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Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

Air Force ROTC fact sheet banner. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Andy Yacenda, Defense Media Activity-San Antonio)

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps comprises 145 detachments with more than 1,100 associated cross-town universities, four regional headquarters and a higher headquarters staff located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.(U.S. Air Force graphic by Andy Yacenda, Defense Media Activity-San Antonio)

Mission
Developing leaders of character for tomorrow’s Air Force.

Personnel and resources
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps comprises 145 detachments with more than 1,100 associated cross-town universities, four regional headquarters and a higher headquarters staff located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. In 2018, AFROTC commissioned more than 1,800 second lieutenants into the U.S. Air Force.

Organization
AFROTC is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. AFROTC is designed to recruit, educate and commission officer candidates through academic education, field training and professional development training 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.

History
ROTC was established with passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. The first AFROTC 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 AFROTC units at 78 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 and Accession Training Schools. 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.

AFROTC program
The first two years of AFROTC’s 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. Upon completion of 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, detachment commander’s evaluation, aptitude test scores and physical fitness test scores to determine a student's officer potential. After selection, students must successfully complete summer field training at Maxwell AFB.

Field training is a required integral component of the AFROTC curriculum that typically occurs after the cadet has satisfied the GMC (underclassmen) requirements and before entry into the POC (upperclassmen). It consists of a series of strategically planned events with the purpose to train, evaluate and grow cadets through a transformational experience. Field training culminates in a graduation event that includes an interactive leadership development course focused on preparing cadets for leadership challenges at their detachments.

In the POC, cadets attend class three hours a week, participate in a weekly leadership laboratory lasting two hours and perform three hours of physical conditioning per week. Cadets apply what they have learned in the GMC and at field training. Under the guidance of detachment cadre, POC cadets conduct 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 the POC, all cadets are enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section.

Scholarships
Current emphasis in the AFROTC College Scholarship Program is to award scholarships to candidates pursuing undergraduate engineering or other scientific and technical disciplines. More than half of AFROTC scholarships are awarded to students in these disciplines. Students in other degree programs may take advantage of scholarship opportunities, as the Air Force seeks to engage students who excel both academically and militarily.

Scholarships are awarded in increments from two to 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 scholarship awards provide an allowance for books, most required fees and a monthly non-taxable 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.

Medical professions
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.

Legal professions
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 bar requirements. After graduating from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, 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 three programs in which Air Force enlisted personnel 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.

The Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program allows Airmen to compete for AFROTC scholarships while coordinating their application package with the AFROTC unit 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 degree and cannot exceed age limits as prescribed by public law.

The 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. Individuals compete for allocations while coordinating their application package with the AFROTC unit they are interested in attending.

These three AFROTC programs require the selected Airmen to leave active duty to complete their degree and Air Force requirements necessary to earn a commission.

Enlisted personnel interested in completing their undergraduate degree and commissioning have two additional programs available. Enlisted members interested in becoming a registered nurse can apply for the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program. NECP provides an advancement pathway for enlisted Airmen to receive an active commission through the nurse corps. NECP is an opportunity for enlisted Airmen to complete a full-time Bachelor of Science in nursing degree 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. The Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program allows senior leaders of the Air Force to select one enlisted member each to attend college full-time for up to three years to complete their undergraduate degree while receiving full pay and benefits. Upon graduation, they will attend Officer Training School and commission as a second lieutenant.

For more information about these programs, visit a base education office, an AFROTC unit, or going to www.airuniversity.af.edu/Holm-Center/AFROTC/.

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 and 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 best Air Force in the world. Contact AFROTC for more information: AFROTC, Recruiting Branch, 60 West Maxwell Boulevard, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 36112-6106, call toll-free 1-866-4AFROTC (1-866-423-7682) or go to http://www.afrotc.com.

(Current as of June 2019)

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