Air Force ROTC Program Overview
In addition to your normal college coursework, Air Force ROTC courses and hands-on leadership opportunities will complement your major and push you to make the most of your college life and your career.
Taught by a world-class military faculty and supplemented by distinguished speakers, Air Force ROTC classes bring policy and history to life. Classes take place in university classrooms at Parks College which is equipped with everything needed for learning in a comfortable and positive atmosphere. Computers and other helpful facilities are located at the Air Force ROTC detachment as well.
Freshman and sophomore cadets are only required to wear their uniforms on Wednesdays. Junior, and senior cadets wear their uniforms on their appointed class days as well. Occasional special events will also prompt the wear of the Air Force ROTC uniform. The rest of the time we look like every other college student.
Cadets enrolling in ROTC classes as university freshmen will be classified as AS 100 cadets, in reference to the AS 100 series of classes they will take. The freshman experience in ROTC is far different from the experience of first-year cadets at the service academies (such as the US Air Force Academy). ROTC does not have an “initiation” year where freshmen cadets are placed under severe restrictions. AS 100 cadets are instead expected to simply learn all they can about ROTC and the Air Force in order to make an informed decision about whether to continue in the program.
Sophomore year is a time of preparation and training. AS 200 cadets are preparing for Field Training within the Field Training Preparation (FTP) program. FTP is designed to prepare cadets to excel at Field Training (see below). Marching skills, military customs and courtesies, and uniform wear are brought to the level of excellence AS 200 cadets learn hands-on followership and leadership skills as they lead their peers - skills that will help them succeed both in the Air Force and in civilian life.
Cadets who enroll in ROTC with only three years left until graduation will be enrolled as members of the AS 200 class and participate in the FTP activities. Cadets pursuing a career in the medical corps will usually apply for their position during the winter of their sophomore year.
During the summer after their AS 200 year, cadets will be flown to Maxwell AFB, Alabama, to participate in field training. This rigorous four week program involves physical conditioning, weapons training and survival training. It is an opportunity to develop your skills as a leader and a team member. Cadets are evaluated on their ability to work together and succeed as a team.
Graduates of field training earn the privilege of wearing the historic “prop and wings” emblem on their uniform and enter the ranks of the Professional Officer Course (POC).
Following successful completion of field training, cadets will be placed in positions of leadership and responsibility within the cadet wing. AS 300 cadets are often assigned to manage the various projects and programs that enhance the experience of Det 207 cadets. Many AS 300 cadets will also serve as commanders of cadet flights (the equivalent of an army platoon), where they will be responsible for the training and preparation of up to a dozen cadets. Some AS 300 cadets also serve as executive officers of the wing commander and the group commanders, as squadron commanders (supervising two flights), and other various assignments.
Cadets pursuing a career as a pilot, combat systems officer/navigator, or air battle manager will usually apply for these positions during the winter of their junior year.
AS 400 cadets prepare for commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force by serving as the senior leadership of the cadet wing. The wing commander, his vice commander, and most of the group and squadron commanders are selected from the ranks of the AS 400 class. AS 400s may also serve as program/project managers and flight commanders. In all of these positions, the AS 400s hold a mentorship role as they help the AS 300s to develop their leadership qualities by exemplifying the fully-developed officer candidate.
Cadets who have not already been selected for a career field in medicine or flying will apply for their desired career field during their AS 400 year.
Fifth Year (If Applicable)
Cadets requiring a fifth year to complete their major may choose, with AFROTC approval, to delay their commissioning in order to study for one additional year. During this fifth year, they are not active participants in the ROTC curriculum. They do not enroll in any academic ROTC courses, and are not required to attend all physical training and leadership lab sessions. Fifth year cadets retain their POC rank, but do not hold leadership positions within the cadet wing.