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.

Related Post