Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

Develop Air Force and Space Force Leaders of Character Whom We Expect to Fight and Win Our Nation’s Wars.

Personnel and Resources
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps comprises 145 detachments with more than 1,100 associated cross-town universities, four regional commands and a higher headquarters staff located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In 2022, AFROTC commissioned 2,109 second lieutenants into the United States Air Force and 141 into the United States Space Force.

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 Officer Development programs based on Air Force and Space Force requirements. Students can attend classes through host or cross-town enrollment programs. Cadet enrollments have ranged from a high of 23,605 in 1986 to a low of 10,231 in 1993.

The Reserve Officer Training Corps was established with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916, which established program guidelines that remained in effect until 1964. The Army Reorganization Act of 1920 created ROTC units specifically designed to train rated officers for the Air Corps. By 1926, seven such units existed, but a lack of funds to support flight training forced three to close in 1928 and the remaining units only trained non-rated officers. Since the Air Corps had virtually no requirement for non-rated officers, it closed the remaining units in 1933.

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, ATC merged with Air University to form Air Education and Training Command. Air University became a direct reporting unit under AETC, and AFROTC was realigned under Air University.

In Feb. 1997, AFROTC and Officer Training School merged under the newly created parent organization, Headquarters Air Force Officer Accession and 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, HQ AFOATS was re-designated as the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development. In 2020, United States Space Force officers began commissioning through the AFROTC program.

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. In addition, Space Force cadets undergo a U.S. Space Force specific Field Training course. 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. Additionally, Space Force cadets have USSF specific curriculum blocks as POCs and have opportunities for summer internships with active USSF units. Once enrolled in the POC, all cadets are enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section. Finally, once cadets graduate both USAF and USSF cadets are commissioned into the United States Air Force Reserve then upon active duty entry the newly commissioned officers are scrolled into the USAF or USSF.

To meet Air Force and Space Force production and accession requirements, the AFROTC College Scholarship Program awards the majority of its scholarships to candidates pursuing undergraduate engineering, math, physics and other similar technical disciplines. Although most AFROTC scholarships are awarded to students in technical majors, students in non-technical degree programs may also be eligible for scholarship opportunities.

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.

All scholarship cadets are required to meet certain academic, military and physical fitness standards to earn and maintain scholarship benefits. By law, scholarship recipients must be younger than 31 as of Dec. 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 pre-medical 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 a wonderful 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 3 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.

More information about these programs can be obtained from a base education office, an AFROTC unit, or by logging on to​.

For More Information
The Air Force and Space Force is seeking 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 ten 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 and Space Force in the world. If you have ever considered serving your country in any capacity and joining a world-class winning team, contact AFROTC for more information: AFROTC, Recruiting Branch, 60 West Maxwell Boulevard, Maxwell AFB, Ala., 36112-6106, call toll-free, 1-866-4AFROTC (1-866-423-7682) or go to

(Current as of September 2023)