slot for b/c it's a very popular course.
And again (see previous posts)...COT isn't just marching (and like Sick said, you will do some) it's a whol ebunch of other busy work and lots of presentations. Hope you aren't afraid of public speaking. There is no weapons training at COT b/c just liek Sick siad, that all happens with the Combat Arms folks at your base.

Yeah... C4 was probably the most fun I've had doing training. In fact, aside from my Balad deployment, C4 was probably close to as much fun as I've had in the military. If you can get in, I highly recommend it.
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#14 popbob

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 12:06 PM

where is the C4 course taught? How long? I am trying to get all these things settled. I graduate in spring 2009 and thats when I plan to sign up. I would like to get COT/SERE, etc. done prior to starting my next job, if I could throw C4 in there that would be great.
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#15 BadPieces

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:18 PM

where is the C4 course taught? How long? I am trying to get all these things settled. I graduate in spring 2009 and thats when I plan to sign up. I would like to get COT/SERE, etc. done prior to starting my next job, if I could throw C4 in there that would be great.



You need to go through your assigned unit for a school slot request. COT and SERE are not taught together, they are two different classes. You can probabaly line up COT, then FN/AET school after like most us who have gone before did. SERE is taught at the end of FN/AET school.
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#16 MCD

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 01:03 PM

You need to go through your assigned unit for a school slot request. COT and SERE are not taught together, they are two different classes. You can probabaly line up COT, then FN/AET school after like most us who have gone before did. SERE is taught at the end of FN/AET school.

Just a interjection about SERE it is now required before FN due to the dropouts that began when people couldn't make it through fairchild SERE class C...Brooks SERE has moved to Fairchild, AFB (Washington state) for the exclusive SERE site it is 17 (7days longer) days in length and it is a mother F'er. FN will probably still be at brooks until 2010 (that is the word) but the conversion is almost complete and the military is very skeletal on brooks now
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#17 popbob

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 03:12 PM

I guess I need to get my butt in shape.
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#18 Priller

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:09 PM

Just a interjection about SERE it is now required before FN due to the dropouts that began when people couldn't make it through fairchild SERE class C...Brooks SERE has moved to Fairchild, AFB (Washington state) for the exclusive SERE site it is 17 (7days longer) days in length and it is a mother F'er. FN will probably still be at brooks until 2010 (that is the word) but the conversion is almost complete and the military is very skeletal on brooks now



When did the change in order of schools start (SERE then FN)? I callled and spoke with the registrar at Brooks, 1.5 months ago, about the SERE school switch to Fairchild and he told me that yes SERE was going to Fairchild BUT, Brooks would still be having the SERE C through September 2009. Hoping to get in COT/FN/SERE C before the formal switch-a-roo.
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#19 SickPuppy

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 03:02 PM

I think that doing a longer SERE at fairchild is probably going to be much better in the long run. The SERE at Brooks was too easy (I thought). I hope they added resistance training to it, because we aren't fighting anybody who signed the Geneva Conventions. They would be just as happy to torture your ass as they would a pilot or other combatant.
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#20 OKANG FN

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 07:38 PM

When did the change in order of schools start (SERE then FN)? I callled and spoke with the registrar at Brooks, 1.5 months ago, about the SERE school switch to Fairchild and he told me that yes SERE was going to Fairchild BUT, Brooks would still be having the SERE C through September 2009. Hoping to get in COT/FN/SERE C before the formal switch-a-roo.


Priller,

If you don't have dates for SERE and flight school yet...you're cutting it close. Get with your training office and go ask your aircrew training folks what they expect. We're sending everyone coming into the unit now to Fairchild, AFRC may have different plans.

But don't stress out about the SERE conversion, it's being done for good reasons and everyone (usually) makes it out of there alive.
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