Develop Quality Leaders for the Air Force.
Personnel and Resources
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps includes four region headquarters, 145 detachments and more than 1,100 cross-town universities. In 2012, ROTC commissioned 1,766 new second lieutenants into the U.S. Air Force.
AFROTC is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. Its headquarters is located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. The program is designed to recruit, educate and commission officer candidates through college campus programs based on Air Force requirements. Students can attend classes through host or cross-town enrollment programs or consortium agreements. Cadet enrollments have ranged from a high of 23,605 in 1986 to a low of 10,231 in 1993.
ROTC was established with passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. The first Air Force ROTC units were established between 1920 and 1923 at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College.
After World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, chief of staff of the War Department, signed General Order No. 124, establishing Air ROTC units at 77 colleges and universities throughout the nation. Eligible Air Force enlisted men and women pursuing a college degree who were interested in becoming commissioned officers were given that opportunity through competition in the AFROTC Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program, established in 1973.
In 1978, Air Training Command assumed responsibility for AFROTC programs. On July 1, 1993, Air Training Command merged with Air University to form Air Education and Training Command. Air University became a direct reporting unit under Air Education and Training Command and AFROTC realigned under Air University.
In February 1997, AFROTC and Officer Training School merged under the newly created parent organization Headquarters Air Force Officer Accessions and Training School. This restructuring placed oversight for three-quarters of Air Force officer production under one command and facilitated the sharing of manpower and expertise with minimum effect on the day-to-day operations of either organization. In June 2008, AFOATS was redesignated as the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development.
The primary routes to an Air Force commission for college students are through AFROTC's four-year program or two-year program. Students attend AFROTC classes along with other college courses and normally receive elective academic credit.
After successfully completing all requirements, the cadets are commissioned as Air Force officers with a four-year active-duty service commitment. Pilots, combat systems officers and air battle managers have longer commitments upon completion of specialized training.
The first two years of the AFROTC four-year program, the General Military Course, consist of one hour of classroom work, two hours of leadership laboratory and three hours of physical conditioning each week. After completing the GMC requirements, cadets who wish to compete for entry into the last two years of the program, the Professional Officer Course, must do so under the requirements of the POC selection system. This system uses qualitative factors, such as grade-point average, unit commander's evaluation, aptitude test scores and physical fitness test scores to determine a student's officer potential. After selection, students must successfully complete a four-week summer field training program at Maxwell before entering the POC.
In POC, cadets attend class three hours a week, participate in a weekly two-hour leadership laboratory and perform three hours of physical conditioning per week. Cadets apply what they have learned in the GMC and at field training. POC cadets conduct the leadership laboratories and manage the unit's cadet corps. Each unit has a cadet corps based on the Air Force organizational pattern of flight, squadron, group and wing. POC classes are small, with emphasis on group discussions and cadet presentations. Classroom topics include leadership, communication skills and national defense policy. Once enrolled in POC, all cadets are enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section.
The AFROTC two-year program allows cadets to enter the last two years of the four-year program. Entrance into POC is highly competitive. Two-year applicants are not committed to the Air Force until they make a decision to enlist through AFROTC.
Current emphasis in the AFROTC College Scholarship Program is to award scholarships to candidates pursuing undergraduate engineering, foreign language or other scientific and technical disciplines. More than half of scholarships are awarded to students in these disciplines. Students in other degree programs may enjoy scholarship opportunities, as the Air Force seeks to engage students who excel both academically and militarily.
Scholarships are awarded in increments of two, three and four years. AFROTC offers several types of scholarships. Type 1 covers full tuition and most required fees. Type 2 covers tuition and fees, but is capped at $18,000 annually. Type 7 scholarships are for full tuition at in-state tuition-level institutions. All types of awards provide an allowance for books, most required fees and a monthly nontaxable stipend.
All scholarship cadets are required to meet certain academic, military and physical fitness standards to earn and maintain scholarship benefits. Also, scholarship recipients must be younger than 31 as of December 31 of the calendar year during which commissioning is scheduled.
Field Training, in many cases, is a cadet's first exposure to a working Air Force environment and the Aerospace Expeditionary Force concept. The program develops military leadership and discipline and provides Air Force officer familiarization, orientation and motivation. At the same time, the Air Force can evaluate each cadet's potential as an officer and entry into the POC.
Field training provides Air Force leadership opportunities, professional development, marksmanship training, team building, physical fitness, and AEF orientation. Lodging, meals and transportation (from the cadet's home of record or school) are provided at no cost.
Nursing majors may apply for an AFROTC scholarship and graduates agree to accept a commission in the Air Force Nurse Corps and serve four years on active duty after successfully completing their licensing examination. Cadet premedical scholarship recipients who are accepted to medical school within one year of graduating may be sponsored in their pursuit of medical degrees.
Both first-year and second-year law students can apply for AFROTC scholarships. Students complete either a one-year or two-year AFROTC program while attending law school.
Additionally, second-year law students can pursue an Air Force commission through AFROTC's graduate law program. This program guarantees judge advocate duty after a student completes all AFROTC, law school and American Bar Association requirements. After graduating from an American Bar Association-accredited law school, the student must be admitted to practice law before the highest state court of any state or a federal court. The new lawyer is then commissioned into the Air Force in the grade determined by the laws and directives in effect at the time of call to active duty.
Airman Commissioning Opportunities
AFROTC has four programs in which Air Force enlisted Airmen may pursue a commission.
--Scholarships for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC allows major command commanders to recognize outstanding Airmen by nominating them for an AFROTC scholarship in any major.
--Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program lets Airmen compete for AFROTC scholarships while coordinating their application package with the AFROTC detachment they are interested in attending. Although any major may be selected, technical and nursing are usually considered more favorably. Both scholarship programs are available in two- to four-year lengths. To be eligible for a scholarship, Airmen must be working on their first bachelor's degrees and cannot exceed age limits as prescribed by public law.
--Professional Officer Course Early Release Program is available to Airmen who may not be eligible or competitive for a scholarship due to age, degree program or grade point average. Airmen compete for allocations while coordinating their application package with the AFROTC detachment they are interested in attending.
These three programs require the selected Airmen to leave active duty to complete their degrees and fulfill Air Force requirements necessary to earn a commission.
--Airmen interested in becoming a registered nurse can apply for the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program. NECP provides an advancement pathway for Airmen to receive an active commission through the Nurse Corps. NECP is an opportunity for Airmen to complete a full-time BSN at an accredited university while on active duty. Contact the chief nurse at the nearest active duty, Guard or Reserve medical treatment facility for more information and guidance. Upon graduation, they will attend Officer Training School and commission as a second lieutenant.
More information about these programs is available at base education offices, AFROTC detachments or online at http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/AFROTC/EnlistedComm/EnlistedCommissioning.asp.
For More Information
The Air Force seeks talented and motivated high school and college students with solid character and demonstrated leadership potential. In the AFROTC program, cadets are students first and spend an average of four to six contact hours weekly as freshmen/sophomores. As juniors and seniors, cadets spend six to 10 hours of contact time weekly as they work to build and refine their leadership skills. Successful completion of a four-year accredited degree program and AFROTC leads to a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. For more information, contact: Air Force ROTC, Recruiting Branch, 551 East Maxwell Boulevard, Maxwell AFB, AL, 36112-6106, call toll-free, 1-866-4AFROTC (1-866-423-7682) or go to http://www.afrotc.com