Sep 12, 2015
12
3
Hey Y'all,

I am currently a hospital pharmacist that has been working for a little over a year now. I am applying to one of the spots for a licensed pharmacist position in the Air Force. I figured I would share my experience thus far and hopefully other people can share theirs as well. Also, anyone else applying if they want to put their stats in the thread to could be helpful to see what we are going up against.

When I first spoke with the recruiter, he mentioned there were 7 spots for pharmacists this application cycle. I have submitted my transcripts, a work book, 3 letters of rec, copies of licenses, SSC, drivers license, "9 questions" that needed to be answered, and medical history.

GPA undergrad (BS in Bio): 3.76
GPA PharmD: 3.73
8 months retail experience
5 months hospital experience
Some leadership activities in Pharm School

It's a long process. Medical clearance is insane. I had my gallbladder removed, but that shouldn't be a problem according to the recruiter. There are questions about everything medically. A lot can get you disqualified immediately.

I'm looking forward to hearing from everyone! If someone has already been through this experience please feel free to share whatever info or suggestions you have for us!

Thanks!
 
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Jan 11, 2012
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Yikes, only 7 spots? I'm a P4 and I applied for this cycle as well. My recruiter didn't know how many spots are available but did say I wouldn't know if I got in until late October. Have you heard anything yet?
 

vardenafil

10+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2006
187
10
Status
Pharmacist
Don't believe everything your recruiter says. I applied for airforce but never passed MEPS. So my advice only goes so far. Pm me with any questions.
 
OP
P
Sep 12, 2015
12
3
Hey everyone. I figured I would post an update in regards to the application . This is an extremely long process for anyone that decides to take it on.
I submitted my application in August and have since submitted what seems to be 100 documents. Most of this is regarding my gallbladder surgery just to get into MEPS. I received notification on Thursday saying that I was selected. I still have to get a background check and pass my physical at MEPS in order to go to COT.
Once I was selected, I thought I would immediately know when I would be going to COT. That wasn't the case. I know it's only been 5 days but it's already felt like forever. I was hoping to head to COT in January but from the looks of it I won't be heading to Montgomery until March at the earliest.
If anyone has specific questions I would love to answer them for you.
 
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OP
P
Sep 12, 2015
12
3
Another update everyone.
Got my COT date but not my orders for afterward as of yet. I'll be heading to COT 3/28/16.
 
OP
P
Sep 12, 2015
12
3
Good lord that was fast. Can you have your recruiter do whatever they did for you to get my scroll through faster? :)
Haha it's a little different for you and I believe considering I already have my degree. They need me to fill in a position that has been vacated ASAP so I actually thought it would be sooner.
 

Caverject

15+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2003
7,725
29
Out of curiosity, why did you pick the AF? The AF is usually a much better deal with you use HPSP but since you already have a degree, from what I understand, the AF gives you only one year of loan reimbursement. Is that still true?
 
Jan 11, 2012
27
3
Status
Out of curiosity, why did you pick the AF? The AF is usually a much better deal with you use HPSP but since you already have a degree, from what I understand, the AF gives you only one year of loan reimbursement. Is that still true?
It can be changed/cancelled at any time, but the law authorizes the Air Force to pay back up to $120,000 of student loans. At present they will pay $40k/2 year agreement up to that max. The military is also a qualifying employer for Public Service Loan Forgiveness so as long as you don't hate it it's 10 years of IBR payments to debt-free.

The military (any branch) is also able to offer up to $30k as a one-time accession bonus. Currently the Army is the only one actually offering this for pharmacists as far as I'm aware, and I did start getting e-mails from my area's Army health professions recruiter after clearing through MEPS, but I had several personal reasons for preferring the Air Force so the $30k wasn't enough to make me want to switch.

Also, fantastic username. :highfive:
 
OP
P
Sep 12, 2015
12
3
Out of curiosity, why did you pick the AF? The AF is usually a much better deal with you use HPSP but since you already have a degree, from what I understand, the AF gives you only one year of loan reimbursement. Is that still true?
I will be eligible to receive $120,000 for 6 years of service. If the loan repayment is capped I would still be able to receive the accession pay which would be less, but still beneficial. I chose the Air Force because my father was an enlisted airman.
 

Caverject

15+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2003
7,725
29
You may want to double check that with a different recruiter. You can either get a sign on bonus (accession pay) or student loan reimbursement when coming into the service. You typically can't receive both at the same time. If your recruiter swears that you can, make triple sure you have an AFI regulation showing/stating you can do that.

The Army is offering more than accession pay. They are offering 3 years worth of student loan reimbursement at 40K a year. When I applied, I managed to score the 40K a year rate for 4 years. The AF offer was 30K for 1 year with a promise I can reapply every year for the loan from AFIT. There is not a day I regret joining the Army. It's been a great career path for me. I hope the AF is the same for you. DoD pharmacy is great if you can figure out the DoD Pharmacy mouse trap. Service branch is irrelevant because we all have the same exact issues and use the same exact computer systems.
 
OP
P
Sep 12, 2015
12
3
Thanks for your reply. In regards to the loan issue, I understand you are only able to take either the loan payment or the accession pay. After my term obligations are met, I will be eligible to take the accession pay as long as it is still available for pharmacists.
 

Caverject

15+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2003
7,725
29
Okay....your terminology is off a little bit. Accession pay is for when you are accessing into the service. It's a one time only payment. You're not going to be eligible for it. However, you will be eligible for annual yearly bonus of "specialty pay" ($15K).

Hope that helps!
 
Jan 11, 2012
27
3
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If I'm for sure going to stay in for at least 10 years would there ever be any reason to take the loan repaymemt over the specialty pay? public service loan forgiveness is at 10 years, so isn't it kind of irrelevant how much gets paid?
 

eekOMG

7+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2009
118
0
Virginia
Status
Pharmacist
Congrats!

I'm a 2014 graduate that applied for the Army. They said the boards were running different this year and that my packet is still at the board.

Did they give you an exact board date? How long did it take to get the results?
 
Jan 11, 2012
27
3
Status
Congrats!

I'm a 2014 graduate that applied for the Army. They said the boards were running different this year and that my packet is still at the board.

Did they give you an exact board date? How long did it take to get the results?
I was told in May it would be "October or November", then around the end of October my recruiter told me he found out the results would be released in the second week of November, and they were.
 
Feb 25, 2016
1
1
Status
Pharmacist
I will be eligible to receive $120,000 for 6 years of service. If the loan repayment is capped I would still be able to receive the accession pay which would be less, but still beneficial. I chose the Air Force because my father was an enlisted airman.
Hey! I got accepted as well and recently found this thread. I'll be going to COT on 3/28 as well and will be stationed in Florida afterwards. My recruiter said there wasn't any money available with the pharmacy program for student loans this year and everything I looked up for the Air Force was only for enlisted airmen and not officers. Is there a name of this loan that you were able to get so I can inform my recruiter and possibly become eligible for it as well?
 
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Dec 2, 2015
1
0
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Pharmacist
Yeah I also have a COT date of 3/28 and I have not heard of any repayment programs available what so ever for Air Force Pharmacist.
 
May 15, 2016
3
0
Status
Pharmacist
Hey everyone. I figured I would post an update in regards to the application . This is an extremely long process for anyone that decides to take it on.
I submitted my application in August and have since submitted what seems to be 100 documents. Most of this is regarding my gallbladder surgery just to get into MEPS. I received notification on Thursday saying that I was selected. I still have to get a background check and pass my physical at MEPS in order to go to COT.
Once I was selected, I thought I would immediately know when I would be going to COT. That wasn't the case. I know it's only been 5 days but it's already felt like forever. I was hoping to head to COT in January but from the looks of it I won't be heading to Montgomery until March at the earliest.
If anyone has specific questions I would love to answer them for you.
Congratulation!!! PDDD, I am going under the same process, and I need your advice, How can I contact you?
 

CUninja

Riding Thru Your Backyard
7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2009
238
22
Somewhere cold
Status
Pharmacist
Hey! I got accepted as well and recently found this thread. I'll be going to COT on 3/28 as well and will be stationed in Florida afterwards. My recruiter said there wasn't any money available with the pharmacy program for student loans this year and everything I looked up for the Air Force was only for enlisted airmen and not officers. Is there a name of this loan that you were able to get so I can inform my recruiter and possibly become eligible for it as well?
Let me guess - a certain panhandle base in Valparaiso?
 

CUninja

Riding Thru Your Backyard
7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2009
238
22
Somewhere cold
Status
Pharmacist
you should also know that PSLF is after 10 years of payments. You cannot waive a grace period, so at minimum you are looking at 10.5 years.

As previously stated - it's 15K a year for 2 years SPECIAL pay, which adds 2 years on to your initial 3 year commitment. Same for loan repayment under HPLRP...they are both consecutive, not concurrent paybacks.
 
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PharmDBro2017

2+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2015
1,223
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Can you guys explain the pay for pharmacists serving in the airforce?

Isn't it by rank, and not actual typical pharmacist pay?
 

CUninja

Riding Thru Your Backyard
7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2009
238
22
Somewhere cold
Status
Pharmacist
Pay is just like any other officer. You will enter as a captain O3. There are plenty of military pay charts out there. Go find one. On top of that you will get BAH which changes with rank and location, and BAS, which is fixed. Again, there are calculators out there.

If you are worried about money, the military is not the place for you. You will not make as much as your classmates coming out of school.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 
May 15, 2016
3
0
Status
Pharmacist
Do you know how many applicants applied per year? Since I heard it is really competitive for AF
Thanks in advance
 
May 15, 2016
3
0
Status
Pharmacist
Pay is just like any other officer. You will enter as a captain O3. There are plenty of military pay charts out there. Go find one. On top of that you will get BAH which changes with rank and location, and BAS, which is fixed. Again, there are calculators out there.

If you are worried about money, the military is not the place for you. You will not make as much as your classmates coming out of school.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
Thanks for your information, do you have any idea how many applicants per year?
 

CUninja

Riding Thru Your Backyard
7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2009
238
22
Somewhere cold
Status
Pharmacist
There is only need to post your question once...but I do not have an answer for you anyway.

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