Air University Catalog
The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is the Air Force's largest and oldest commissioning program. Initially based on the Morrill Act of 1862 and the National Defense Act of 1916, the ROTC program underwent a major change with the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. This act, which eliminated compulsory ROTC at state land-grant colleges and universities, offered two- and four-year scholarships with a focus on academics and leadership. The Vitalization Act established the Junior ROTC program and paved the way for today's Air Force ROTC program. Air Force ROTC currently operates at 143 colleges and universities and has crosstown agreements at more than 850 other institutions. As of 31 October 1999, cadet enrollment was approximately 13,500 college students. Air Force ROTC's scholarship program includes more than 5,600 cadets and a scholarship budget of $39.0 million in fiscal year 1999.
Programs and Operations
Air Force ROTC offers both two- and four-year programs. The four-year program is divided into two phases: the General Military Course (GMC), which encompasses the freshman and sophomore years, and the Professional Officer Course (POC), which covers the junior and senior years. During the summer between their sophomore and junior years, GMC cadets attend a four-week field training camp to assess their potential as officers in a controlled environment. Cadets not enrolled in ROTC as freshmen or sophomores attend a five-week, summer field training camp. This five-week camp allows extra time for these cadets to gain the leadership skills that GMC cadets acquire in leadership laboratories (LLAB) during the first two years of ROTC. Students entering the two-year ROTC program also complete entry-level classroom work during this summer camp.
Air Force ROTC continues to institute initiatives to improve its program, retain students, and conserve resources. With the critical need to promote diversity in military and civilian aviation, Air Force ROTC partnered with the secretary of the Air Force's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Businesses to establish interest in and support for the Flight Awareness Summer Training (FAST) program to inspire and retain minority students. This program provides cadets at historically black colleges and universities and minority institutions the opportunity to receive aviation ground school instruction and primary flight instruction during their summer break.
A second initiative is the foreign language immersion program. This four-week program is designed for junior and senior cadets majoring in a foreign language. Cadets travel to the foreign country, live with local families, study at local universities, receive total language and cultural immersion, and commit to speaking only the language of study for the entire training period.
In an effort to save resources and standardize training, Air Force ROTC has initiated a program to consolidate field training--currently conducted at three locations--at two locations: Tyndall AFB, Florida, and Lackland AFB, Texas.
To retain cadets and provide flight experience, ROTC and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) instituted the Civil Air Patrol flight orientation program. This program puts ROTC cadets in CAP aircraft on regularly scheduled sorties, allowing CAP to make better use of its flying hours and giving ROTC cadets an opportunity to fly. In fiscal year 2000, approximately 2,000 ROTC cadets participated in the program, logging a total of nearly 3,500 sorties. Future plans call for a similar level of activity.
The main curriculum areas are leadership studies, profession of arms, military studies, and communications skills. Teaching methods include informal lecture, guided discussion, case studies, and field leadership activities (sports, group leadership problems, and the leadership reaction course).