The TAPAS assessment supports operational Battlefield Airmen and Combat Support AFSC Classification for the following enlisted AFSCs:

1T0X1 (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape)
1T2X1 (Pararescue)
1C2X1 (Combat Control)
1C4X1 (Tactical Air Control Party)
1W0X2 (Special Operations Weather)
3E8X1 (Explosive Ordinance Disposal)

TAPAS is not used for CRO, STO or 13L ALO candidate assessment.

Those processing through the Air Force Recruiting Service for enlisting purposes will take TAPAS at MEPS.

Those desiring to retrain out of current AFSC into certain specific battlefield Airman specialties when they contact AFPC about retraining should receive information about where they can accomplish the TAPAS testing, which is at a local MEPS, recruiting station, or through an online secure login process.

The assessment rating is independently tailored for each enlisted BA/CS AFSC. Minimum TAPAS score requirement for each AFSC is found in the AFECD. The TAPAS facilitates arriving at certain initial entry classification screening decisions.

The origins of relying on personality assessment tools can be traced back to WWII. The AF-TAPAS is used as a screening predictor in similar manner as the Adaptability Rating for Military Aviation (ARMA) and the Psychological Battery Test (C-SORT) used for screening applicants or candidates desiring to become US. Navy SEALs.

Definition: Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS) is a computer-adaptive non-cognitive assessment (survey) that military applicants take on the CAT-ASVAB platform at MEPS. It measures 12 dimensions of personality including such things as Achievement, Non-delinquency, Even-temperedness, Intellectual Efficiency, Optimism, Physical Conditioning and Attention Seeking. The instrument is delivered in a paired forced-choice self-descriptors format. TAPAS provides two scores for each applicant, a “Can do” score predicts job knowledge, training graduation rates and a “Will do” score predicts physical fitness assessment scores, job effort, disciplinary incidents, and attrition. The Army Research Institute is responsible for the development and use of TAPAS within DoD.

• Developed under contract by Army Research Institute

• Broad assessment of personality traits related to performance in military specialties

• State-of-the-art personality test

o Adaptive

• Minimizes testing time, item exposure, and test compromise potential

o Designed to prevent “gaming the test”

• Each item consists of two statements, balanced in social desirability; respondent picks statement that is "more like me.”

o six tailored models for: PJ, CCT, SOWT, TACP, SERE, EOD

• Other advantages

o Proprietary to DoD, secure

o Administered in MEPS


Personality matters because each person is unique in that choices of act and deed (behavior) are a consequence of rational (conscious) and emotional (unconscious) influences. Although some behaviors are entirely influenced by the conscious or unconscious influences, most behavior is influenced by both.

Personality is the characteristic way a person thinks and behaves in adjusting to his or her environment. It includes the person's traits, values, motives, genetic blueprint, attitudes, emotional reactivity, abilities, self-image and intelligence. It also includes the person's visible behavior patterns.

Adjusting to environment has a direct relationship to how environmentally pleasant or unpleasant the physical location is combined with how much risk taking and how much independent autonomous decision making is necessary. Unfortunately not everybody will have the psychological adaptability, flexibility, and resiliency abilities necessary to facilitate their learning and acquisition of skills and knowledge to perform such military duties. Furthermore the necessity for high levels of human performance in the high physically demanding environment extends the personality suitability concerns to dependability and reliability of performing such military duties after learning and acquiring the skills and knowledge to perform such military duties.