A Pathway to Becoming an Officer and Service
There is several paths to an Air or Space Force commission for college students through Air Force ROTC. The main route is typically a four-year program while earning an undergraduate degree; however, some variations do exist in certain circumstances. Students attend AFROTC classes along with other college courses and normally receive elective academic credit.
After successfully completing undergraduate degree requirements and meeting AFROTC program objectives, the cadets are commissioned as Air Force officers with a four-year minimum active-duty service commitment. Specific career fields have longer commitments upon completion of specialized training.
The first two years of the four-year program, the General Military Course, consist of one hour of classroom work, two hours of Leadership Laboratory and two hours physical training each week. The courses are focused on learning the basics of the military and introducing the topics of leadership and followership. While completing the first two years 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 Professional Officer Course selection system. This system uses qualitative factors such as GPA, instructor evaluations, standardized testing, and physical fitness test scores to determine a student’s officer potential. After selection, students must successfully complete Field Training unit at Maxwell AFB before entering the course.
In the Professional Officer Course, cadets attend class for three hours a week, plan and execute a two-hour Leadership Laboratory, and perform two hours of physical training weekly. Cadets apply what they have learned in the General Military Course and at Field Training. Cadets conduct the Leadership Laboratory and manage the unit’s cadet corps as they learn and teach alongside their fellow cadets. Each unit has a cadet corps based on the Air Force organizational pattern of flight, squadron, group, and wing. Classes are small with emphasis on group discussions and cadet presentations. Classroom topics include leadership, communication skills, and national defense policy.
While the typical track to commission is four years, some variations can be worked on a case-by-case basis. The most common track other than the traditional four-year plan is the three-year program. The condensed plan requires dual enrollment for the General Military Course academic classes, so there will be an increased academic course load during that first year in the program. Please contact us for further details to see if we can work out a track that will meet your situation.
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 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 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 an American Bar Association-accredited law school, the student must be admitted to practice law before the highest state court of any state or 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.