The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program is a voluntary educational program designed to provide college students an opportunity to earn an Air Force commission while simultaneously working toward a degree. The program exists in two parts, the General Military Course and the Professional Officers Course. Students normally attend a summer field-training encampment between the sophomore and junior years, or second and third years of the program. The Department also offers a Minor in Military Technologies; this minor is open to all students and is not limited to students enrolled in AFROTC.
General Military Course (GMC)
The General Military Course is the first half of the AFROTC program and is taken during the freshman and sophomore years. There is no selection process to enter this portion of the program. The General Military Course allows students the opportunity to gain a greater appreciation for AFROTC, Air Force officers, and the Air Force. Students at this level learn about the organization of the Air Force, officership, career opportunities, and the historical development of the Air Force. Once successfully completing the General Military Course, the next phase is the Professional Officers Corp. Students participate in ARSS 421 and ARSS 422 in lieu of the core curriculum physical education requirements.
Professional Officers Course (POC)
The Professional Officers Course is the second half of the AFROTC program, and entry is competitive. Students are selected to enter the POC based on their ability to maintain certain academic and physical standards. Those selected attend a four-week field-training encampment during the summer at the end of their sophomore or second year.
Candidates attend a five-week encampment. Field training must be successfully completed prior to acceptance into the Professional Officers Course for all cadets and candidates. Individuals accepted into the Professional Officers Course are considered officer candidates and are in line to be commissioned as second lieutenants into the United States Air Force. This portion of the program offers advanced training in leadership, management, and communication skills.
Professional Development Programs
The Air Force ROTC program provides numerous summer opportunities. Field training (taken prior to entering the Professional Officers Course) allows students to experience the Air Force environment. This experience includes career orientation, junior officer training, aircraft indoctrination, physical fitness, and familiarization with the organizations and functions of an Air Force base. Students are paid during their stay at field training.
In addition to the field-training program, several motivational programs are available to help cadets become more familiar with Air Force life and their desired career fields. These voluntary programs include:
- Air Force Academy Soaring Program (SOAR)
- Air Force Academy Basic Freefall Parachute Training (AFAFF)
- Operation Air Force (OAF)
- British Exchange (BREX)
- Pentagon Internship Program (PENT)
- Nurse Orientation Program (NOP)
- Army Airborne Training (AAT)
- Field Engineering and Research Lab (FERL)
- Combat Survival Training (CST)
- Foreign Language Immersion Program (FLI)
Students participating in these programs are financially compensated. During each academic year, the cadet corps also schedules field trips to various military installations.
AFROTC offers the opportunity for students attaining a 2.5 GPA or better to compete for three-year or two-year scholarships. These scholarships pay tuition, laboratory fees, textbooks and incidental fees. The recipient also receives a nontaxable stipend each month during the academic year. Four-year and three-year scholarships are offered to graduating high school seniors on a competitive basis. These scholarships also pay full tuition, lab fees, textbooks, incidental fees, and a nontaxable stipend each month. High school students should apply early in their senior year, 1 June to 1 December, for this scholarship.
AFROTC also offers a Pre-Health scholarship which pays for up to three years of undergraduate study and commits to paying for medical school once the recipient is accepted to an accredited school of medicine.
Degree and Eligibility Requirements
To be commissioned, students must earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree offered by the university. The Department of Aerospace Studies does not offer a degree, but accepts all university degrees. In a partnership arrangement, the university educates students and grants them degrees; the Department of Aerospace Studies ensures that graduated cadets have the knowledge and awareness to put their education and degrees to use within the Air Force.
Eligibility for the General Military Course (GMC) requires each student to enroll in the ARSS 111 (for freshmen students) or ARSS 211 (for sophomore and higher students) level course. During this period, students/cadets are evaluated on academic and corps activities, and compete for acceptance into the Professional Officers Course. Students entering the Professional Officers Course must accomplish the following:
- Be a U.S. citizen by enlistment date
- Be a full-time college student
- Have no history of asthma
- Have no history of drug abuse
- Be medically certified by Air Force medical personnel (arranged by the department)
- Minimum civil involvement (traffic tickets, etc)
- Pass physical fitness test prior to attending field training
- Be of good moral character and academic standing.
- Attain qualifying score on the Air Force Officers Qualification Test
- Successfully complete GMC classes and attend the four-week field-training encampment, or five-week field-training encampment for the two-year program candidates.