U.S. Air Force ROTC
Page last updated 11/20/2015
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is an educational program designed to allow young men and women to pursue a commission in the United States Air Force while pursuing a college degree in any academic major. The purpose of the AFROTC program is to provide quality development of the individual so that they may serve as effective leaders and officers upon entering the Air Force. AFROTC affords graduates the opportunity to pursue a broad range of career fields to include aviation related jobs, law, space operations, medicine, intelligence, computer systems, engineering and many more. You can take part in this unique experience for up to two years as a college freshman and sophomore with no military commitment. The AFROTC program at Detachment 012 is open to all college students at Samford University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Miles College, Jefferson State Community College, University of Montevallo, and Birmingham Southern. If you are interested in joining our team of outstanding future leaders for America’s Air Force, click on the contact link and let us know.
Four Year Program
The AFROTC program is broken down into two portions, the General Military Course (GMC) & the Professional Officer's Course (POC). The GMC portion of the program typically consists of freshman and sophomores and allows them the opportunity to try out AFROTC without any commitment. During the GMC period cadets will be exposed to the basic organizational concepts of the Air Force and its history. During the sophomore year, cadets will have the opportunity to compete for a field training allocation. Completion of field training is necessary for entrance into the POC. The POC consists of your junior and senior years in the program. As a cadet you will receive instruction in Leadership/Management and National Security Policy.
Leadership Laboratory is an integral part of the Air Force ROTC program. It provides an opportunity for students to apply classroom teachings to actual environments. Each course has an associated leadership laboratory. The laboratory meets for two hours each week during the term. Instruction is conducted within the framework of an organized cadet corps with a progression of experiences designed to develop leadership potential. Leadership Laboratory involves a study of the life and work of Air Force junior officers. Students develop their leadership potential in a practical, supervised laboratory, which typically includes field trips to Air Force installations throughout the United States. The first two years of Leadership Laboratory involve activities classified as initial leadership experiences. This includes studying Air Force customs and courtesies and drill and ceremonies; giving military commands; instructing, correcting, and evaluating the preceding skills; studying the environment of an Air Force base; and learning about career opportunities available to commissioned officers. The last two years of Leadership Laboratory consist of activities classified as advanced leadership experiences. They involve the planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, and controlling the military activities of the cadet corps; the preparation and presentation of briefings and other oral and written communications; and the providing of interviews, guidance, and information that will increase the understanding, motivation, and performance of other cadets.
Field Training is a rigorous and challenging three-week program designed to evaluate your officer potential. Field Training occurs at an Air Force base usually prior to entering the junior year in college, and must be accomplished before you become a POC. At Field Training you will receive career orientation, professional development training, aircraft orientation, survival training, weapons indoctrination, and physical fitness training. Your leadership ability will be tested and evaluated in various scenarios. The Air Force will cover all travel expenses related to field training.
In the Corps
As cadet life is a little bit different than that of a normal college student, there's a lot more to do and a lot more to keep track of. As you proceed further into your AFROTC career, especially the POC, you take on a lot more responsibility. The main goal of the program is to get your degree, so academics always come first but as a cadet you have agreed to take on more tasks than just that of classes. Most of this training occurs during Leadership Laboratory and Physical Training, which is only about four hours a week. Cadets are not always marching, training, or in uniform though, they are still college students and go to football games, hang out with friends, and have fun.
Along with regular Air Force ROTC activities there are numerous extracurricular activities as well. Arnold Air Society is a service oriented, honor society directly endorsed by the Air Force and AFROTC. Silver Wings is another organization devoted to service. This is the sister organization to Arnold Air Society but it allows you to work side by side with civilian members as this organization is open to anyone on campus. All these organizations give extra training, experience, skills, and esprit de corps between cadets, the university, and the community.
From High School
Air Force ROTC scholarships are extremely competitive. To ensure you are a top candidate make sure that you have the highest GPA possible, score well on the ACT or SAT, and stay physically fit to pass the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). You will also need to apply and get accepted to a university with an AFROTC program.
The best way to ensure you're a candidate is to perform your best in school. The Unit Admissions Officer and other cadre members are available to answer any questions you may have. Your fellow cadets are also a great resource that can help you on your way.
Do I have to join AFROTC as a freshman?
No, however, joining as a freshman increases your scholarship opportunities. At a minimum, interested students should sign up by the first term of their sophomore year to give themselves the best chance at being successful in the program.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes. There are scholarships available for almost everyone.
Can I fly?
Possibly. You must qualify by passing a physical exam, passing a Physical Fitness Assessment and earning certain scores on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).
Do I have to fly?
No. The vast majority of Air Force jobs do not involve flying at all.
Do I have to live in a barracks?
No, not while in college. Entry-level officers are equivalent to junior executives. Most officers live off-base in an apartment or house.
Do I have to cut my hair?
Maybe. Hair must be kept in accordance with Air Force guidelines when in uniform.
Do I have to wear a uniform to class every day?
No. You are only required to wear your uniform to your Air Force ROTC classes and Leadership Lab one day each week.
How much time do I have to spend with AFROTC each week?
As a GMC, you can expect to spend approximately five hours each week on required AFROTC activities. This time includes time spent in academic class, Leadership Lab, and in physical fitness training. POCs spend a little more time each week because their academic class is longer. However, we encourage everyone to become involved in the corps. Basically, you can devote as much or as little time to AFROTC as you want and can manage.
What is the commitment to the Air Force upon graduation?
Only a minimum of four years of active duty.
How much do I get paid?
Upon commissioning, you will earn approximately $42,000 with benefits per year. By the time you finish your active duty commitment you will be earning close to $70,000 per year.
Will I be behind my fellow graduates after I complete my duty?
No. In fact, many companies prefer to hire former officers over new college graduates (even those with masters degrees).
Travis D. Dixon, Lt Col, USAF, Ph.D.
Professor of Aerospace Studies
Commander, AFROTC Detachment 012
B.S., Business Administration, Auburn University at Montgomery
M.S., Business Administration, Regis University
M.A.,Military Operational Art and Science, Air University
Ph.D., Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University
Lieutenant Colonel Dixon is a native of Equality, Alabama. He is a career Air Force officer with more than 21 years of active duty service. As an operator, he served in various positions within the Space and Missile career field as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Crew Member, an ICBM Initial Qualification Instructor/Evaluator, an Atlas Space Lift Crew Member, and a Space Lift Range Operations Officer. As a staff officer at Headquarters, Air Education and Training Command, he supervised the acquisition of training systems for all Space and Missile technical training programs before being assigned to the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College as a student and instructor. Prior to assuming his duties at Samford University, he served as a Deputy Department Chair for the Air Command and Staff College’s Distance Learning program, as well as an Assistant Professor teaching Leadership and Command, Leadership and Warfare, and Airpower History. Lieutenant Colonel Dixon is thankful for the opportunity and privilege of serving his country, Samford University, and the cadets and staff of Detachment 012.
Jacob C. Ringrose, 1Lt, USAF
Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies
Operations Flight Commander
B.S., Civil Engineering, United States Air Force Academy
Pursuing M.S., Operations Management, University of Alabama
First Lieutenant Ringrose is originally from Eagle Point, Oregon. He spent his first assignment serving at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. During this time he was a civil engineer for the 14th Civil Engineer Squadron where he worked as a Base Developmental Engineer and Chief of Operations Engineering. First Lieutenant Ringrose now serves as the Operations Flight Commander at Samford University’s Detachment 012. First Lieutenant Ringrose is ecstatic to work in the AFROTC career field and thrilled to help mold and shape future officers of the Air Force.
Sunshine Scarbrough, TSgt, USAF
Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, Personnel
Completed Human Resources & Management at Community College of Air Force and is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Accounting through Columbia College Missouri
Technical Sergeant Scarbrough is from Texas. She spent her first two years of her enlistment as a Security Forces member at RAF Lakenheath, followed by two more years as an SF member at Malmstrom AFB, MT. After that she cross trained into the Personnel career field and spent two more years at Malmstrom. Following that she was stationed at AFPC at Randolph AFB, TX. Her last assignment before becoming part of the Detachment 012 Cadre was at Maxwell AFB, AL, HQ AFROTC in the Cadet Actions Section.
Nawang Dhondup, SSgt, USAF
Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, Knowledge Operations Manager
Pursuing Community College of Air Force, Information Management, American Military University
Staff Sergeant Dhondup is a Tibetan American originally from Blaine, Minnesota. He spent the first four years of his enlistment at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. During this period, he supported the 5th Operations Group, 5th Maintenance Group, and the 5th Bomb Wing as a Knowledge Operations Manager. In 2010, he was deployed to Shindand, Afghanistan, as a JET Airman and was assigned to the 445 AEAS. SSgt Dhondup now serves as a Knowledge Operator at Samford University’s Detachment 012. Staff Sergeant Dhondup is committed and feels blessed to help the cadets become United States Air Force Officers.
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