AU Shield

Air University Catalog 

Squadron Officer College  
Squadron Officer School  
Col David L. Fundarek, Commander  
Lt Col Kenneth Lynn, Vice Commander  
http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/sos/
  

Squadron Officer School (SOS) is the second course in the Air Force officer professional military education system. The school traces its roots to the Air Tactical School founded in 1946 at Maxwell Field, Alabama. SOS became an arm of Air Command and Staff College in 1950 when the tactical school closed. Col Russell V. Ritchey, founder and first commandant, opened the Squadron Officer Course--the real beginning of SOS--at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, that same year. In 1959 SOS became a separate Air University school reporting directly to the Air University commander.

SOS helps officers grow professionally. While at SOS, officers step out of their specialties and broaden their focus on officership, the Air Force's core values, and the Air Force as an institution in the profession of arms. Students strengthen their officership and leadership techniques and apply what they learn in class and field exercises.

SOS not only provides students with an opportunity to see how their leadership skills influence group success, but also to experience the other side of leadership-followership-in support of other student leaders. Followership includes taking risks, working to get others involved in activities, and constructively dissenting when the team or leader is headed in the wrong direction. The SOS experience helps students refine their written and oral communication skills, and lays the foundation of air and space power knowledge.

Mission: Develop dynamic leaders rededicated to the profession of arms.

Goals: Students will value their unique roles as Air Force officers; improve their ability to lead, follow, and build military teams; and develop the foundation for critical thinking about air and space power.

Resident Curriculum

The heart of SOS is officership, an area concentrating on core values and the unique role of commissioned officers in the profession of arms. SOS has designated this area as officership values. Officership values, along with officership applications combine to teach students leadership and follower-ship principles and how to build military teams through various readings, seminars, and team-building exercises. These activities challenge each flight of 13 students to apply newly learned principles successfully and influence group dynamics, cohesion, and effectiveness in a positive manner. The SOS communication skills area enables students to hone their briefing and writing skills.

SOS brings air and space power concepts to the students through various lessons culminating in a state-of-the-art computerized war game, Operation Atlantis. The students improve their knowledge of the Air Force and its mission through multiple readings and lectures by air and space power experts. In Operation Atlantis, students serve in air operations centers. Here students get an opportunity to build and execute an air campaign while further applying the principles of leadership, communication skills, and teambuilding.

SOS presents these areas concurrently, rather than sequentially, to emphasize their close interrelationship. Together, these areas help officers improve professionally so they can better apply their knowledge as warrior-leaders to accomplish the Air Force mission.

Duration and Quota. Squadron Officer School conducts seven classes a year. Each class has approximately 520 students and lasts five weeks.

Prerequisites and Selection. Captains with at least four and less than seven years of total active federal commissioned service, who are not in a failed or deferred promotion status, are eligible to attend SOS. Department of Defense (DOD) civilians in the grade of GS-9 and above with at least four years of continuous civil service are eligible. See Air Force Catalog 36-2223, USAF Formal Schools, for additional information.

Curriculum Summary

Curriculum Area Academic Hours
Area 1: Officership Values 28.50
Area 2: Officership Application 76.00
Area 3: Leadership Tools 37.50
Area 4: Air and Space Power 19.75
TOTAL 161.75

Nonresident Program

The SOS Nonresident Program 24 (book version) and Program 25 (CD-ROM version) consist of four courses: 24A/25A, Officership; 24B/25B, Staff Communications; 24C/25C, Leadership; and 24D/25D, Force Employment. Under normal circumstances, students must complete the entire program within 18 months.

The SOS Nonresident Program topically presents similar material to the resident curriculum and is administered by the Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex. Captains (O-3) or above and selected DOD civilians in the grade of GS-9 or above are eligible to enroll in the program. See the Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Catalog (available on the World Wide Web-(http://www.maxwell.af.mil/ au/afiadl/curriculum/catalog/cattoc_fr.htm) for detailed course description and eligibility criteria.

Academic Credit

Resident Program. The Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials of the American Council on Education recommends awarding the following academic credits for completing SOS in residence:

Graduate Credit. Students are awarded three semester hours in leadership/managerial human relations.

Upper-Division Baccalaureate Credit. Students are awarded three semester hours in managerial communications and three semester hours in national security studies and military strategy.

Nonresident Program. The Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials of the American Council on Education recommends the following academic credits for completing the SOS nonresident course:

Upper-Division Baccalaureate Credit. Students are awarded three semester hours in managerial communications and three semester hours in national security studies and military strategy.



Previous Page    Back to Index    Next Page
Please read this privacy and security notice   Freedom of Information Act
This Site Maintained by MSD/ITSW
Maxwell/Webmaster | (334) 953-2622 | DSN 493-2622
Contents of this Web site Reviewed and Approved by AU/PA
For updates to the AU Catalog, contact Tom Lobenstein (OAS/PRB) at (334) 953-6452 or DSN 493-6452