Personnel and Resources
Develop leaders of character for tomorrow’s Air Force.
Recruit, educate, and train future Airmen to commission as officers in the United States Air Force.
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps includes four region headquarters, 145 detachments and more than 1,100 cross-town universities. In 2017, Air Force ROTC commissioned more than 1,600 second lieutenants into the United States Air Force.
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. Its headquarters are located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. The Air Force ROTC 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.
Air Force ROTC Program
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 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 Air Force ROTC Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program, established in 1973.
In 1978, Air Training Command assumed responsibility for Air Force ROTC 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 Air Force ROTC realigned under Air University.
In February 1997, Air Force ROTC and Officer Training School merged under the newly created parent organization, HQ 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 re-designated as the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development.
The first two years of the Air Force ROTC 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 a summer Leadership, Evaluation and Development Course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, before entering the POC.
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 LEAD. 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 the POC, all cadets are enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section.
Current emphasis in the Air Force ROTC College Scholarship Program is to award scholarships to candidates pursuing undergraduate engineering or other scientific and technical disciplines. More than half of Air Force ROTC 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 from two to four years. Air Force ROTC 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.
Leadership, Evaluation and Development Course
LEAD, 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.
The LEAD course also provides Air Force leadership opportunities, professional development, marksmanship training, team building, physical fitness and AEF orientation. Lodging, meals and transportation (from the cadet’s school or home of record) are provided at no cost to the cadet.
Nursing majors may apply for an Air Force ROTC 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 Air Force ROTC scholarships. Students complete either a one-year or two-year Air Force ROTC program while attending law school.
Additionally, second-year law students can pursue an Air Force commission through Air Force ROTC's graduate law program. This program guarantees judge advocate duty after a student completes all Air Force ROTC, 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
Air Force ROTC 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 Air Force ROTC scholarship in any major.
The Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program allows airmen to compete for Air Force ROTC scholarships while coordinating their application package with the Air Force ROTC unit they are interested in attending. Although any major may be selected, technical and nursing are usually considered more favorably.
Both SOAR and ASCP 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 Air Force ROTC unit they are interested in attending.
These three Air Force ROTC 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 the 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.
More information about these programs can be obtained from a base education office, an Air Force ROTC unit, or by logging on to: http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/AFROTC/EnlistedComm/EnlistedCommissioning.asp.
For More Information
The Air Force is seeking talented and motivated high school and college students with solid character and demonstrated leadership potential. In the Air Force ROTC 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 Air Force ROTC leads to a commission as a second lieutenant in the best Air Force in the world. If you have ever considered serving your country in any capacity and joining a world-class winning team, contact Air Force ROTC for more information: Air Force ROTC, Recruiting Branch, 60 West Maxwell Boulevard, Maxwell AFB, AL, 36112-6106, call toll-free, 1-866-4AFROTC (1-866-423-7682) or go to http://www.afrotc.com.
(Current as of January 2018)