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 or master’s degree. The mission of Air Force ROTC is to develop quality leaders for the Air Force. As the largest source of 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 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.
Students usually attend summer field training prior to their junior year, before elevation into the POC. Field training is a four week encampment. Entrance into the POC is based on an extensive evaluation and selection process during the student’s sophomore year. Selections are based on the “whole person” concept, which considers the results of an Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, a military physical examination, university grade point averages, and physical fitness performance, among other factors.
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 can 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 also members of the POC. Students who receive an AFROTC scholarship also receive an annual $2,000 supplement from Missouri S&T.
Air Force ROTC cadets’ first extended exposure to a military environment comes with a Field Training Unit, usually at the end of the sophomore year. The cadets get a close look at Air Force life and activities and the Air Force simultaneously takes a close look at the cadets.
These FTUs include cadet orientation, junior officer training, physical training, organization and functions of an Air Force base, career orientation, drill and ceremony, small arms familiarization, and supplemental training.
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.
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 navigator candidates must be no older than 29 at commissioning; other age restrictions may apply for non-rated commissionees.
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.
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 selected Air Force career field. Pilots incur a ten-year active duty service commitment after completing undergraduate pilot training. Navigators incur an eight-year active duty service commitment after completing undergraduate navigator training. Aircraft Battle Management Officers incur a six-year active duty service commitment after completing ABM Training.
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 design, research, engineering, systems development, space operations, computer science, procurement, flying, management, acquisition, 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 one of the 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/.