Frequently Asked Questions
If I join Air Force ROTC, does that mean I am joining the military?
No. If you got a four-year scholarship from high school, then the first year of college is paid for, and you can quit at the end of your freshman year with no obligation. If you got a three-year scholarship from high school or college then you are not committed to the Air Force and Space Force until you accept your scholarship (usually in the fall of your sophomore year). If you did not get any scholarship, then you are not committed to joining the Air Force until you start your junior year of college. With Air Force ROTC, we provide you with lots of opportunities to see what the Air Force and Space Force is about before signing up. And while you are waiting, you are getting college out of the way and having a lot of fun.
What is the difference between Junior ROTC in high school and ROTC in college?
The mission of the high school Junior ROTC program is to build better citizens for America. The mission of the college ROTC program is to produce leaders for the Air Force and Space Force.
Do I have to be in Junior ROTC in high school to be eligible for ROTC in college?
No. In fact, the majority of students enrolled in college ROTC have never been involved in the Junior ROTC program.
Do I have to join Air Force ROTC as a freshman?
No. Any undergraduate student with three or more years remaining should be eligible. So if you are a second-semester freshman, a sophomore or otherwise and have at least three years remaining in your undergraduate studies, you are likely able to join the ROTC program.
Can I enroll if I did not take Air Force ROTC as a freshman?
Yes. You can dual enroll in Aerospace Studies 101 and Aerospace Studies 201.
Can I attend Air Force ROTC without a scholarship?
Yes, you can. Many of our students do not start with a scholarship but earn one eventually.
Are there any restrictions as to what students select as their academic major?
None at all. In fact, we encourage you to take a curriculum you are interested in and in which you have the capability to do well. Our main academic concern is that you maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) above 2.0 and attain your degree in the time period planned. The GPA requirements are different if you are applying for a scholarship and once you are on scholarship.
Can I pursue graduate education after I am commissioned?
The Air Force and Space Force is education-oriented and financially supports graduate studies. You can apply for the Air Force Institute of Technology to earn an advanced degree on full scholarship. Additionally, most bases have graduate college programs, and you may apply for the tuition assistance program that pays 100% of the tuition cost.
If I take Air Force ROTC classes, am I committed to military or government service once I join?
There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming an Air Force and Space Force officer. For these types of students, it is only another class. If you are interested in becoming an officer, there is no service commitment during the first two years of the Air Force ROTC program (the General Military Course) unless you have an Air Force ROTC scholarship. If you decide to stay and join the Professional Officer Course (POC); the last two years of the program), you will sign an allocation contract with the Air Force and Space Force and then incur a service obligation. For Air Force ROTC scholarship students, you are obligated once you have activated the scholarship and have entered your sophomore year.
Is the Four-Year Program more advantageous for students?
Yes, for the following reasons:
- It gives you more time to participate in Air Force ROTC without obligation, to gain experience and to decide whether you want to apply for the advanced program, the POC.
- You will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships if eligible.
- You can retake the Air Force Officer Qualification (AFOQT) test to improve your scores.
Do I have to wear a uniform to class every day?
The only time cadets are required to wear their uniform is during physical training on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and on the day of Leadership Lab, Wednesdays. Occasionally, during special events, you may be required to wear your uniform. Otherwise, wear whatever you want.
How much time do I have to spend with Air Force ROTC each week?
The only required time is during your Air Force ROTC classes, Leadership Lab and physical fitness training. (This equates to approximately five hours per week for freshmen and sophomores, eight hours per week for juniors and seniors.)
How much marching and drilling will I have to do?
Not as much as you think. Marching/drill is sometimes practiced during your squadron time at Leadership Laboratory. There are no mandatory drill sessions outside of LLAB.
Can I participate in intercollegiate athletics while a member of the Air Force ROTC program?
Yes. Generally, extracurricular campus activities and Air Force ROTC are perfectly compatible – as long as you do not overload yourself with extracurricular activities. A serious physical injury while participating in intercollegiate or intramural athletic activities may cause you to be un-enrolled from Air Force ROTC because of a change in your physical profile.
What is the commitment to the Air Force and Space Force upon graduation?
Most officers have a four-year commitment. For pilots it is 10 years after pilot training, and six years for combat systems officers after training. Air Battle Managers have a six-year commitment.
Do I have to become a pilot or combat systems officer?
No. The vast majority of Air Force and Space Force jobs do not involve flying at all. In the civilian world there are thousands of jobs and careers – doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, engineers, financial careers, food-service management – the list is endless. For almost every civilian out in the workforce, there is an Air Force and Space Force officer counterpart performing a similar job.
Must a student go on active duty in the Air Force and Space Force immediately following graduation and commissioning?
Not necessarily. You may request an educational delay if you desire to attend graduate school at your own expense before going on active duty. If approved, the Air Force and Space Force will postpone your active-duty tour. Delays are routinely provided if you select to attend dental or medical school. Scholarships also exist for students accepted to medical school.
Do I have to major in Aeronautical Science to become a pilot or combat systems officer?
No. Your academic major plays a minor role in pilot and combat systems officer selection. You can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or combat systems officer slot in Air Force ROTC. You can even be on an Air Force ROTC scholarship in an engineering or science major and compete on an equal basis for a flying position.
Will I be behind my fellow nonmilitary graduates after I complete my service obligation and decide to get out?
No. In fact, many companies prefer to hire former officers over new college graduates (even those with masters degrees). Your Air Force and Space Force experience, the management skills you have gained on active duty and your active-duty educational benefits can give you the competitive edge you need.