I'm currently on active duty and looking to attend several orienteering events, it was suggested by Victoria Campbell that I contact you regarding if/how you worked out using PTDY for various orienteering events when you were in the AF. My email is Zachary.firstname.lastname@example.org if prefer to contact me off of Attackpoint
Ooh, haven't been called ma'am in a while. ;-)
Reference AFI 36-3003, Table 7, Rule 30 for your PTDY requests. (I also used Rule 28 to help out as staff for Junior camps.) If it's not a military event then your commander could rightly insist on the event being "pre-approved" by HQ AFSVA/SVPAF (Chief of AF Sports, as of two years ago that was still Steve Brown).
I would just send them an email with the dates of the event and explain that you would like to take PTDY to compete. I don't know if the staff there is the same as it was when I left, but in my case they always responded with a memo approving the event, which I submitted with my PTDY request. It appeased my commanders. After the event you are supposed to send an AAR to AF Sports. I don't think they ever read mine, even though they were often comprehensive and included maps. :-)
It was a bit of a culture shock for me when the West Point cadet I was sitting next to at the bus at last year's North Americans called me "sir". I'm pretty sure Australian military don't do that when dealing with civilians.
(And it's good to see that the US is another place where the military are even more in love with acronyms than are scientists or federal bureaucrats).
I don't think all military in the US address all civilians that way, but cadets at the service academies do, consistently.
I think it's a combination of how they address civilian faculty and families of academy personnel who sponsor cadets and take them into their homes for a few hours of relaxation on weekends, and the fact that everyone (to include upper class cadets and the waiters in the mess hall) is either sir/ma'am during that first year.
Thanks for the info, Cristina - I vaguely remembered you reporting having cracked the code on PTDY, but I had no idea what the answer was. And good to know AF sports should have some historical knowledge, too.