Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC)

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is an educational program designed to give young men and women the opportunity to become Air Force officers while completing a bachelor’s degree. The mission of Air Force ROTC is to develop quality leaders for the Air Force. As the largest commissioning source for Air Force officers, AFROTC prepares officer candidates to assume positions of increasing responsibility and importance in today’s Air Force. Leadership, communication, and basic military skills are the focus of the AFROTC program. In addition to helping students succeed during college, AFROTC also fosters self-confidence and self-discipline.

The Program

The AFROTC program at Missouri S&T is a four year program. However, some students may choose a three and a half or three year course of study, determined by personal circumstances. The first two years of the program, called the General Military Course (GMC), cover basic introductory military topics as well as communication and leadership. Each GMC class is a one-hour course. Students can enroll in the GMC by registering for Aerospace Studies just as they register for any other university course. There is absolutely no obligation incurred for service in the Air Force for taking GMC courses, unless the student has an active AFROTC scholarship.

The final two years of the program, called the Professional Officer Course (POC), cover topics such as leadership, management, doctrine, international events, quality, communication, and officership. Each POC class is a three-hour course. In addition to the academic GMC/POC ROTC class, all cadets attend a two hour leadership laboratory and two hours of physical training each week. Leadership laboratory provides cadets with the knowledge and practical command and staff leadership experience in preparation for active duty as Air Force officers. It is largely cadet planned, directed, and centered.

Scholarships

Students do not have to be on a scholarship to complete our program and be an Air Force officer. However, an Air Force ROTC Scholarship may include all tuition costs, incidental and lab fees, and a flat rate for text books. A monthly stipend is given during the academic year to each cadet on scholarship and contracted members of the POC. Students who receive an AFROTC scholarship also receive an annual supplemental scholarship from Missouri S&T.

Leadership Evaluation, Assessment, and Development

Air Force ROTC cadets’ first extended exposure to a military environment comes during the Leadership Evaluation, Assessment, and Development (LEAD) course. Cadets usually attend LEAD the summer between their sophomore and junior year, before elevation into the POC. Selection is based on the "whole person" concept, which considers the results of an Air Force Office Qualifying Test, a military physical examination, cumulative grade point average (college), and physical fitness performance.

LEAD is a four week encampment. The cadets get a close look at Air Force life and activities and the Air Force simultaneously takes a close look at the cadets. LEAD includes cadet orientation, junior officer training, physical training, organization and functions of an Air Force base, career orientation, frill and ceremony, small arms familiarization, and supplemental training.

Graduate Study

The Air Force realizes there is an increasing demand for graduate education among its personnel and has established several programs to provide this training. The Air Force Institute of Technology is available to AFROTC graduates and offers advanced degree training in college curricula that are related to Air Force career fields, including engineering, meteorology, the physical sciences, mathematics, languages, logistics, and business administration.

Qualifications

All students who desire to enter Air Fore ROTC must be citizens of the United States, be of sound physical condition, and be of the highest moral character. Pilot and combat system operator candidates must be no older than 29 at commissioning; other age restrictions may apply for non-rated commissionees.

Physical Requirements

Detailed information on physical requirements is available at the detachment on campus located on the second floor of Harris Hall, or at www.afrotc.com.

Military Obligation

Upon graduation and commissioning as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, students fulfill their military obligation by agreeing to retain their commission for a period of eight years, serving at least four years on active duty, depending on their assigned Air Force career field. Pilots incur a ten-year active duty service commitment after completing undergraduate pilot training. Combat system operators incur an eight-year active duty service commitment after completing undergraduate navigator training. Aircraft Battle Management Officers and Remote Pilot Aircraft operators incur a six-year active duty service commitment after completing training.

Opportunities

Opportunities in the Air Force are excellent, with over 100 possible career fields available. Career field availability depends on academic discipline, medical condition, desires of the individual, and needs of the Air Force. As newly commissioned Second Lieutenants on active duty, Air Force ROTC graduates can serve rewarding duties in highly technical, scientific, and operational areas such as developmental engineer, pilot, combat system operator, remote pilot, scientist, cyber operations, intelligence operations, space operations, civil engineer, combat control officer, acquisitions, and maintenance.

The Corps of Cadets

The Air Force ROTC unit at Missouri S&T is organized as an objective wing, with associated groups, squadrons, and flights. Freshmen and sophomore cadets are assigned to flights. They receive instructions from POC cadets in basic military customs and courtesies, drill movements, and many other facets of Air Force operations. Additionally, they are offered the opportunity to visit Air Force bases and discuss career opportunities with Air Force members. Junior and senior cadets are assigned and rotated through various leadership positions, gaining experience in management procedures.

If you are interested in the Air Force ROTC program here at Missouri S&T or have any questions, please call or visit the detachment. We are on the second floor of Harris Hall. Our phone number is 573-341-4925, or you can also find us at http://afrotc.mst.edu/.