Unlike previous cadets, the new officers commissioned at the March 13 Officer Training School graduation will all have received the same training.
"We now have 'one furnace, one metal,'" OTS Commandant Col. Scott Lockwood said in a Tuesday news release. "We have one program, which is just OTS."
The days of new active duty, reserve and Air National Guard officers receiving their commission from different programs are done.
Until now, active-duty and Air Force Rreserve line officer cadets attended Basic Officer Training at Officer Training School, and Air National Gguard cadets attended OTS' Academy of Military Science at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
But all cadets in beginning with January's OTS Class 15-03 — 78 Guard cadets, 15 active-duty cadets and 13 Reserve cadets who enrolled in January — are all line officer cadets will attending the same classes and receiving the same training. That class, which contains 78 guard cadets, 15 active-duty cadets and 13 reserve cadets, will graduate March 13.
"Neither of those acronyms -- BOT and AMS -- is necessary any more as we now have 'one furnace, one metal,' " OTS Commandant Col. Scott Lockwood said in a Feb. 24 release. "We have one program, which is just OTS."
Lockwood said eliminating the distinctions between components and training them all cadets together will help cadets better understand how different parts of the Air Force operate.
"Not only will they make important relationships that will benefit them throughout their careers, but it will greatly increase the education of our regular Air Force and Rreserve cadets on the Gguard and who they are," Lockwood said. "It is simply too late in their careers to end up commanding a total force wing and then have to start from scratch in finding out how the Air National Guard operates."
In fact, But Lockwood also said he wants to scrap the term "total force" and the no longer needed distinctions it implies, Lockwood said, which he said is no longer needed.
And cCadets will benefit from sharing the same classrooms from day one, he said.
"They will not feel as if there is a difference in quality and professionalism," Lockwood said. "They will all have faced the same crucible and belong to the same fraternity as a whole. This will better perpetuate a trust, loyalty and commitment to the service, to include all components."
OTS started moving to one program in late 2014. The school had its first simultaneous graduation of active-duty, Reserve and Guard cadets in October. Those cadets attended BOT or AMS classes, which ran alongside each other for eight weeks.
Future classes are likely to have between 150 and 200 cadets, Lockwood said, and the school is likely to commission about 800 active-duty, 500 Guard and 200 Reserve line officers in fiscal 2015.
Lockwood wants future classes to have a more balanced mix of students, as opposed to the current class, which has mostly more Guard cadets.
"We will attempt to offer up the traditional number of seats to each component, but we also would ideally have a percentage mix that better reflects the overall populations being trained throughout the year," Lockwood said. "However, we will simply fill seats as needed, and that can alter the mix from one class to the next."
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.