Turning stripes into gold bars Published Jan. 9, 2015 30th Space Wing Public Affairs VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Tech. Sgt. James Selix, 614th Air and Space Operations Center mission planner, was recently selected to attend Officer Training School in the spring of 2015. OTS applicants are selected based on academic discipline, grade point average, and Officer Qualifying Test scores. Other factors include work experience, accomplishments, adaptability, character, leadership ability and potential for future growth. "I have wanted to be an officer since before I joined the military," said Selix. "My main reason for becoming an officer is to have the honor of leading at a higher level of responsibility and accountability." According to rs.af.mil, Selix was part of 100 enlisted Airmen chosen to attend Officer Training School. Three Air Force colonels reviewed 495 applications resulting in a selection rate of 32.53 percent for the 2014 board. With selection rates low in recent years, making the cut is an achievement that not only the applicants can be proud of, but their leadership as well. "I'm extremely proud of Tech. Sgt. Selix," said Master Sgt. Michael Holybee, 614th AOC flight chief. "A supervisor's job is to ensure their troops are taken care of and given every opportunity to excel. When you supervise someone as driven as Tech. Sgt. Selix, you don't have much to worry about. The hardest part is ensuring they get the recognition they deserve. His goal was to become an officer, and we were able to make that happen for him." Selectees will attend basic officer training at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. The nine week course is divided up into four training phases. According to Airforce.com, the first phase is indoctrination which is designed to teach candidates the basics of military customs and courtesies as well as drill. Phase two is the development portion of OTS, and focuses on learning the fundamentals of leadership. Phase three is application, where everything that the candidate has learned so far is applied in a practical setting, by leading their peers. The final phase, called the transition phase, prepares the candidates for the everyday life as an Air Force officer by mentoring them and slowly transitioning them from a training environment. Selix remains humble and attributes his success to those around him and encourages those seeking a commission to keep applying. "I will have 12 years of enlisted experience before I commission," said Selix. "I tried to take every opportunity to learn from anybody I could - Airmen, NCOs, SNCOs and Officers. If becoming an officer is what you truly want, don't be discouraged by the process or the low selection rates," said Selix. "Everything you do in your career should be to gear yourself for the opportunity to apply. When the time comes to submit your application, ensure you are providing the board no reason to turn you down. It is all in your hands - own it."