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AF Intern Program CONOPS for FY08

By webmaster - Posted on 19 October 2010

This is the latest information from the FY 08 AFIP CONOPS.

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The Air Force Intern Program (AFIP) is an Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) program designed to develop officers' understanding of air, space, and cyberspace power and to broaden their perspectives through personal observation of senior DoD, Air Force, legislative, political, and academic leaders making strategy and policy decisions. The program develops tomorrow's leaders by using a combination of hands-on experience working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) or Joint Staff, Secretariat or Air Staff, MAJCOM or USTRANSCOM staff during two distinct rotations, through participation in fellowships, or advanced degree programs. The overall program intent is to develop the following competencies in future Air Force senior leaders: Employing Military Capabilities, Enterprise Perspective, Strategic Thinking, and Collaborative Relationships through education, experience and participation.

The term "Intern" applies to all participants in the following programs:

  • AFIP National Capitol Region (NCR) Interns
  • AFIP Mobility Air Force (MAF) Interns
  • AFIP Strategic Communications Interns
  • McConn Public Policy Interns
  • Legislative Fellows
  • National Laboratory Technical Fellows Program (NLTFP)
  • Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Fellows
  • Political Advisor (POLAD) Fellows

Eligibility Criteria

Majors (Line and Non-Line) have three opportunities to compete for the AFIP during their Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) eligibility window. Eligible year groups are defined each year during the annual Developmental Education Designation Board (DEDB) call for nominations. Emphasis should be placed on officers early in their eligibility window because the tour length will be three to four years.

Nomination Procedures

Senior raters may nominate eligible majors who meet the announced IDE eligibility criteria. Each nominee must complete a web-based DEDB AF Form 3849, PME/AFIT/RTFB/Officer Worksheet. The web-based 3849 will be made available to eligible officers during the annual DEDB nomination process.

Selection Procedures

Nominations will be reviewed by each officer's owning developmental team (DT) during the summer DT cycle. Selected records will be forwarded to the AF/A1 for review/validation at the annual DEDB conducted by AFPC/DPAFE. The board will select the 75 most highly qualified officers (from the line and eligible non-line competitive categories) and an appropriate number of alternates. Three quotas total will be set aside for HC, JA and SG (one each) w/ the exception of the NLTFP. SG will compete with line officers for NLTFP. Selection for IDE overrides other pending assignments.

Pre-Arrival Procedures

All Interns will report to their respective duty location and then to the Pentagon for orientation as required by the AFPC release message. The arrival window announced in the AFPC release message will be adhered to (except for those who are overseas returnees or proceeding to advanced degree programs) and will be used for the purpose of partial in-processing, household goods receipt, and NCR Orientation. Member must secure a Top Secret clearance.
Narrative only PRFs are a program entrance requirement for all participants The PRF should be completed upon selection to the program.

Training Reports

Officers selected for this program are considered Air Force Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) in-resident students, and in accordance with AFPAM 36-2404, Guide to the USAF Officer Evaluation System, will receive an AF Form 475, Education/Training Report. AFIP Interns receive letters of evaluation (LOEs) after each rotation and will be signed by the rotation Senior Rater of the Intern, normally a DCS or equivalent. This requirement is to ensure that the senior rater for the organization to which the Intern is assigned has at least some visibility of the duties performed by that Intern during his/her rotation. The final Education/Training Report will be signed by the respective director/commander of the primary offices designated to provide program management:
  • AU/Air Force Officer Professional Education Center for the Fellows Programs and Advanced Degree Program participants
  • SAF/LL for all Legislative Fellows
  • AF/A1D for all NCR Interns
  • AMC/A1D for all MAF Interns

Awards, Decorations, and Badges

AFIP Interns will not be nominated for, nor receive, any individual tour completion or meritorious service awards or badges for this program. This is consistent with Air Force policy for officers in a training status. Interns are not authorized permanent wear of OSD, Joint Staff, or Air Staff badges; however they may wear the applicable badge during rotations. No exceptions to this policy will be granted as the AFIP programs are formal courses and Air Force members are not authorized award of an individual or tour completion decoration while attending formal courses.

Program Completion

Interns incur a three-year ADSC upon completion of Phase II of the program as described in AFI 36-2107, Active Duty Service Commitments (ADSC).

Program Phases

Phase I - Orientation. This phase consists of in-processing at their duty location and program orientation at the Pentagon for the majority of Intern program participants. This phase normally begins no later than the first week of August.

Phase II - Course work, internships, fellowships, or advanced degree programs
  • AFIP NCR and AFIP MAF Rotations. Interns who do not have a Master?s Degree or ACSC DL will complete the ACSC DL Master's Degree. This is a year-long, work-and-learn phase emphasizing professional growth and active participation. Throughout this phase, Interns attend (at a minimum) quarterly meetings and professional development seminars and tours. This phase consists of two six-month rotations, defined as Phase IIA and Phase IIB, in the OSD or Joint Staff, Secretariat or Air Staff, MAJCOM staff or USTRANSCOM staff- one rotation per intern in each of these two program options. AF/A1DL is responsible for rotation plans to include Phase start/completion dates. Rotations plans should accommodate the desired goal of aligning each intern to areas outside of their normal AFSC.
  • NLTFP, DARPA and POLAD Interns, McConn Public Policy Interns, and Strategic Communications Interns will not participate in the ACSC DL Master's Degree Program.
  • Legislative Fellows will be in student status (92S DAFSC) for 2 years. This includes the following: Aug - Dec, complete two terms of ACSC DL Master's Degree, SAF/LL immersion, and OSD training; Jan - Dec, duties on Capital Hill; Jan - Aug (of the following year), complete last four terms of ACSC DL Master's Degree.

Phase III-Post-Program Assignment. AFPC/DPA is the assignment authority for all program participants and will work post-program assignments. Normal tour length for AF Interns will not exceed 4 total years (This is inclusive of course work, internship, completion of ACSC DL Masters and post program assignment.) Any exceptions to post program assignments will be coordinated through AF/A1D. AFPC/DPA is the final approval authority for all exceptions. Release due to Command selection will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • NCR, MAF McConn Public Policy Interns - Interns will be assigned to permanent staff positions within the NCR or AMC/USTRANSCOM locations at the completion of Phase II and proceed directly to their post-program assignment
  • NLTFP and DARPA will not participate in ACSC DL Master's and are eligible to PCS upon completion of academic program
  • DARPA requires a MANDATORY FOLLOW-ON: Any technical/systems agency, such as ESC or Systems Communication Center . (Consider TOS if from Wash DC, return-to-fly boards, command candidacy, etc.)
  • POLAD requires a MANDATORY FOLLOW-ON: Political Advisor position at the MAJCOM or NAF-levels
  • Legislative Fellows will be assigned to permanent staff positions within the NCR at the completion of the second year.
  • Strategic Communications Interns will be assigned to permanent staff positions in SAF/CM or SAF/PA upon completion of their degree program.

AFIP is an approved Intermediate Developmental Education opportunity. Officers? records upon completion of the program will be updated to reflect 'IDE-AIR FORCE INTERN PROGRAM (AFIP)'

Proposed FY08 AFIP quota breakdown

POLAD Fellows
DARPA Fellows
Strategic Communications Interns*
Legislative Fellows
McConn Public Policy Interns **
NCR Interns ***
MAF Interns

  • Strategic Communications Master's Degree Program; Participants must possess a 11XX or 12XX AFSC per CSAF guidance
    • Requires a USAFA graduate
      • Includes allocations for 1 participant each from: JA, HC, AFMS

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Policy formulation
  • ADCON of NCR, Strategic Communications and McConn Public Policy Interns
  • Coordinate Intern rotations with Air Staff, Joint Staff and OSD organizations
  • Coordinate with agency POCs prior to Intern rotations to ensure POCs understand their responsibilities and the policies of the program
  • Ensures rotational LOEs are completed and prepares final training reports

  • AFPC/DPA will oversee the selection process and assignments for all Interns through the DEDB. AF/A1 is the final authority for student selection and follow-on assignments.
  • AFPC will utilize T-ODP, 3849, and officer career information to make recommendations to AF/A1 for Intern selection. The combination of the T-ODP, 3849, officer career information, and A1 vector will be the basis for the students? individualized development plan utilized by Air University.
  • Active Duty quotas for Summer ?08 = 75
  • AFPC/DPAFE will distribute quotas across career fields where appropriate
    • Strategic Comm Interns will be operators (11XX, 12XX AFSC) (CSAF intent)
    • MAF Interns will be MAF operators(11XX, 12XX AFSC), plus (1) 21A/21R
  • AFPC/DPAFE will announce program and available quotas in annual IDE/SDE program message
AU/Air Force Officer Professional Education Center
  • Air University will deliver and manage the Air Command and Staff College Distance Learning Master's Degree curriculum for selected Interns
  • The DL Master?s course will consist of (6) eight week modules
  • AFOPEC will adapt its current role/responsibilities for the Air Force Fellows Program to include the Air Force Intern Program. Responsibility includes:
    • ADCON of Legislative Fellows, DARPA and POLAD Interns and NLTFP
    • Ensures rotational LOEs are completed and prepares final training reports
    • Hosting the NCR orientation at programs? start and:
      • Ensures cornerstone competencies are addressed
      • Liaise with host organizations to ensure understanding of roles/responsibilities
  • ADCON of MAF Interns
  • Coordinate Intern rotations with AMC Staff and USTRANSCOM Staff
  • Ensures rotational LOEs are completed and prepares final training reports
  • Coordinate with agency POCs prior to Intern rotations to ensure POCs understand their responsibilities and the policies of the program
  • The Airman Development Division, Directorate of Manpower and Personnel, Headquarters Air Mobility Command (AMC/A1D), serves as the AFIP Support Office.


AFIP National Capitol Region (NCR)

AFIP Mobility Air Force (MAF)

AFIP Strategic Communications

McConn Public Policy Interns

Legislative Fellows

NLTFP: Meet AF nuclear experience requirements by developing a cadre of nuclear-experienced personnel to shape and influence a future flexible and responsible nuclear force. Understand historical development of nuclear weapons technologies. Emphasis on applying knowledge to current/future stockpile activities and applications. Develop knowledge of US nuclear community for use in issue resolution on behalf of USAF. Fellowships are available at Sandia National Lab, NM; Argonne National Lab, IL; Oak Ridge National Lab, TN; Lawrence Livermore National Lab, CA. Participation is open to any line AFSC and qualified AFMS officers.

POLAD: The goal of the Foreign Policy Fellowship (FPF) is to increase Pol/Mil capability within the USAF by training mid-level officers and fielding qualified advisors for Senior Leaders. Under the auspices of the Office of the Foreign Policy Advisor (CC-POLAD) to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF), the POLAD Fellows focus of study is in two major areas. One area of study is regional focused (e.g. the Middle East, Europe, Asia, South Asia, Latin America) aimed at preparing the candidate for their follow-on assignment. The other area of study is functional in focus (e.g. counterterrorism, international space policy, arms control, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid) to provide exposure to dealing with issues that are global in nature. Direct experience working outside of the Pentagon on these issues will also be offered in the course of the fellowship. Those competing for the fellowship should recognize that preference is given to those agreeing to serve in a follow-on position as a POLAD for MAJCOM/NAF, or a Deputy POLAD for a unified command. Candidates should possess a deep interest in and working knowledge of U.S. foreign policy and international events. Academic background in international relations is desirable.

DARPA: DARPA's mission has been to assure that the U.S. maintains a lead in applying state-of-the-art technology for military capabilities and to prevent technological surprise from her adversaries. The DARPA Fellowship gives a talented officer an expert, insiders understanding of significant impending technological changes which the Chief views as likely to revolutionize air and space as well as joint warfighting capabilities. Following their DARPA visit, the officer becomes the "expert" who can articulate and explain the revolutionary technological advances underway, and provide advice to their leadership as to how to best take advantage of these advances. The officers should primarily come from operational warfighting communities.