Career - US Air Force Specialty Code Selection

General AFSCs

Generally speaking, most cadets will apply for their initial AFSC career field towards the end of their first semester in their AS 300 (junior) year. AFROTC cadets can apply for various career fields, to include aeronautically rated Pilot, Navigator/Combat Systems Officer and Air Battle Manager (ABM) slots, as well as non-rated slots such as Missile Operations or Missile Maintenance, Space Operations, Intelligence, Aircraft Maintenance, Meteorology, Civil Engineering, Security Forces, Admin/Personnel, etc. Cadets will be notified of their prospective AFSCs during the following semester. Base of assignment for these AFSCs will not happen until midway through their first semester of their final year in school.

Rated Candidates

Cadets applying for rated slots, such as Pilot, Navigator / Combat Systems Officer (CSO), and Air Battle Manager (ABM), will have the opportunity to apply no later than towards the end of the first semester of their second-to-last year (generally, the 1st semester of the academic junior year). These candidates will also be notified of their alternate AFSC (i.e., Intel, Space, Missiles, etc.) at the same time as all other cadets who applied for non-rated AFSCs. However, before candidates are eligible to apply for aeronautically rated positions, they must be medically qualified for their selection. There are different medical standards for pilots, nav/CSOs, and ABMs, respectively, with undergraduate pilot training medical requirements, primarily uncorrected eyesight, being the most stringent. Like OTS candidates, all AFROTC cadets must take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) prior to going on contract. The AFOQT contains Pilot and Navigator sections for prospective pilots and navs/CSOs. The pilot candidates must also take the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) to determine the component score of the Pilot Candidate Selection Model (PCSM) rating. The PCSM rating is a component of the Order of Merit, which allows the USAF to rank-order every single pilot candidate in AFROTC, and determine who gets what undergraduate pilot training (UPT) slot. Once the requirements are met for application, the candidates can apply at this time for Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB, Texas, which will take the top 9-10% of the pilot candidates that wish to pursue ENJJPT in lieu of traditional Specialized UPT at Columbus AFB, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; and Vance AFB, Oklahoma; or Undergraduate Helicopter Pilot Training (UHT) at Fort Rucker, Alabama. ENJJPT selection is based solely off the Order of Merit scores and rank-order.

Aeronautically rated candidates will be notified of their rated selection or denial during their second semester of their junior year. Base assignments, including ENJJPT assignment, will be given midway through their first semester of the last year in college. Those cadets who were selected for rated slots are then allowed to wear a flight suit during specified LLABs where the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) or the woodland camoflauge Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) is the Uniform of the Day, unless otherwise noted by the Cadet Wing Commander or Cadet Group Commander. Once selected, pilot-selected cadets will contract with the USAF for 10 years of active duty USAF service following completion of flight training, nav/CSO-selected and ABM-selected cadets will contract for 6 years of active duty following flight training, while cadets in all other AFSCs will contract for 4 years after commissioning.

Pilot candidates also undergo a Flying Class I physical and navigator/CSO cadidates a Flying Class IA physical during the first semester of their last year. These are the most stringent physical exams given by the USAF. ABM candidates will undergo a Flying Class III physical exam.

Flight Indoctrination Program (FIP)

Prior to 1991, AFROTC also conducted a Flight Instruction Program (FIP) parallel to the Pilot Indoctrination Program (PIP) at USAFA. Although often touted as a means for AFROTC cadets to earn a free FAA Private Pilot Certificate while in college, the actual intent of the program was to provide an additional flight training screening process for prospective USAF pilot candidates. In AFROTC, FIP consisted of two blocks, the first being a private pilot ground school course taught by an aeronautically rated USAF officer assigned to the AFROTC detachment's cadre. The ground school course was also given an AS400 series designation and open to all AFROTC cadets in their senior year regardless of selection or non-selection for USAF undergraduate pilot training. Cadets who had prior civilian flight training and/or civilian pilot certifications could also enroll in the FIP ground school and the course was also offered as option for Army ROTC cadets, Naval ROTC (NROTC) midshipmen on both Navy and Marine Corps commissioning tracks, Naval Aviation Reserve Officer Candidates (AVROC) and Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class-Air (Marine PLC-Air) officer candidates slated for flight training in their respective services following graduation.

The flying portion of FIP was typically conducted by civilian instructors under USAF contract at a nearby civilian airport, normally employing light general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna 150 / Cessna 152 series, Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee, or other similar aircraft. Since FIP was designed as a washout/attrition device, AFROTC cadets who already held an FAA Private Pilot's Certificate or greater were not eligible for any actual flight time via FIP. Those cadets without prior flight experience initially received 38 flight hours, but post-Vietnam War defense cutbacks in the mid-1970s resulted in FIP being reduced to a "safe for solo" program with 25 hours of funded flight time. FIP was discontinued in 1991 when it was replaced by the single-site Enhanced Flight Screening Program (EFSP) at Hondo, Texas.

Initial Flight Screening (IFS) and Navigator Introductory Flight Training (NIFT)

With the demise of FIP and PIP in 1991, the 12th Flying Training Wing (12 FTW) at Randolph AFB, Texas initially assumed responsibility for the Enhanced Flight Screening Program (EFSP) of all candidates for UPT from all USAF commissioning sources (AFROTC, USAFA and OTS). This training was conducted for these officers following graduation and commissioning at Hondo Municipal Airport, Texas in T-41 Mescalero and T-3 Firefly aircraft until 1998. Following several fatal mishaps with the T-3 Firefly, the program was transferred from the 12 FTW to a civilian contract operation under AETC auspices at Pueblo Memorial Airport, Colorado.

The Pueblo program employs civilian Diamond DA-20 aircraft and is officially known as Initial Flight Screening (IFS) for USAF specialized undergraduate pilot trainees and Navigator Introductory Flight Training (NIFT) for USAF specialized undergraduate navigator/CSO trainees.

Physical and Field Training of US Air Force Reserve

Physical Training (PT)

Cadets are required to take part in Physical Training (PT) at least twice per week each semester. Whether PT is counted as a school credit or not, attendance at PT (at least 80%) is required to pass Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). As a prerequisite, cadets must have a certified DoD physical or a sports physical on file at the detachment and must complete an AFROTC Physical Health Screening Questionnaire. Before the beginning of exercises, cadets receive a safety briefing on the "importance of hydration, heat stress disorders, and prompt reporting of any problems to a cadre member."

Under the supervision of qualified cadre, the PT program is organized and led by AS300 and AS400 cadets. PT activities at detachments may vary from sports games, Field Training Preparation training exercises, cardio and muscular strength exercises. Every PT session begins by forming up as a Wing and stretching.

The Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) is taken by each cadet each semester and is formatted after the active-duty Air Force's PFA. The PFA is the primary instrument for evaluating the fitness level of each cadet. It is structured to assess the muscular endurance of specific muscle groups and the functional capacity of the cardiovascular system. Contracted cadets (i.e. those on scholarship/receiving stipend) must pass the PFA. Contracted cadets that fail the PFA are subject to discipline. Two consecutive failures can result in dismissal from the program. Non-contracted cadets must attempt the PFA each semester. Within 72 hours of taking the PFA, cadets have their height, waist, and weight measured to calculate body mass index (BMI). The PFA consists of the BMI measurement, one minute of push-ups, one minute of sit-ups, and a 1.5-mile run. Maximum points for each area is 20 for BMI, 10 for push-ups, 10 for crunches, and 60 for the 1.5 mile run. Cadets must have at least a composite score of 75 to pass the PFA.[17]

Field Training (FT)

Field Training (FT) is a twenty-eight day training program that takes place the summer before cadets enter the POC. For cadets who have not completed the AS-100 and AS-200 years prior to Field Training, an additional seven days (35 days total) is added at the beginning for academic classes. Completion of this boot camp-style training is a mandatory program for all individuals qualified to pursue an Air Force commission through AFROTC. If not previously completed as part of application for an AFROTC scholarship, cadets must also complete the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) prior to attending FT.

2008 marked the first year that all AFROTC Field Training Units (FTU) were held at the Officer Training School complex at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. With this move and the Air Force's greater emphasis on expeditionary operations in combat zone and the Joint Force Training Center (JFTC) at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

The Field Training program is designed to evaluate military leadership and discipline, determine the cadet's potential for entry into the Professional Officer Course (POC), and to stratify cadets amongst their peers.

Field Training is split up into three sections: In-Garrison (14 days), and Joint Forces Training Center (JFTC, at Camp Shelby) (14 days) focusing on academics/drll & ceremonies, expeditionary skills training (EST), and deployment, respectively.

Field Training is headed by an active duty USAF colonel and a staff of approximately 55 active duty USAF officers, non-commissioned officers, and cadet training assistants (CTA). 14 consist of the senior staff, 18 are Flight Commanders (FLT/CC, active duty officers typically assigned to an AFROTC Detachment), and 23 CTAs. "CTAs are POC cadets selected, based on their FT performance and overall cadet record, to return to Field Training as assistants to active duty staff members." There is one FLT/CC and one Flight CTA assigned to each flight. Traditional CTAs include Group, Drill & Ceremonies, Physical Training, Public Affairs, and Standardization CTAs. The JFTC staff consists of approximately 15 officers and NCOs dedicated to two encampments at a time.

In each flight, cadets are ranked from first to last. The top 10% earn the distinction of "Distinguished Graduate", and the next 10% "Superior Performer". All cadets are ranked in one of three divisions in their respective flight: top, middle, or bottom third. The USAA (United Services Automobile Association) "Top Gun" award acknowledges the highest performing cadet in each flight. Various other awards are given for excelling at physical fitness, marksmanship, academics (extended FTU), and warrior spirit.

Cadets' rankings depend on the following criteria:

  • Preparation for Field Training
  • Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)
  • Leadership skills
  • Professional qualities
  • Communication skills
  • Judgment/decision making skills
  • Warrior Ethos

Only the active duty officers evaluate and stratify the cadets. CTAs often give input but never officially evaluate cadets. Those cadets recommended for CTA duty have the option to apply to become CTAs the following year.

Cadet Organization US Air Force Reserve Training

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) classifies cadets into the following basic categories of training with respect to Field Training attendance and commissioning:

Initial Military Training (IMT): Cadets who are part of the GMC but are not scheduled to attend FT. Normally AS100 cadets.
Field Training Preparation (FTP): Cadets scheduled to attend FT in the upcoming summer. Normally AS200 cadets, or if dual-enrolled in AS100 and AS200 classes, AS250 cadets.
Intermediate Cadet Leader (ICL): Cadets who have successfully completed FT but are not scheduled to commission in the upcoming year. Normally AS300 cadets.
Senior Cadet Leader (SCL): Cadets who have satisfactorily completed FT and are scheduled to be commissioned in the upcoming year. Normally AS400 cadets.
Extended Cadet Leader (ECL): Cadets who have completed the AFROTC curriculum but need additional time to complete their academic degree, such as 5-year engineering program students. Normally AS700 cadets.

Detachments organize cadets after the active-duty wing structure to the best of their ability, compensating for variable sizes and circumstances. GMC cadets participate as the underclassmen while the POC cadets participate as the upperclassmen. POC cadets have completed Field Training and are assigned leadership positions in the corps. Cadets are classified and assigned rank commensurate with their position and level of responsibility within the cadet wing and with respect to FT completion.

Cadet Airmen

Cadet Airmen are all cadets who have not satisfactorily completed FT. Cadet Airmen are members of the GMC. AS100 IMT cadets hold the Cadet Fourth Class (C/4C) rank while AS200 FTP cadets hold Cadet Third Class Rank (C/3C). Cadet Airmen are not committed to joining the Air Force unless on AFROTC scholarship. If contracted, AS100 cadets receive a monthly tax free stipend of $300 while AS200 cadets receive $350.

GMC cadets on contract are also considered to be inactive enlisted members of the Air Force Reserve serving without pay, ranging from Airman Basic (AB, pay grade E-1) to Staff Sergeant (SSgt, pay grade E-5) with higher grades based on prior enlisted military experience in the Active or Reserve Components or other qualifying credentials (i.e., senior Civil Air Patrol cadets or former high school AFJROTC cadets with four years of participation enlisting at Airman First Class {A1C, E-3}, etc.).

Cadet Officers

Cadet Officers, AS300 (ICL), AS400 (SCL), and AS700 (ECL), are cadets who have satisfactorily completed the AFOQT and FT. Cadet officers are members of the POC. Cadet officers wear cadet officer rank (Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2d Lt) - Cadet Colonel (C/Col)). Unlike the Air Force Academy, for juniors and seniors there is no rank of Cadet Second Class or Cadet First Class, respectively. All cadet officers are considered to be "on contract" and are committed to joining the Air Force upon completion of their academic degree.

Like GMC cadets on contract, all POC cadets are considered to be inactive enlisted members of the Air Force Reserve, serving without pay between the grades of E-1 and E-5, with said enlisted status terminating upon commissioning. As contracted cadets, AS300 cadets also receive a monthly tax free stipend of $450 and AS400 cadets receive $500. POC cadets are required to meet USAF height and weight standards, pass the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) each academic semester, and meet a minimum cumulative and term GPA requirement of 2.50. Repeatedly failing to meet the standards may result in disenrollement from AFROTC. All POC cadets also must hold at least one leadership position within the cadet wing or group as designated by the detachment cadre's Commandant of Cadets (COC).

In some cases, students with academic requirements that exceed four years (usually engineers and other technical majors in five year programs) continue the AFROTC program for additional semesters as needed. During these additional years these cadets (AS700) are only minimally required to participate in LLAB and maintain retention standards. It is important to note that this is not the case for schools with co-op programs that entail a total of four years of classes and one year of cooperative experience. In these cases the cadets are classified as AS300's their first POC year and AS400's their second and third POC years. The cadets will not attend aerospace classes, Physical Training, or Leadership Lab during their co-op blocks (they will be on Periods of Non-Attendance) and otherwise complete the program like any four-year major.

Cadet Wing

The cadet wing (cadet group at smaller detachments) is organized to mirror the active-duty objective wing structure and is composed entirely of AFROTC cadets. Cadet rank is determined by the positions and levels of responsibility in which they hold. Cadet wings strive to include positions similar to those found in active-duty wings but additional positions may be added at the discretion of the detachment cadre's COC. Each wing is headed by a Cadet Colonel and has subsequent groups, squadrons, and flights. The only position that is directly appointed by the Detachment Cadre is the Cadet Wing Commander (Cadet Colonel), who is interviewed with the other applicants for the position. Cadet officers rotate positions each semester and cannot hold the same position for two consecutive periods without approval. Cadets returning from Field Training may not hold a rank above Cadet Captain (C/Capt) until one semester in the POC has been completed. Cadet officers are required to serve at least one term in a leadership position. Leadership positions include wing, group, squadron, and flight positions and others named by the COC.

Cadet Fourth Class C/4C 4thC.svg AS100
Cadet Third Class C/3C 3rdC.svg AS200
Cadet Second Lieutenant C/2d Lt 2lt.svg AS300
Cadet First Lieutenant C/1st Lt 1lt.svg AS300
Cadet Captain C/Capt Capt.svg AS300/400
Cadet Major C/Maj Maj.svg AS400
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel C/Lt Col Ltcol.svg AS400
Cadet Colonel C/Col Col.svg AS400

Scholarship Programs of US Air Force Reserve

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) offers a variety of highly-competitive college scholarships, ranging from 3-year and 4-year scholarships offered to graduating high school seniors, 2-year and 3-year scholarships to college students enrolled as AFROTC cadets, and 2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships offered to enlisted military personnel.

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Scholarships offered to high school seniors are categorized as follows:

Type 1: Pays full college tuition, most fees and $900 per year for books. Approximately 5% of AFROTC four-year scholarship winners will be offered a Type 1 scholarship, mostly in technical fields such as engineering, chemistry, meteorology, applied mathematics or computer science.
Type 2: Pays college tuition and most fees up to $18,000 per year and $900 per year for books. Approximately 20% of AFROTC four-year scholarship winners will be offered a Type 2 scholarship, again, mostly in technical fields. If a student attends an institution where the tuition exceeds $18,000 per year, then he/she pays the difference. All three-year scholarships are Type 2.
Type 7: Pays college tuition up to the equivalent of the in-state rate and $900 per year for books. If a student receives a Type 7 offer but wishes to attend a college/university where they do not qualify under the guidelines above, the student can convert the four-year Type 7 scholarship to a three-Year Type 2 scholarship. A Type 7 scholarship cannot be activated at a non-qualifying school where the student pays the difference.

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Scholarships offered to in-college students are as follows:

In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP): Open to college freshmen and sophomores in any major. Program is divided into two selection phases and awards-
ICSP Phase One: Open only to students enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program. Eligible applicants are nominated for ICSP Phase One by their school’s AFROTC detachment commander. Nominees for each detachment are rank-ordered by the detachment commander based on their leadership ability, grades, fitness, and overall participation in the Air Force ROTC program. Headquarters AFROTC makes the final decision and awards scholarships. The nomination deadline is between February 10 and February 28 of each year.

All cadets selected through ICSP Phase One are awarded a Type 2 scholarship (capped at $18,000 per year for tuition, $900 per year for books).

Freshman nominees are awarded three-year scholarships and sophomore nominees are awarded two-year scholarships. All scholarships activate the following fall term.

ICSP Phase Two: Open to college freshman and sophomores in any major. ICSP Phase One nonselects and students not enrolled in Air Force ROTC are eligible to apply for ICSP Phase Two. Eligible applicants are nominated for ICSP Phase Two by the commander of the detachment serving the school where they attend or the school where they will attend once they join Air Force ROTC. Students not currently enrolled in Air Force ROTC must be interviewed by the detachment commander or his/her designee. The deadline for detachments to submit a nomination is June 30. The board meets in July, and those selected are typically notified by August 1 of each year.

A limited number of cadets selected through ICSP Phase Two are awarded a Type 2 scholarship (capped at $18,000 per year for tuition, $900 per year for books). Most scholarship selected students are awarded a Type 3 scholarship (capped at $9,000 per year for tuition and $900 per year for books).

Freshmen nominees are awarded three-year scholarships, and sophomore nominees are awarded two-year scholarships. All scholarships activate the fall term following their distribution.

ICSP Phase Three: Depending on officer production and funding, a limited number of qualified sophomore ICSP Phase Two nonselects may be offered Type 6 scholarships. This process takes place at the same time ICSP Phase Two results are released.
Express Scholarship: Designed to meet Air Force ROTC officer production requirements in specific fields and year groups. This program awards Type 1 scholarships paying full college tuition, most fees and $900 per year for books. In many cases, these scholarships can activate during the same term as nomination. The Express Scholarship program is operated on a fully qualified basis. Those students who meet the qualifications are awarded the scholarship and do not meet a scholarship selection board. The processing of the scholarship award is completed at the local AFROTC detachment. Eligible majors are Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Meteorology.
Express Scholarship (Foreign Language): Designed to meet Air Force ROTC officer production requirements in specific fields and year groups. This program awards Type 1 scholarships paying full college tuition, most fees and $900 per year for books. In many cases, these scholarships can activate during the same term as nomination. The Express Scholarship (Foreign Language) program is operated on a fully qualified basis. Those students who meet the qualifications are awarded the scholarship and do not meet a scholarship selection board. The processing of the scholarship award is completed at the local AFROTC detachment. Eligible majors are: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Cambodian, Chinese, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Kasakh, Kurdish, Malay, Pashtu, Persian-Iranian/Persian-Afghan, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Uighur, Urdu/Punjabi, Uzbek and Vietnamese. Most candidates will eventually become USAF officers in the Intelligence career field.

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Scholarships offered to enlisted military personnel are as follows:

Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program (ASCP)*: Permits active duty USAF airmen and junior non-commissioned officers to separate from active duty and receive a scholarship worth up to $15,000 per year while pursuing their commission through Air Force ROTC. (* Previously known as the Airman Education and Commissioning Program (AECP))

Professional Officer Course - Early Release Program (POC-ERP): Offers active duty Air Force enlisted personnel an opportunity for an early release from active duty to enter AFROTC and receive a commission as an Air Force officer. Members selected for POC-ERP will separate from active duty, sign a contract with AFROTC and become full-time college students. This program is open to undergraduate degrees only and cannot be used for postgradate degrees. Upon completion of all undergraduate degree and commissioning requirements, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants and returned to active duty in USAF for a period of at least four years, with longer service commitments required for those selected for flight training. POC-ERP is open to all academic majors. While in AFROTC, individuals will no longer receive military pay or benefits. All members applying for POC-ERP are required to provide proof that they have the financial means to make it through the program. Enlisted personnel selected for POC-ERP may use their Montgomery GI Bill benefits while in the program along with any additional grants or scholarships for which they may qualify.

Scholarships for Outstanding Airman to ROTC (SOAR): The SOAR program allows USAF enlisted personnel to separate from active duty and receive a scholarship worth up to $15,000 per year while pursuing their commission through AFROTC. Students may not pay the difference to attend higher-cost schools.

US Air Force Reserve Training Leadership Laboratory

Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) is a weekly 1-2 hour pass/fail class that trains and prepares cadets for Field Training (FT), develops leadership skills, and promotes Espirit de Corps among all cadets. At some universities, credit hours may be given for completing LLAB. For GMC cadets, LLAB provides new cadets with basic skills and knowledge to be a functional member of the cadet corps, prepares them in Warrior Knowledge and Drill and Ceremonies (marching), and teaches leadership, followership, and teamwork skills. For POC cadets, LLAB furthers leadership and followership skills learned at FT by planning and implementing the activities under the supervision of the active-duty cadre.

Specific LLAB activities are determined by the detachments themselves and thus vary across the nation. Some specific activities include: Field trips to Air Force bases and stations (to include Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard installations), Field Days, physical fitness tests and competitions, Drill and Ceremonies, leadership-building exercises, and Air Force officer career days.

US Air Force Reserve Aerospace Studies

Aerospace Studies (AS) classes are the academic portion of AFROTC. The General Military Course (GMC) is a two-year course, consisting of AS100 and AS200 cadets, designed to motivate and prepare cadets for entry into the Professional Officer Course (POC). Each AS100 and AS200 course is designed as a weekly, one academic-hour course. The POC is a two-year course, consisting of AS300 and AS400, designed to prepare cadets for active duty as Air Force officers. Each course in the POC is designed as a weekly, three academic-hour course.[4] Specific topics covered in the AS classes are as follows:

AS100 - Foundations of the Air Force: Structure and missions of Air Force organizations, officership, and professionalism. Introduction to communication skills.
AS200 - The Evolution of Aerospace Studies: Beginnings of manned flight and the development of aerospace power from World War I to present-day current operations.
AS300 - Leadership Studies: Anatomy of leadership, role of discipline in leadership situations, and the variable affecting leadership. Case studies and practical application in Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). The current AS300 curriculum was previously taught as the AS400 curriculum until the 1990s, when it was shifted to the junior year.
AS400 - National Security Studies and Preparation for Active Duty: The role of the professional military leaders in a democratic society, international developments on strategic preparedness, and active-duty assignment preparation. The National Security Studies portion of the current AS400 curriculum was previously taught as the AS300 curriculum until the 1990s, when it was shifted to the senior year.

The AS400 program also previously included a single academic term Flight Instruction Program (FIP) private pilot ground school course. This course was mandatory for all cadets slated for undergraduate pilot training on graduation who did not already hold a private pilot certificate or higher, and was optional for all other cadets. FIP was eliminated from AFROTC in 1991.

US Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

The US Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is one of the three primary commissioning sources for officers in the United States Air Force, the other two being the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and Air Force Officer Training School (OTS). A subordinate command of the Air University within the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), AFROTC is aligned under the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. The Holm Center, formerly known as the Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools (AFOATS), retains direct responsibility for both AFROTC and OTS.

AFROTC is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the U.S. Air Force. AFROTC's stated mission is to produce quality leaders for the U.S. Air Force. AFROTC units are located on 144 college and university campuses with 984 additional institutions of higher learning participating in cross-town agreements that allow their students to attend AFROTC classes at a nearby "host" college or university. According to AFOATS HQ, in 2006, AFROTC commissioned 2,083 USAF Second Lieutenants, with AFROTC enrollment ranging from 23,605 in 1985 to 10,231 in 1993, and around 13,000 enrolled today.

AFROTC units at colleges and universities are called "detachments," and are typically headed by an active duty USAF officer in the rank of colonel or lieutenant colonel who functions as both the Detachment Commander for USAF purposes and with the nominal title of Professor of Aerospace Studies (PAS) within the institution's academic community. Most colleges and universities will designate the AFROTC detachment as the Department of Aerospace Studies. The PAS is assisted by three to four Assistant Professors of Aerospace Studies (APAS), all active duty USAF officers in the ranks of major or captain. Three USAF non-commissioned officers and one senior non-commissioned officer will typically provide military administrative support and are often augmented by one to two civilian staff support employees of the academic institution.

Within AFROTC detachments, the students (referred to as "cadets") are organized into wings, groups, squadrons, and flights, mirroring the USAF functional wing structure. The AFROTC detachment's cadet wing or cadet group is separated into two divisions: the General Military Course (GMC) consisting of the first two years of training, and the Professional Officer Course (POC) consisting of the last two years of training. The AFROTC program is also divided into two training functions: the Academic Classroom Program (Aerospace Studies classes) and Cadet Activities (i.e., Leadership Laboratory, Physical Training, and other training).

US Air Force Reserve Command

The United States Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a major command (MAJCOM) of the U.S. The USAF has 68,872 Selected and Individual Ready Reserves. Air Force with its headquarters at Robins AFB, Georgia. It stood up as a major command of the Air Force on 17 February 1997. Previously, the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) was a Field Operating Agency (FOA).

US Air Force Reserve Mission

The Air Force Reserve Command supports the Air Force mission to defend the United States through control and exploitation of air and space by supporting Global Engagement. The AFRC plays an integral role in the day-to-day Air Force mission and is not a force held in reserve for possible war or contingency operations.

US Air Force Reserve Purpose

The purpose of the Air Force Reserve as derived from Title 10 United States Code is to:

Provide combat-ready units and individuals for active duty whenever there are not enough trained units and people in the Regular component of the Air Force to perform any national security mission.

Peacetime Missions

Air Force Reservists are on duty around the world. In addition to its role as a proven and respected combat force, the Air Force Reserve is also involved in international humanitarian relief missions, from repairing roads and schools to airlifting supplies.

At the request of local, state or federal agencies, the Air Force Reserve conducts aerial spray missions using specially equipped C-130s.

Special Capabilities

The Air Force Reserve has some specialized capabilities not found in regular Air Force units. These include support of counter narcotics efforts, weather reconnaissance including hurricane penetration, aeromedical evacuation, aerial spray capabilities and forest fire suppression.

US Air Force Reserve Vision

To provide the world’s best mutual support to the Air Force and our joint partners—flying and fighting as An Unrivaled Wingman.


The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) has more than 74,000 officers and enlisted personnel who serve in thirty-five wings equipped with their own aircraft and seven associate units that share aircraft with an active duty unit. Four space operations squadrons share satellite control missions with the active force. The AFRC has more than 620 mission support units equipped and trained to provide a wide range of services, including medical and aeromedical evacuation, aerial port, civil engineer, security forces, intelligence, communications, mobility support, logistics, and transportation operations, as well as more than 440 aircraft assigned to it. This includes the latest, most advanced aircraft in the Air Force inventory, such as the C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, HH-60 Pave Hawk, KC-10 Extender, KC-135 Stratotanker, WC-130J Hercules ("Hurricane Hunter"), MC-130 Combat Talon, MC-130P Combat Shadow, HC-130P Hercules and A-10/OA-10 Thunderbolt II. On any given day, 99% of these aircraft are mission ready and able to deploy within seventy two hours without need for any additional training or preparation. However, Air Combat Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Mobility Command and Air Education & Training Command would gain these aircraft and personnel in the event that they are mobilized.

Although the Air Force Reserve provides slightly more than 10% of the Air Force's available manpower, the extent of its contribution is much greater. More than 30% of all Air Force missions are accomplished through the efforts of Air Force Reservists. Reservists average more than 360 missions away from home each month, supporting other Commands and Department of Defense requirements for important fighter, airlift, aerial refueling, rescue, and force projection assets.

US Air Force Reserve Structure

Thirty-five wings, four groups, and 73 squadrons comprise the Air Force Reserve Command. Each wing is charged with a core mission that is accomplished through the collaboration of a variety of specifically tasked squadrons.

Reserve wings report to one of three numbered Air Forces reporting to Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The numbered Air Forces assist their wings in using the guidance and resources provided by their higher headquarters to ensure combat readiness.

Fourth Air Force

  • 349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California
  • 433d Airlift Wing, Lackland Air Force Base/Kelly Field Annex, Texas
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana
  • 445th Airlift Wing, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
  • 446th Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Washington
  • 452d Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California
  • 459th Air Refueling Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma
  • 624th Regional Support Group, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
  • 916th Air Refueling Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina
  • 927th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
  • 931st Air Refueling Group, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas
  • 932d Airlift Wing, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Tenth Air Force

  • 301st Fighter Wing, NAS JRB Fort Worth, Texas
  • 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
  • 310th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado
  • 340th Flying Training Group, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
  • 414th Fighter Group, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina
  • 419th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
  • 442d Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri
  • 477th Fighter Group, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska
  • 482d Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, Florida
  • 610th Regional Support Group
  • 919th Special Operations Wing, Duke Field, Florida
  • 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida
  • 926th Group, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
  • 940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California
  • 944th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona

Twenty-Second Air Force

  • 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia
  • 302d Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina
  • 403d Wing, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi
  • 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts
  • 440th Airlift Wing, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina
  • 512th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey
  • 908th Airlift Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
  • 910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Base, Ohio
  • 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport, Pennsylvania
  • 914th Airlift Wing, Niagara Falls International Airport, New York
  • 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St Paul Joint Air Reserve Station, Minnesota

US Air Force Reserve Categories

There are several categories of service in the Air Force Reserve. Most Reservists serve in the Unit Program, in which they are required to report for duty at least one weekend a month and an additional two weeks a year.

A smaller but equally important category of Reservist is the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA). IMAs are Reservists who are assigned to active-duty units to do jobs that are essential in wartime but do not require full-time manning during times of peace. They report for duty a minimum of one day a month and twelve additional days a year.

A small number of Reservists serve limited tours of active duty, usually at headquarters staff level or in other special assignments. Their job is to bring Reserve expertise to the planning and decision-making processes at senior levels within the Air Force and other services.

Reservists serving in the Active Guard and Reserve Program (AGR) perform functions for the Air Force Reserve Command that require full time manning. Recruiting is one of the fields in which a reservist can become an AGR. AGRs receive full pay and benefits just like active members of any branch of the armed forces. They serve four year controlled tours of special duty that can be renewed. AGR's have the option with good conduct and performance to serve 20 or more years and receive a retirement after 20 years just like active members of the armed forces.

Reservists serving in the Air Reserve Technician Program (ART) carry dual status, working as full-time civil service employees for the Air Force and as military members in the same AFRC units where they work as civilians and performing the same job.

Reservists are categorized by several criteria in the Ready Reserve, Standby Reserve, Inactive Ready Reserve or Retired Reserve:

US Air Force Ready Reserve

The Ready Reserve is made up of approximately 74,000 trained Reservists who may be recalled to active duty to augment active forces in time of war or national emergency. These Reservists are combat ready and can deploy to anywhere in the world in seventy-two hours.

US Air Force Standby Reserve

The Standby Reserve includes Reservists whose civilian jobs are considered key to national defense or who have temporary disability or personal hardship. Most Standby Reservists do not train and are not assigned to units.

US Air Force Individual Ready Reserve

These Reservists no longer train but are qualified in their fields and eligible to be recalled in the event of a national emergency.

There is a small group of these reservists labeled PIRR or Participating IRR who receive points toward retirement and are under Cat E status. There are over 1,000 ALOs or Academy Liaison officers in this field, as well as some chaplains, and a few other positions that require Military duty but not a fixed schedule. These CAT E personnel can earn mandays just like Cat A and B reservists but on a more limited basis.

US Air Force Retired Reserve

The Retired Reserve is made up of officers and enlisted personnel who receive pay after retiring from active duty or from the Reserve, or are Reservists awaiting retirement pay at age 60.

US Air Force Officer Rank Insignia

US Air Force rank is divided between enlisted airmen, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned officers, and ranges from the enlisted Airman Basic (E-1) to the commissioned rank of General (O-10). Enlisted promotions are granted based on a combination of test scores, years of experience, and selection board approval while officer promotions are based on time-in-grade and a promotion board. Promotions among enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers are generally designated by increasing numbers of insignia chevrons. Commissioned officer rank is designated by bars, oak leaves, a silver eagle, and anywhere from one to four stars (one to five stars in war-time).

US Air Force Rank: Commissioned officers

The commissioned officer ranks of the USAF are divided into three sections: company grade, field grade, and general officers. Company grade officers are those officers in pay grades O-1 to O-3, while field grade officers are those in pay grades O-4 to O-6, and general officers are those in pay grades of O-7 and above.

Currently, promotion from Second Lieutenant to First Lieutenant is virtually guaranteed after two years of satisfactory service. The promotion from First Lieutenant to Captain is competitive after successfully completing another two years of service. Promotion to Major and above is through a board process. An officer's record is reviewed by a selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. This process occurs approximately between the seven- and ten-year mark, where a certain percentage of Captains will be selected for Major. This process will repeat at the 11-14 year mark for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, and then around the eighteen-year mark for promotion to Colonel.

Pay grade O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6
Insignia US-OF1B.svg US-OF1A.svg US-O3 insignia.svg US-O4 insignia.svg US-O5 insignia.svg US-O6 insignia.svg
Title Second
Captain Major Lieutenant
Abbreviation2 2d Lt 1st Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col
Pay grade O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 Special
Insignia US-O7 insignia.svg US-O8 insignia.svg US-O9 insignia.svg US-O10 insignia.svg US-O11 insignia.svg
Title Brigadier
General General
of the Air Force
Abbreviation2 Brig Gen Maj Gen Lt Gen Gen GAF

US Air Force: Warrant officers

Although provision is made in regulations for them, the USAF does not use warrant officer grades (the only armed service to not do so). The USAF inherited warrant officer ranks from the Army at its inception in 1947, but their place in the Air Force structure was never made clear. When Congress authorized the creation of two new senior enlisted ranks in 1958, Air Force officials privately concluded that these two new "super grades" could fill all Air Force needs then performed at the warrant officer level, although this was not publicly acknowledged until years later. The Air Force stopped appointing warrant officers in 1959, the same year the first promotions were made to the new top enlisted grade, Chief Master Sergeant. Most of the existing Air Force warrant officers entered the commissioned officer ranks during the 1960s, but tiny numbers continued to exist for the next 21 years.

The last active duty Air Force warrant officer, CWO4 James H. Long, retired in 1980 and the last Air Force Reserve warrant officer, CWO4 Bob Barrow, retired in 1992. Upon his retirement, he was honorarily promoted to CWO5, the only person in the Air Force ever to hold this grade. Barrow died in April 2008. Since Barrow's retirement, the Air Force warrant officer ranks, while still authorized by law, are not used.

US Air Force Rank: Enlisted airmen

Enlisted members of the USAF have pay grades from E-1 (entry level) to E-9 (senior enlisted). While all USAF military personnel are referred to as Airmen, the term also refers to the pay grades of E-1 through E-4, which are below the level of non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Above the pay grade of E-4 (i.e., pay grades E-5 through E-9) all ranks fall into the category of NCO and are further subdivided into NCOs (pay grades E-5 and E-6) and Senior NCOs (pay grades E-7 through E-9); the term Junior NCO is sometimes used to refer to staff sergeants and technical sergeants (pay grades E-5 and E-6).

The USAF is the only of the five branches of the United States military where NCO status is not achieved until an airman reaches the pay grade of E-5. In all other branches, NCO status is generally achieved at the pay grade of E-4 (e.g., a Corporal in the Army and Marine Corps, Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy and Coast Guard). However, E-4s in the Army with the rank of Specialist are not considered NCOs. The Air Force mirrored the Army from 1976 to 1991 with an E-4 being either a Senior Airman wearing three stripes without a star or a Sergeant (referred to as "Buck Sergeant"), which was noted by the presence of the central star and considered an NCO. Despite not being an NCO, a Senior Airman who has completed Airman Leadership School can be a supervisor.

US DoD Pay grade E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6
Insignia No Insignia E2 USAF AM.svg E3 USAF AM1.svg E4 USAF SAM.svg E5 USAF SSGT.svg E6 USAF TSGT.svg
Title Airman
Airman Airman First
Abbreviation AB Amn A1C SrA SSgt TSgt

US DoD Pay grade E-7 E-8 E-9
Insignia E7a USAF MSGT.svg E7b USAF 1STSGT1.svg E8a USAF SMSGT.svg E8b USAF 1STSGT2.svg E9a USAF CMSGT.svg E9b USAF 1STSGT3.svg E9c USAF CCMS.svg E9d USAF CMSAF new.svg
Title Master
Senior Master
Chief Master
Command Chief
Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant
of the Air Force

List of Aircraft of the United States Air Force

The US Air Force has over 5,778 aircraft commissioned as of 2004. Until 1962, the Army and Air Force maintained one system of aircraft naming, while the U.S. Navy maintained a separate system. In 1962, these were unified into a single system heavily reflecting the Army/Air Force method. For more complete information on the workings of this system, refer to United States Department of Defense aerospace vehicle designation.

The List of Aircraft of the United States Air Force:

Name Type Versions Quantity Picture
A-10 Thunderbolt II Attack Aircraft A-10A
A-10 Thunderbolt II In-flight-2.jpg
Lockheed AC-130 Attack Aircraft AC-130H
AC-130 Aircraft.jpg
B-1 Lancer Strategic bomber B-1B 67
B-1B over the pacific ocean.jpg
B-2 Spirit Strategic stealth bomber B-2A 20
B-2 Spirit original.jpg
B-52 Stratofortress Strategic bomber B-52H 85
Usaf.Boeing B-52.jpg
C-5 Galaxy Cargo Aircraft C-5A
C-12 Huron Cargo Aircraft C-12C
C-12 Huron in flight.jpg
C-17 Globemaster III Cargo Aircraft C-17A 185
C17 aircraft alt.jpg
Gulfstream C-20 Cargo Aircraft C-20B
Learjet C-21 Cargo Aircraft C-21A 76
Air Force C-21.jpg
Boeing C-22 Cargo Aircraft C-22B 3
C-26 Metroliner Cargo Aircraft C-26B 11
Metroliner C-26.jpg
C-27 Spartan Cargo Aircraft C-27J
Boeing C-32 Cargo Aircraft C-32A
USAF C-32A.jpg
Gulfstream C-37 Cargo Aircraft C-37A 9
Gulfstream C-38 Cargo Aircraft C-38A 2
C-40 Clipper Cargo Aircraft C-40B
C-40B USAF VIP Transport.jpg
C-130 Hercules Cargo Aircraft C-130E
C-135 Stratolifter Cargo Aircraft C-135 2
Boeing C-135C 61-2669 Speckled Trout.jpg
E-3 Sentry Airborne Command and Control Aircraft E-3B
Boeing E-4 Airborne Command and Control Aircraft E-4B 4
E 4b.jpg
E-8 Joint STARS Airborne Command and Control Aircraft E-8A
E9 Wiget Electronic Warfare Aircraft E-9A 2
EC-130 Commando Solo Electronic Warfare Aircraft EC-130E
EC-130H Compass Call 060617.jpg
F-15 Eagle Fighter Aircraft F-15C
F-15, 71st Fighter Squadron, in flight.JPG
F-16 Fighting Falcon Fighter Aircraft F-16C
F-16 June 2008.jpg
F-22 Raptor Fighter Aircraft F-22A 166
Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor JSOH.jpg
HC-130 Hercules Search and Rescue Aircraft HC-130N
US Airforce HC-130.jpg
KC-10 Extender Tanker Aircraft KC-10A 59
KC-10 Extender (2151957820).jpg
KC-135 Stratotanker Tanker Aircraft KC-135R
MC-130 Hercules Multi-mission Aircraft MC-130E
MC-130 Combat Talon II.jpg
OA-10 Thunderbolt II Observation Aircraft OA-10A 108
Thunderbolt - Closeup.jpg
OC-135 Open Skies Observation Aircraft OC-135B 2
Oc-135 xxl.jpg
Boeing RC-135 Reconnaissance Aircraft RC-135S
RC-135 Rivet Joint.jpg
T-1 Jayhawk Trainer Aircraft T-1A 179
J-1 Jayhawk.jpg
T-6 Texan II Trainer Aircraft T-6A 337
T-6A Texan II.jpg
T-38 Talon Trainer Aircraft T-38A
T-38C 50FTS ColumbusAFB Sep2006.jpeg
T-41 Mescalero Trainer Aircraft T-41D
TU-2 Dragon Lady Trainer Aircraft TU-2S 5
Lockheed U-2 TR-1B.jpg
Blanik TG-10 Trainer Glider TG-10B
TG-10B Gliders.jpg
Ximango TG-14 Trainer Motor Glider TG-14A 14
Schempp-Hirth TG-15 Trainer Glider TG-15A
U-2 Dragon Lady Reconnaissance Aircraft U-2S 28
de Havilland Canada UV-18 Utility VSTOL Aircraft UV-18B 3
Pilatus U-28 Utility Aircraft U-28A 6
Boeing VC-25 VIP Transport VC-25A 2
Air Force One over Mt. Rushmore.jpg
WC-130 Hercules Weather Reconnaissance Aircraft WC-130H
Lockheed Martin WC-130J.jpg
WC-135 Constant Phoenix Weather Reconnaissance Aircraft WC-135 2
WC-135 Constant Phoenix.jpg
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
MQ-1 Predator Combat aircraft
RQ-4 Global Hawk Surveillance aircraft
54 planned
MQ-9 Reaper Combat aircraft
28+ 319 planned
MQ-9 Reaper - 090609-F-0000M-777.JPG
RQ-11 Raven Surveillance aircraft

RQ-170 Sentinel Surveillance aircraft

RQ-170 Wiki contributor 3Dartist.png
Boeing ScanEagle Surveillance aircraft

ScanEagle UAV catapult launcher 2005-04-16.jpg
Wasp III Surveillance aircraft

Wasp III aircraft.jpg
Rotary-wing Aircraft
TH-1 Iroquois Training Helicopter TH-1H 1
UH-1 Iroquois Utility Helicopter UH-1N
Air Force helicopter.jpg
HH-60 Pave Hawk Search and Rescue Helicopter HH-60G 101
HH-60 128th Rescue Wing off Golden Gate 2002.jpg
Tilt-rotor Aircraft
CV-22 Osprey Cargo VTOL Aircraft CV-22B 12+50 planned