Several (all?) of the DT squadrons have non-TPS guys on their staffs. At HX-21 it was usually the ASO and AOPS billets. Thats another way to get the visibility of the test community. When the CO of HX endorses your package to TPS it certainly doesn't look bad at the board. However, this is a higher risk path because if you don't get picked up you're in a non-production job and may get hosed. I know guys who have gone to TPS straight from the fleet (even one who left the fleet early), VT IP, FRS, VX(OT), and the Weapons Schools. If you don't get picked up continue applying.I'll also put a plug in for VX-30 at Pt Mugu for VP/VQ/VAW types (occasionally there are even billets for other communities). I went there after TPS, but a few of our fleet direct guys on 1st shore tour were picked up for TPS while I was there. Side benefit is living in socal and deting to Hawaii on a relatively frequent basis.