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Graduated cot on friday!!!

Posted

Has 10 years experience.

YAY! I made it - I graduated from COT yesterday and am now on my way to my first duty station, Lackland AFB/Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, TX!

I was going to post a nice "column", if you would, on my experience, and I still might - but feel free to post any questions you have here and I'll answer what I can.

It's not so bad (but remember, I'm prior enlisted), but I won't say it's easy. Compared to BOT (the regular officer's training that lasts 13 weeks) and compared to what the Army does to get the same direct commission, it's a cakewalk - but it's not "knife and fork" school, so don't let your recruiter fool you. Some of the civilians experienced a bit of culture shock - but trust me when I say it was nothing like BMT.

So if you have any questions, post away.

trimeduRN, ADN, BSN

Specializes in Informatics; Labor & Delivery; Med-Surg; LTC. Has 13 years experience.

So how was it. Were you able to contact family. Were there certain things that you could or couldnt bring? How long did it take for you application process to actually knowing you were selected and then from there to COT? Sorry, I just full of questions.

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Overall it wasn't too bad.

Take your cell phone. You can use it in the dorms after classes are over. Do not carry it around with you.

Other than cigarettes (I don't smoke anyway) and alcohol (can't have it in your room, can't drink it until you're in Second Class status; why you'd want it I have no idea), I can't really think of anything you can't bring. I took my own laptop and a printer and yes, I did use them a few times. When we had base privileges I was glad I had my own laptop.

It took almost a year from the time I started my package (with no waivers - not a one) until I got to COT, and it took about nine months for me to be accepted (from package start to notification). I waited four months after the package was submitted to get accepted.

Keep 'em coming and I'll answer what I can.

jentrump29

Specializes in Med/Onc, Med/Surg, Stepdown, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

First of all...Congrats!!!! You made it!!!! We've missed your very informative posts! :)

I'm curious about the physical part. Were you getting up 5 days a week and running miles and miles? What was a typical hour of fitness?

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

Congrats on finishing COT

hopeful_army_NP

Specializes in Advanced Practice, Home Care, Med-Surg,. Has 13 years experience.

Congratulations!!! I have appreciated and enjoyed your past post. I wish you success and happiness in all your journeys ahead. I will be in San An in March for OBLC maybe I will see you.

athena55, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.

:yeah::w00t::balloons::flowersfo:clpty:Congratulations to you! Yipee!!!

athena/Camp Victory, Iraq

Congratulations, it seems like yesterday that I was reading that you were going to COT; however, I'm sure it didn't feel that way to you. The question that I have for you and any new nurses, is which base did you get on your dream sheet? 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Thanks.

rghbsn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Flight/ICU/CCU/ED/Trauma. Has 7 years experience.

Congratulations! I'll find out soon if I'll be in 10-02 or 10-03. Hope to run across you at some point in our careers! Good luck, enjoy Texas!

Congratulations!!! Like the post above - I too feel like it was only yesterday that you had posted you had commissioned and were going to COT. This is a stupid question but - can you take OTC meds with you like cough / cold medicine? Even something like immodium? lol? What are classes like? Were you exhausted? Did you have to do a lot of public speaking? What is your first day like? Are they helpful with helping you purchase uniforms etc? I know my questions are silly - but just curious! Thank you and again congrats! Enjoy TX!

Congratulations on your successful graduation from COT:yeah:

DrCOVID, DNP

Specializes in Private practice psychiatry. Has 12 years experience.

Congratulations on graduation Carolinapooh! May we all have successful careers!

Just one question: what did those do who couldn't afford the uniforms? I remember reading that you can get a military credit card or take advanced payment?

Hey congrats!

I am here at ole WHMC, welcome to the family!

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

First of all...Congrats!!!! You made it!!!! We've missed your very informative posts! :)

I'm curious about the physical part. Were you getting up 5 days a week and running miles and miles? What was a typical hour of fitness?

OMG - fitness? I'm embarrassed to say it's a bit of a joke down there. I could have used a whole lot more (of course, I could have used a bit more TIME down there as well; time is at a premium to say the least). We had PT maybe twice a week, consisting of the stupidest and most ineffective stretches you've ever performed, almost no strength training, and maybe thirty minutes of running. I did pass both my PT tests, though, and the 5K that we ran at the end was much easier than it would have been on the first day, but I still don't think they do enough PT. As I said, though, time is at a premium, and you spend so much of your time dead on your feet and more sleep deprived than I've ever been in my life that I can't imagine doing much more. You're allowed to go to the gym on the OTS Complex on your own time, but really, you're so tired and so busy with your academic work it's pretty hard to do. I know people who went to the gym three and four days a week, but I don't know how they did it.

Even with a seeming lack of PT, I lost five pounds, ate like a horse, and dumped an inch and a half on my waist measurement.

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

I talked about pay problems.

What they don't tell you before you go is that for some reason, Maxwell Air Force Base is NOT permitted by DoD and DAF to build what is called a pay profile. You are paid by some sort of electronic transfer that is done by hand by an airman in Finance. Your pay will not be right when you're down there and it will NOT be corrected until you get to your base.

You have to be insistent to ensure that you get what you need - they were trying to tell people to "get by" and "you have something at least" - until it was explained to them that, hello, we're adults and we have car payments and mortgages and some have families and kids....you have to stay on top of things or they'll just try to ply you off with "they'll fix that at your base".

I should be paid as an O1E, and I'm only being paid as an O1 with ZERO years experience. I have been credited for just over six. It's about a $1300 a month difference in pay!! I managed to get enough out of them to survive, but it did take some doing. Just be professional - but be INSISTENT.

I also found out while I was there that my DEERS record was screwed up - Seymour Johnson's ID office did not save ANY changes to my record when they issued me a CAC card. So I was in as an enlisted member under my maiden name without dependents - but there was a spouse record attached to my profile!!! It also said I'd not had a card issued - but I had one in my hand. Personnel kept saying, "they'll fix that at your base". Problem was that since my husband wasn't in DEERS officially, he'd be rejected by Tricare should he need medical care. The error was also preventing me from logging into ANY government network under my correct credentials. I kept insisting to the personnel folks that it needed to be fixed. It eventually got fixed after three or four days, but I had to go to their office daily.

What's annoying is that this happens TO EVERY COT CLASS.

My point is if you know something's wrong, you're going to have to be the one to find the key words to get the correct people to pay attention. Sad, but true.

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Uniforms.

Get all the stuff you can get before you get there. Beg your recruiter to take you to a base if you have to...trust me, it will be the best decision you make.

Get ALL alterations done that you can get done BEFORE you get there. Get all your stuff (rank, function badges) sewn on as well if you can. Get name tapes - get everything you can get done DONE before you go. Once you sign a letter of intent and are commissioned YOU CAN GET ONTO A DOD INSTALLATION with your commissioning paperwork and a driver's license per DOD directive. You can then get an ID card.

You can look up the reg for clothing online - the AFI is 36-2903. I took my blues trousers and mess dress skirt to an outside tailor and had them altered with no problems.

nursemel09

Specializes in Cardiac-Tele.

Thank you so much for all your information and advice! It's great to kind of know what to expect when we get there.

carolinapooh, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Congratulations, it seems like yesterday that I was reading that you were going to COT; however, I'm sure it didn't feel that way to you. The question that I have for you and any new nurses, is which base did you get on your dream sheet? 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Thanks.

I put Lackland as either my first or second choice.

I'm sure it means nothing, but it did seem as though the prior service folks were getting more of what was on their dream sheet than the non-priors. Even my husband commented on that following graduation after talking to a few of the other nurses and hearing about different assignments.

Edited by carolinapooh