Officer Training School

Developing Warrior-Minded Leaders of Character committed to our Oath, Values and Creed.

Personnel and Resources
The Officer Training School staff consists of Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members as well as Air Force Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentee officers. OTS is a group-level command with three squadrons that graduated over 2,200 officers in fiscal year 2023. OTS graduates enter the Air Force in all components: Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. OTS is also responsible for commissioning U.S. Space Force Officers.

The $78 million OTS Complex at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, consists of two academic buildings with auditoriums, four dormitories, dining facility, physical conditioning center, parade field, running track and sports fields. Additionally, OTS maintains an Air Expeditionary Force garrison training site, a 200-acre field training facility, confidence course and two expeditionary assault courses.

The United States Air Force initiated OTS at Medina Annex, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1959. The school subsequently moved to Maxwell AFB in September 1993 as part of the Air Force Chief of Staff's vision to align all officer education and training programs under Air University. Its predecessor, the Officer Candidate School, was established in 1942 at Miami Beach, Florida, with the mission of training and commissioning officers from within the enlisted ranks. OCS moved to Lackland AFB in the spring of 1944 and gained the additional mission of training officers directly from civilian status in September 1951. OCS closed its doors with its last graduation in June 1963. The first OTS class was comprised of 89 trainees, including 11 women. Accession numbers have varied over the years from 323 the first year, to a high of 7,894 officers in 1967.

Officer Training
The purpose of OTS is to train and develop new officers to fulfill Air Force and Space Force active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard requirements, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Accession numbers fluctuate in response to variations between projected and actual U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force ROTC officer accessions and Air Force and Space Force end strength requirements.

The program consists of 30 hours of pre-requisite distance learning and eight weeks of military training and leadership development for college graduates. The purpose of the course is to build the foundation necessary to produce warrior-minded leaders of character. The course outcomes include, warfighting understanding, effective communication, leadership application and appreciation of the profession of arms.

Some health professionals (doctors, dentists and highly specialized nurses) and medical scholarship recipients will attend the first 5 weeks of the training and off ramp after completing all graduation requirements.

Additionally, there is a 15-day Reserve Commissioned Officer Orientation program for extremely difficult to recruit Reserve medical officers as determined by their respective functional managers. This course is offered two times per year.

The program consists of five modules that build upon each other and emphasis teamwork, communication, decision-making, resiliency, creative thinking and accountability. Lectures, guided discussions, classroom exercises, field leadership exercises and after-hours training activities combine to provide graduates with an in-depth understanding of their roles as future commissioned officers in the Air Force. The program also features two "Air Expeditionary Force Exercises," both assessing field leadership and the ability to integrate and apply the communication and leadership skills learned throughout the course.

Most of these new officers attend follow-on training after OTS. Training specialties include pilot, navigator, air battle manager; space, missile operations; and several other career fields. The length of training varies according to the specialty.

Motto and Ethos
OTS’s motto is "Always with Honor," reflected in the school’s ethos statement. As OTS professionals, we are dedicated to owning the mission. We will purposefully develop as leaders within the profession of arms with pride, passion and unity. We will teach and be taught. We will lead and be led. We will identify and push beyond our perceived limits through courage, resiliency and hardiness of spirit. We will model the way with a relentless pursuit of excellence...Always with Honor!

For More Information
For more information on OTS, visit the OTS web site at If you are interested in a career as an Air Force officer and considering applying to OTS, contact your local Air Force recruiter via the Air Force Recruiting web site, If you are currently an active-duty Air Force enlisted member, contact your base education office or Military Personnel Section.

(Current as of September 2023)