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.

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