Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps: Wikis

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Air Force ROTC emblem

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is one of the three commissioning sources for officers in the United States Air Force (the other two being the Air Force Academy and Officer Training School). It is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force.[1] AFROTC's stated mission is to produce quality leaders for the U.S. Air Force. AFROTC units are located on 144 college and university campuses with 984 additional institutions participating in cross-town agreements that allow their students to attend AFROTC classes at a nearby host school.[1] According to AFOATS HQ, in 2006, AFROTC commissioned 2,083 Second Lieutenants, with AFROTC enrollment ranging from 23,605 in 1985 to 10,231 in 1993, and around 13,000 enrolled today.

AFROTC units are called "detachments." Within the detachments the students are organized into wings, groups, squadrons, and flights, mirroring the active-duty wing structure.[2] Furthermore, the cadet wing is separated into two divisions: General Military Course (GMC) consisting of the first two-years of training and the Professional Officer Course (POC) consisting of the last two-years of training.[3] The AFROTC program is divided into two sections: Academic Classroom Program (Aerospace Studies classes) and Cadet Activities (ie Leadership Laboratory, Physical Training, and other training).

Contents

Aerospace Studies (AS)

Aerospace Studies (AS) classes are the academic portion of AFROTC. The General Military Course (GMC) is a two-year course, consisting of AS100 and AS200 cadets, designed to motivate and prepare cadets for entry into the Professional Officer Course (POC). Each AS100 and AS200 course is designed as a weekly, one academic-hour course. The POC is a two-year course, consisting of AS300 and AS400, designed to prepare cadets for active duty as Air Force officers. Each course in the POC is designed as a weekly, three academic-hour course.[4] Specific topics covered in the AS classes are as follows:

AS100 - Foundations of the Air Force: Structure and missions of Air Force organizations, officership, and professionalism. Introduction to communication skills.
AS200 - The Evolution of Aerospace Studies: Beginnings of manned flight and development of aerospace power from WWI to current operations.
AS300 - Leadership Studies: Anatomy of leadership, role of discipline in leadership situations, and the variable affecting leadership. Case studies and practical application in Leadership Laboratory (LLAB).
AS400 - National Security Studies and Preparation for Active Duty: The role of the professional military leaders in a democratic society, international developments on strategic preparedness, and active-duty assignment preparation.[5]

Leadership Laboratory (LLAB)

Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) is a weekly 1-2 hour pass/fail class that trains and prepares cadets for Field Training (FT), develop leadership skills, and promote Espirit de Corps among all cadets. At some universities, credit hours may be given for completing LLAB. For GMC cadets, LLAB provides new cadets with basic skills and knowledge to be a functional member of the cadet corps, prepares them in Warrior Knowledge and Drill and Ceremonies (marching), and teaches leadership, followership, and teamwork skills. For POC cadets, LLAB furthers leadership and followership skills learned at FT by planning and implementing the activities under the supervision of the active-duty cadre.[4]

Specific LLAB activities are determined by the detachments themselves and thus vary across the nation. Some specific activities include: Trips to Air Force bases, Field Days, physical fitness tests and competitions, Drill and Ceremonies, leadership building exercises, and Air Force officer career days.[6]

Cadet Organization

AFROTC classifies cadets into the following basic categories of training with respect to Field Training attendance and commissioning:[4][7]

Initial Military Training (IMT): Cadets who are part of the GMC but are not scheduled to attend FT. Normally AS100 cadets.
Field Training Preparation (FTP): Cadets scheduled to attend FT in the upcoming summer. Normally AS200 cadets, or if dual-enrolled in AS100 and AS200 classes, AS250 cadets.
Intermediate Cadet Leader (ICL): Cadets who have successfully completed FT but are not scheduled to commission in the upcoming year. Normally AS300 cadets.
Senior Cadet Leader (SCL): Cadets who have satisfactorily completed FT and are scheduled to be commissioned in the upcoming year. Normally AS400 cadets.
Extended Cadet Leader (ECL): Cadets who have completed the AFROTC curriculum but need additional time to complete their academic degree. Normally AS700 cadets.

Detachments organize cadets after the active-duty wing structure to the best of their ability, compensating for variable sizes and circumstances. GMC cadets participate as the underclassmen while the POC cadets participate as the upperclassmen. POC cadets have completed Field Training and are assigned leadership positions in the corps. Cadets are classified and assigned rank commensurate with their position and level of responsibility within the cadet wing and with respect to FT completion.[8]

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Cadet Airmen

Cadet Airmen are all cadets who have not satisfactorily completed Field Training. Cadet Airmen are members of the GMC. AS100 IMT cadets hold the Cadet Fourth Class (C/4C) rank while AS200 FTP cadets hold Cadet Third Class Rank (C/3C). Cadet Airmen are not committed to joining the Air Force unless on AFROTC scholarship.[9] If contracted, AS100 cadets receive a monthly stipend of $300 while AS200 cadets receive $350.[8][10]

Cadet Officers

Cadet Officers, AS300 (ICL), AS400 (SCL), and AS700 (ECL), are cadets who have satisfactorily completed FT. Cadet officers are members of the POC. Cadet officers wear cadet officer rank (Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2d Lt) - Cadet Colonel (C/Col)). Unlike the Air Force Academy, for juniors and seniors there is no rank of Cadet Second Class or Cadet First Class, respectively. Cadet officers are committed to joining the Air Force upon completion of their academic degree. As contracted cadets, AS300 cadets receive a monthly stipend of $450 while AS400 cadets receive $500.[10] POC cadets are required to meet height and weight standards, pass the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) each academic semester, and meet a minimum cumulative and term GPA requirement of 2.50. Repeatedly failing to meet the standards may result in disenrollement from AFROTC. All POC cadets also must hold at least one leadership position (as designated by the Commandant of Cadets (COC)) within the cadet wing.[8]

In some cases, students with academic requirements that exceed four years (usually engineers and other technical majors) continue the AFROTC program for additional semesters as needed. During these additional years these cadets (AS700) are only minimally required to participate in LLAB and maintain retention standards.[8] It is important to note that this is not the case for schools with co-op programs that entail a total of four years of classes and one year of cooperative experience. In these cases the cadets are classified as AS300's their first POC year and AS400's their second and third POC years. The cadets will not attend aerospace classes, Physical Training, or Leadership Lab during their co-op blocks (they will be on Periods of Non-Attendance) and otherwise complete the program like any four-year major.[8]

Cadet Wing

The cadet wing is organized to mirror the active-duty wing structure and is comprised of AFROTC cadets. Cadet rank is determined by the positions and levels of responsibility in which they hold. Cadet wings strive to include positions similar to those found in active-duty wings but additional positions may be added at the discretion of the COC. Each wing is headed by a Cadet Colonel and has subsequent groups, squadrons, and flights. The only position that is directly appointed by the Detachment Cadre is the Cadet Wing Commander (Cadet Colonel), who is interviewed with the other applicants for the position. Cadet officers rotate positions each semester and cannot hold the same position for two consecutive periods without approval. Cadets returning from Field Training may not hold a rank above Cadet Captain (C/Capt) until one semester as POC has been completed. Cadet officers are required to serve at least one term in a leadership position. Leadership positions include wing, group, squadron, and flight positions and others named by the COC.[8]

Cadet Fourth Class C/4C 4thC.svg AS100
Cadet Third Class C/3C 3rdC.svg AS200
Cadet Second Lieutenant C/2d Lt 2lt.svg
Cadet First Lieutenant C/1st Lt 1lt.svg
Cadet Captain C/Capt Capt.svg
Cadet Major C/Maj Maj.svg
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel C/Lt Col Ltcol.svg
Cadet Colonel C/Col Col.svg

Physical Training (PT)

Cadets are required to take part in Physical Training (PT) at least twice per week each semester. Whether PT is counted as a school credit or not, attendance at PT (at least 80%) is required to pass Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). As a prerequisite, cadets must have a certified DoD physical or a sports physical on file at the detachment and must complete an AFROTC Physical Health Screening Questionnaire. Before the beginning of exercises, cadets receive a safety briefing on the "importance of hydration, heat stress disorders, and prompt reporting of any problems to a cadre member."[11]

Under the supervision of qualified cadre, the PT program is organized and lead by AS300 and AS400 cadets.[11] PT activities at detachments may vary from sports games, Field Training Preparation training exercises, cardio and muscular strength exercises. Every PT session begins by forming up as a Wing and stretching.

The Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) is taken by each cadet each semester and is formatted after the active-duty Air Force's PFA. The PFA is the primary instrument for evaluating the fitness level of each cadet. It is structured to assess the muscular endurance of specific muscle groups and the functional capacity of the cardiovascular system.[12] Contracted cadets (ie those on scholarship/receiving stipend) must pass the PFA. Contracted cadets that fail the PFA are subject to discipline. Two consecutive failures can result in dismissal from the program. Non-contracted cadets must attempt the PFA each semester. Within 72 hours of taking the PFA, cadets have their height, waist, and weight measured to calculate body mass index (BMI). The PFA consists of the BMI measurement, one minute of push-ups, one minute of sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. Maximum points for each area is 30 for BMI, 10 for push-ups, 10 for crunches, and 50 for the 1.5 mile run. Cadets must have at least a composite score of 75 to pass the PFA.[13]

Field Training (FT)

Field Training (FT) is a twenty-eight day[14] training program that takes place the summer before cadets enter the POC. For cadets who have not completed the AS-100 and AS-200 years prior to Field Training, an additional week is added at the beginning for academic classes. Completion of this boot camp-style training is a mandatory program for all individuals qualified to pursue an Air Force commission through AFROTC.[15] 2008 marks the first year that all AFROTC Field Training Units (FTU) are held at Maxwell AFB.[16] The Field Training program is designed to evaluate military leadership and discipline, determine the cadet's potential for entry into the Professional Officer Course (POC), and to stratify cadets amongst their peers.[15] Cadets that have been in the program for less than one year attend the longer encampment. This encampment consists of one week of academics. Cadets stay at a facility off-base and attend daily classes that cover material from the AS100 and AS200 courses. Cadets also engage in limited D&C practice and physical training. Cadets that pass a final written exam continue on to the rest of Field Training.

Field Training is split up into three sections: In-Garrison (13 days), Blue Thunder (2 days), and Joint Forces Training Center (JFTC, at Camp Shelby) (13 days) focusing on academics/D&C, expeditionary skills training (EST), and deployment, respectively.[17][18]

Field Training is headed by a colonel and a staff of approximately 55 active duty officers, non-commissioned officers, and cadet training assistants (CTA). 14 consist of the senior staff, 18 are Flight Training Officers (FTO, active duty officers typically assigned to an AFROTC Detachment), and 23 CTAs.[19][20] "CTAs are POC cadets selected, based on their FT performance and overall cadet record, to return to Field Training as assistants to active duty staff members."[21] There is one FTO and one Flight CTA assigned to each flight. Traditional CTAs include Group, Drill & Ceremonies, Physical Training, Public Affairs, and Standardization CTAs.[21] The JFTC staff consists of approximately 15 officers and NCOs dedicated to two encampments at a time.[17]

While in garrison, cadets are organized into flights of approximately 20 cadets, with two flights per squadron, and up to eight squadrons per group.[22] While at JFTC, cadets are organized as a wing consisting of two groups with three squadrons of three flights each.[17]

A typical in-garrison schedule is as follows: reveille, physical training, breakfast, various morning activities (inspections, drill & ceremonies, etc.), lunch, afternoon activities (briefings, group leadership problems (GLP), etc.), retreat, dinner, evening activities (physical training, FTO initiated activities, etc.), call to quarters, and lights out.[23] Training at Blue Thunder consists of hand-to-hand combatives, unit tactics, and various GLPs. Training at JFTC consists of various missions and scenarios throughout the day to include convoy training, close combat training, M16 familiarization, and other deployment skills as described in the Airman's Manual.[17][24]

In each flight, cadets are ranked from first to last. The top 10% earn the distinction of "Distinguished Graduate", and the next 10% "Superior Performer".[25] All cadets are ranked in one of three divisions in their respective flight: top, middle, or bottom third. The USAA (United Services Automobile Association) "Top Gun" award acknowledges the highest performing cadet in each flight. Various other awards are given for excelling at physical fitness, marksmanship, academics (extended FTU), and warrior spirit.[26]

Cadets' rankings depend on the following criteria:

  • Preparation for Field Training
  • Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)
  • Leadership skills
  • Professional qualities
  • Communication skills
  • Judgment/decision making skills
  • Warrior Ethos[17]

Only the active duty officers evaluate and stratify the cadets. CTAs often give input but never officially evaluate cadets.[17] Those cadets recommended for CTA duty have the option to apply to become CTAs the following year.

Career (AFSC) Selection

General AFSCs

Generally speaking, most cadets will apply for their Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC), which is their career field, towards the end of their first semester in their AS 300 (junior) year. They can apply for six career fields, to not include rated (ie, Pilot, CSO/Nav, ABM) slots, such as Intelligence, Space/Missiles, Security Forces, etc. The applicants will be notified of their new AFSCs during the following semester. Base assignment for these AFSCs will not happen until midway through their first semester of their final year in school.

Rated Candidates

Cadets applying for rated slots, such as Pilot, Navigator/Combat Systems Officer (CSO), and Air Battle Manager (ABM), will have the opportunity to apply towards the end of their first semester of their second-to-last year (generally, 1st sem. of academic junior year). These candidates will also be notified of their backup AFSC (Ie, Intel, Space/Missiles, etc) at the same time as all other cadets who'd applied for non-rated AFSCs. However, before candidates are eligible to apply, they must be medically qualified for their selection. There are different medical standards for pilots, CSOs, and ABMs, respectively, with pilot medical clearance being the most stringent. The pilot candidates must also take the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) to determine the component score of the PCSM rating. The PCSM rating is a component of the Order of Merit, which allows the USAF to rank-order every single candidate in AFROTC, and determine who gets what slot. Once the requirements are met for application, the candidates can apply at this time for Euro Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT), which will take the top 9-10% of the pilot candidates that wished to partake. This is based solely off the Order of Merit scores and rank-order. Rated candidates will be notified of their rated selection or denial during their second semester of their junior year. Base assignments, including ENJJPT assignment, will be given midway through their first semester of the last year in college. Those cadets who were selected for rated slots are then allowed to wear a flight suit during specified LLABs where BDUs are the UOD, unless otherwise noted by the Cadet Wing Commander. Once selected, the pilot selected cadets will contract with the USAF for 10 years, the CSOs and ABMs will contract for 6 years, while all other AFSCs will contract for 4 years after commissioning.[27] The pilot candidates will also have to undergo a Flying Class I physical at Brooks City Base in San Antonio, Texas during the first semester of their last year. This is the most stringent physical exam given by the USAF. Pilot and Special Forces are the most commonly required career fields to undergo this exam before training and deployment.

Ribbons

AFROTC ribbons are awarded for many various achievements. The complete list is below as per AFROTCVA 36-3, May 4.

AFROTC Ribbons

Notable Air Force ROTC graduates

Resources

See also

References

  1. ^ a b AFOATS Dec 2006 Fact Sheet
  2. ^ AFROTCI 36-2017, p29, 2004
  3. ^ AFROTCI 36-2017, p14, 2004
  4. ^ a b c AFROTCI 36-2017 - AFROTC Program
  5. ^ U.S. Air Force ROTC - Course Descriptions
  6. ^ AFROTC Leadership Laboratory
  7. ^ T-508 - Leadership Laboratory Curriculum Handbook
  8. ^ a b c d e f AFROTCI 36-2017 AFROTC Program
  9. ^ AFROTC General Questions
  10. ^ a b AFROTC Scholarship FAQs
  11. ^ a b AFROTCMAN 36-201
  12. ^ AFROTCMAN 36-202 Physical Training
  13. ^ HQ AFROTC/CC Memoradum. ARMS-AFROTC-08-022 - Changes to AFROTC PT Requirements. 8 Dec 2007.
  14. ^ 2008 FTU Master Schedule
  15. ^ a b AFOATS T-203, p9, 2008
  16. ^ Officials move ROTC field training to Maxwell
  17. ^ a b c d e f IST Maxwell 1 2008
  18. ^ First wave of ROTC field training gets underway
  19. ^ U.S. Air Force ROTC - Summer Experiences: Cadet Training Assistant
  20. ^ AFOATS T-203, p9-10, 2008
  21. ^ a b AFOATS T-203, p10, 2008
  22. ^ AFOATS T-203, fig. 1-1, 2008
  23. ^ AFOATS T-203, p44, 2008
  24. ^ AFMAN 10-100
  25. ^ AFOATS T-203, p93, 2008
  26. ^ AFOATS T-203, p93-94, 2008
  27. ^ Air Force ROTC Website - Service Committments

External links


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