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#270 - 01/05/15 03:39 PM TAPAS required?  
Joined: Nov 2014
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JBrandlen Offline
FNG
JBrandlen  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2014
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Tucson, AZ, USA
I spoke to my recruiter today, 5/1/2015, and was told the TAPAS was done away with, however there was no time frame specified for how long. Can anyone verify?


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#273 - 01/05/15 05:22 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  
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Yukon Offline
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Yukon  Offline
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Anchorage AK
I'm posing the question to the AETC folks. Interesting development if correct considering how much they (HQ AETC) were claiming TAPAS was effective and efficient in screening for the most likely to get through training.

#286 - 01/06/15 11:50 AM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  

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I can confirm that TAPAS was indeed used in the previous groups of candidates graduating BMT. They took the PAST right after graduation, those that failed were separated from the Air Force, some were allowed to reclass, and a few were put into "Battle" and allowed to take the PAST again for the upcoming Dev course (Which took place yesterday). A major factor in determining whether to allow an airmen into Battle was the TAPAS

#335 - 01/12/15 04:09 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  
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Torres Offline
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Torres  Offline
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Misawa Air Base, Japan
Last month I was speaking with a Mr. Kenneth Scwartz, Chief, Strategic Research & Assessment, at AFPC, and he is the one that handles all of the TAPAS for BA hopefuls. He told me that AFPC does not really know what to do with TAPAS results in terms of grading and determining if they can be used because originally, a TAPAS type test (under a different name) was used for pilots. Perhaps they will do away with the TAPAS test but seeing as how they just got the ball rolling with it, it will probably stick around for a bit longer. He also mentioned that administration of the TAPAS was easier for brand new recruits entering MEPS opposed to members who are already in as there is an "influencing" factor when taking the tests. Basically, the image is that prior service personnel will lie about answers and pick what they think the AF wants them to say whereas a brand new recruit has no idea and may answer more truthfully. In short, TAPAS is still being used. AFPC is just ironing out some wrinkles so they can get it just right.

#338 - 01/12/15 06:04 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: Torres]  
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Yukon Offline
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Yukon  Offline
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Anchorage AK
Originally Posted By: Torres
... originally, a TAPAS type test (under a different name) was used for pilots.
The test you are referring to is the ARMA—Adaptability Rating for Military Aviation.

Quote:
AFI 48-123, MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND STANDARDS,5 NOVEMBER 2013:

1.5. Adaptability Rating. Adaptability Rating for Military Aviation (ARMA) and other military duties, such as for Marine Diving Duty (MDD), Ground Based Controller (GBC), RPA or Missile Operations Duty (MOD) etc., is the responsibility of the examining flight surgeon, as is the scope and extent of the interview. Initial (entry into training) unsatisfactory adaptability ratings are usually rendered for poor motivation for aerial or SOD adaptability, or evidence of a potential safety of flight risk, etc. (see Medical Standards Directory and Physical Examination Techniques.


Origins of military-screening and-selection procedures being developed trace back to WWI with most of the significant initial research and developing happening during WWII.

The problem of gaming the test (cheating or faking answers) is certainly a weakness of such tests. The utilization of computerized testing that limits ability to go back and change answers some what complicates opportunity to faking a pattern of answers.

The limiting the test to one time is actually connected to having numerous variation of test battery available as much taking test second time to game the test to get the desired result.

Regarding "administration of the TAPAS was easier for brand new recruits entering MEPS", the easier applicant/candidate demographics is individuals having no prior military service (meaning has not gone through BMT (Boot camp). Going through Basic Military Training involves personality and emotional adapting to military activities. The adapting that occurs during the successfully getting through BMT skews the testing to needing a higher quality or level of discernment. This adapting that occurs once exposed to certain types of military training is also why TAPAS has not been implemented or likely to be implemented for screening and selecting officers to be CROs and STOs.

Considerable consideration to implement TAPAS or rather personality assessment testing to screen and select enlisted pararescue candidate/applicant emerged in 1993. Connected with this effort was serious political influence that such testing would, could, and will replace the need for the Pararescue Indoctrination Course. This political influence was spearheaded by seriously misguided officers and fortunately they didn't prevail in their efforts. However, the TAPAS development effort continued with Pararescue students being the majority of the research studied participants from 1993 to 2012. The other AFSC were tagged on years later and I'm not sure how much these other AFSCs were researched.

The folks at AETC/AFPC have not gotten back to me so my following paragraph comment is speculation.

The mandate is to open all currently closed to women AFSC to women by 2016 complicates TAPAS as there is currently no female TAPAS personality profiles to use for these AFSCs. Regardless common sense indicates TAPAS not be used for females seeking the GTEP enlistment contract for PJ, CCT, SOW, and TACP. Both SERE and AF EOD have been open to women for decades, so not an issue for those AFSCs.

BTW, the effectiveness of ARMA has always been controversial for many reasons. However the only military pilots undergoing any significant psychological or personality screening (mostly during the 1950s and 1960s) were those screened and selected to be high altitude reconnaissance pilots (U-2/SR-71) and astronauts. As most of these pilots were detailed to other agencies (CIA/NASA) it wasn't the Air Force, Navy or Army actually doing the screening and selecting.

The The operational heritage of the Pararesc...nt demographics document gives a good historical overview of origins of screen and selecting studies conducted during and immediately after WWII. It then proceeds to give an overview of formal enlisted screening and selection courses being developed and established in the Air Force.

#439 - 01/21/15 04:53 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  
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Yukon Offline
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Yukon  Offline
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Anchorage AK
TAPAS is now being required as part of application/retraining package.

When active duty service members contact AFPC about retraining they should receive information about where they can accomplish it, which is at a local MEPS, recruiting station, or through an online secure login process.

This retraining policy was directed from HAF A1.

#462 - 01/22/15 08:55 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  
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SF2CCT Offline
FNG
SF2CCT  Offline
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Tampa, FL
Some bases are actually giving the test now as well as a lot of college universities.

#657 - 02/11/15 09:24 AM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  
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SC45 Offline
FNG
SC45  Offline
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Ohio
I understand that you take the TAPAS at MEPS. Will I take the TAPAS before I sign my GTEP contract? In other words, if my tapas results disqualify me from going to PJ selection am I still obligated to serve?

#658 - 02/11/15 01:06 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: SC45]  
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Yukon Offline
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Yukon  Offline
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Anchorage AK
Originally Posted By: SC45
In other words, if my tapas results disqualify me from going to PJ selection am I still obligated to serve?


TAPAS is administered at MEPS after taking completing the Production ASVAB.

The obligation to serve become more legally binding with each contractual obligation to serve document you sign.

Being administered the official PAST requires being MEPS qualified and in the Delayed Entry Program. Being in DEP status is enlisting into the inactive reserve status with obligation to enter into serving an active duty service obligation within 12 months.

So simply, a yes answer to all the questions you asked.

#661 - 02/11/15 01:56 PM Re: TAPAS required? [Re: JBrandlen]  
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SC45 Offline
FNG
SC45  Offline
FNG

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Posts: 11
Ohio
Yukon,
Thank you for the response. I thought that while it is discouraged, it is still possible to backout while in DEP. While I realize that is not ideal, I find it a huge risk to enlist with a multiple year contract only to be DQ'd from the job you want and be stuck with a job you don't want before you even go to BMT.

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