Study Air Force (ROTC), Air Force (ROTC) Schools
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The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, better known as Air Force ROTC, is an education and training program now offered at most United States colleges and universities. The program is designed to provide men and women with the unique opportunity to become officers in the U.S. Air Force while completing their bachelor’s or master’s degree in their chosen field. The program’s main goal is to prepare students for positions of responsibility and increasing importance within the Air Force, while simultaneously enhancing their employment prospects once their service in the corps has been concluded. Air Force ROTC offers numerous programs and scholarships to eligible students, which can ultimately lead to an academic degree and a commission in the Air Force as a second lieutenant.
Air Force ROTC Program: Program Description
Perhaps the most attractive feature of the Air Force ROTC program is the number of functions it performs, serving as both a campus club and an academic and leadership academy all rolled into one. The program is divided into two main groups of students called cadets. In the initial two years of the program, cadets will be members of the General Military Course or GMC, while those in the final two years of the program become members of the Professional Officer Corp or POC. While most cadets begin the program as university freshmen, this is not mandatory, as there are many programs designed for upperclassmen and graduate students as well.
The Air Force ROTC program addresses three main areas: academic instruction, leadership and physical fitness. On the academic and leadership side, cadets must attend a one-hour class each week during the first two years, in which they’ll learn about the history of the Air Force and gain information with regard to being an officer. During the final two years of the program, a 3-hour weekly class is required, with instruction and training focused on the skills necessary to be an effective leader and supervisor and to learn the laws and policies that govern how Air Force decisions are made. These weekly sessions, which most universities count toward elective class requirements, are in addition to the coursework students will take while earning their bachelor or master’s degree.
All cadets are also required to participate in physical training or PT. Training sessions are typically held two to three times a week, depending on the institution, for 60 to 90 minutes in duration. The activities cadets will be asked to perform include stretching exercises, calisthenics and running, along with participation in group activities and sport teams. Most PT instructors tend to vary the type of exercise and the duration each week to ensure each cadet is receiving the optimum benefit from the sessions.
Following the initial two years of the Air Force ROTC program, students who opt to continue and pursue their commission must attend field training—a four to five week course in which they’ll hone their leadership skills and gain firsthand information about serving as an active duty officer in the Air Force.
Air Force ROTC is the perfect way to gain experience in your chosen field—experience that will translate to greater career prospects once your service has been concluded. Some of the career choices for which the Air Force ROTC program helps prepare students include space operations, engineering, medicine, nursing, and human resource positions, just to name a few, and there are even programs through which students can train to be Air Force, and later commercial pilots. With available scholarships, a wide range of academic opportunities and valuable field training, not only does the Air Force ROTC program train future leaders to serve as effective officers, it affords them the opportunity to earn an undergraduate and or graduate degree, one that will benefit them both in service life and as civilians.