We are almost 10 years exactly from when I was doing all this stuff and I have no idea how/if things have changed. So YMMV.Backload wrote:You can purchase uniforms ahead of COT, and I would advise doing so. I think you have to wait until you have your orders to get those though. Once you have orders you go to a local base, show them orders and your state ID then go get the uniforms. People can correct me if I am wrong but I do not think you can get a CAC. I didn’t get mine till the last week of COT.Labrador911 wrote:Thanks for the response. Were you able to get your CAC and/or uniform ahead of time?Backload wrote:You won’t find out your base until you fully complete MEPs and get all of your other documentation in. I did not find out my base until a month prior to COTAnonymous User wrote:For any AF selectees scheduled for the January class: do you know your base yet? If so, which is it?
I was able to get my CAC before COT with my orders and state ID. I looked up the nearest DEERS/RAPIDS facility, called ahead to make sure they could help, and had my ID in almost no time. I was happy that I did it. https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil/ -- make sure you look up exactly what they need in terms of substantiating records (I think you'll want a DL + a Passport, or the other acceptable combinations). Just keep in mind direct commissions are a relatively rare breed in the greater DOD - folks may look at you cross eyed if you talking about getting an ID as a 1st Lt prior to training. Just be patient and polite.
I also think getting uniforms ahead of time is a very good idea. I strongly suggest getting someone who knows what they are doing to come with you if possible - if you don't have a buddy, you could consider calling the local legal office and asking if one of the captain types can help. It is a lot to take in if you are brand new -- you don't want to be me, walking out with a General Officer flight cap as the clerk behind the counter slowly realizes your dumb mistake. A small thing that makes all the difference - good socks. Do some research on the best boot socks (but keep in mind, we are moving over to OCPs, so we won't be green beyond 2021. Read the new dress & appearance AFI). I've been in a unit that was wearing OCPs for a while and spent a good chunk of change on Darn Tough socks when I moved over - very happy with the upgrade.
Brooks Brothers is now making a more expensive but better service dress line. Given how much most of us are in court, I think paying for the better quality blues and service dress is worth every penny. I got bespoke mess dress and service dress when I was an ADC in the Pacific and it was the best decision I made uniform wise (if you are ever at Osan, make sure you do this). One major thing to keep in mind is that CMSAF Wright has talked about a new (read: more military looking) service dress. It is still probably years out, but that could be an argument against springing for the more expensive stuff now.