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Frequently Asked Questions



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Q. If I take AFROTC classes, do I have to join the Air Force?
A. Absolutely not! There is no obligation - we are here as a service to you so you can check out officer jobs and careers while you attend college.
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Q. Do I have to wear a uniform every day if I take Air Force ROTC?
A. No! Just one day a week, on Air Force ROTC field trips, and on base visits. Remember, we furnish all your required uniform items at no cost to you.
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Q. Is this a "guy" only thing?
A. Are you kidding -- we have women fighter pilots! Leadership is not gender based. This year some of our most important positions in the ROTC program are held by female cadets.
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Q. Do Air Force ROTC courses count for college credit?
A. You bet! Not only do they count as general electives for most majors at many schools the four-year AFROTC curriculum will earn you a minor in Aerospace Studies.
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Q. What are the classes about?
A. They cover Air Force history, how the Air Force contributes to the national security, leadership and management skills, what is means to be an officer, and communications skills and techniques. In addition, there are a number of interesting and knowledgeable guest speakers from both the Air Force and civilian community.
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Q. Do you need a lot of math and science to do well?
A. All majors are represented and encouraged.
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Q. What if I want to be in a fraternity/sorority or play college sports?
A. Please do! Our students are involved in all aspects of campus life -- it makes them better leaders. We sponsor numerous intramural sports teams.
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Q. What's in it for me?
A. Perhaps a scholarship -- based on merit not need -- that helps pay tuition and books. We also pay you a monthly stipend ranging from $300.00 to $500.00. We offer you a chance to be part of one of the best organizations on campus where you'll make friends that will last a lifetime.
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Q. If I decide to become an officer, how long will I be in the Air Force?
A. For most career specialties, it is 4 years with great pay and benefits. Pilots and navigators serve longer commitments because of the expense of their training typically 6-10 years.
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Q. Do I have to join AFROTC as a freshman?
A. No, Any student (graduate or under-graduate) with more than two years remaining should be eligible for one of our programs. Also we are currently considering the applications of students with as little as one year left! So, if you're a second semester freshman, a sophomore, a transfer student from a community college or have at least two years remaining in your graduate studies stop by and we'll let you know how to enroll. In order to meet program requirements and deadline, it's best to see us in the fall prior to your final two years of school.
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Q. Can I fly?
A. Possibly. You must qualify by passing a physical exam, and physical fitness test and earn qualifying scores on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). Air Force ROTC's pilot and navigator spots are increasing in numbers over the next few years.
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Q. Do I have to fly?
A. No. The vast majority of Air Force jobs do not involve flying at all.
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Q. Do I have to live in barracks?
A. No, not while in college, and not while in the Air Force. Entry-level officers are equivalent to junior executives. Most officers live off-base in an apartment or house, though most locations offer on-base housing to both married and bachelor officers.
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Q. Do I have to cut my hair?
A. Hair must be kept in accordance with Air Force guidelines when in uniform. Women: As long as you have it neatly pinned you can keep your long hair.
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Q. How much time do I have to spend with AFROTC each week?
A. The only required time is during your Air Force ROTC class and Leadership Lab one day each week. (This equates to approximately three hours a week for freshmen and sophomores; five for juniors and seniors.). However, we encourage everyone to become involved in the corps. Basically, after meeting program requirements, you can devote as much or as little time to AFROTC as you want.
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Q. How much do I get paid?
A. JUST THINK, AS A LIEUTENANT, FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE, YOU'LL MAKE ABOUT $31,000 - $39,000 A YEAR! As an officer your pay depends on your rank and time in service. If you are a doctor or pilot, there are some special pay considerations and bonuses. In four years, you can be making $56,000-$64,000 as a captain.
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Q. Will I be behind my fellow graduates after I complete my duty?
A. No. In fact, many companies prefer to hire former officers over new college graduates (even those with masters degrees). Your Air Force experience, the management and leadership skills you've gained on active duty, and your active duty educational benefits can give you the competitive edge you need.
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Q. I've heard the abbreviations GMC and POC, what do they mean?
A. GMC refers to the General Military Course (GMC), the freshman and sophomore years of the program. As a GMC cadet you learn about officer careers and benefits, customs and courtesies, drill and ceremony, basic Air Force communication, Air Force history, and how the Air Force is organized. POC refers to the Professional Officer Course (POC), the final two years of the four-year program. As a POC cadet you are learning about leadership, management, national security and what life as a junior officer will be like. Additionally, as a POC cadet you're helping plan activities, run the cadet corps, and train the GMC cadets--great leadership experience!!
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Q. I'm prior service -- do I have to attend the GMC?
A. Possibly. The Professor of Aerospace Studies (PAS--the head of the AFROTC Program at your school--)may waive some or all of the GMC if you were prior enlisted. This is determined by the amount and kind of experience you had when you departed prior service. You may want to attend the sophomore Air Force ROTC classes and/or the preparation sessions for Field Training with the sophomores to see what Field Training with Air Force ROTC is all about. Prior Service cadets normally attend the 4-week camp.
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Q. What is Field Training?
A. Field Training offers you a firsthand look at the Air Force environment. You'll attend Field Training during the summer at selected Air Force bases before you enter the POC. At Field Training, you'll receive career orientation, junior officer training, aircraft and aircrew indoctrination, survival training, weapons familiarization, physical training, familiarization with the organization, and the function of an Air Force base. Field Training serves as "Boot Camp" or "Basic Training."
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Q. When do I attend Field Training?
A. The summer between your sophomore and junior year. Prior Service cadets who have achieved NCO status and Four-Year program cadets attend a 4-week Field Training camp, Two-Year program applicants attend a 6-week Field Training camp. The Air Force pays for your transportation to and from the camp, and provides a salary of $20 per day while at camp.
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Q. Do I receive any ROTC credit for Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and Junior ROTC?
A. You can, at the discretion of the PAS, some GMC credit can be given for two or more years of JROTC. Also, the unit commander can give credit for part of the GMC for the Spaatz, Earhart, and Mitchell Awards.
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Q. If I take AFROTC classes, am I committed to military or government service once I join?
A. There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming an Air Force officer. For these types of students, it's only another class. If you are interested in becoming an officer, there is NO service commitment during the first two years of the AFROTC program (the GMC). If you decide to stay and join the POC (the last two years of the program), you'll sign an enlistment contract with the Air Force and are then under a service obligation. For AFROTC scholarship students, you're obligated once you've activated the scholarship and have entered your sophomore year.
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Q. Does an AFROTC scholarship pay for room and board?
A. No. AFROTC scholarships do not pay for room and board, though some schools supplement certain AFROTC scholarships with room grants.
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Q. As a scholarship cadet, what should my parents do if they receive a tuition bill?
A. First, don't panic. Quite often, it takes time for all the paperwork to catch up and you may receive a bill showing you owe money. Simply bring it into the Air Force detachment and we will help resolve any discrepancies.
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Q. I didn't receive an AFROTC scholarship before I started college. Are there scholarship opportunities while I'm in college?
A. YES! Depending on how many years you have left in college, you may qualify for a two or three year scholarship. For more scholarship details and opportunities, CLICK HERE.
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Q. Are there special programs for active duty airman?
A. Yes! There are several programs available; some involve scholarship opportunities, while others are at your own expense. Remember, the first step in any Airman to Officer program is a stop at your base Education Office. Each of these programs has deadlines and age limitations, so check early.
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Q. What type of qualifications are required for Air Force ROTC classes?
A. Air Force ROTC classes are open to all students-no restrictions. However, if you intend to become an Air Force officer, then there are some qualification requirements. Contact the detachment for details and to see if you are qualified.
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Q. What is the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)?
A. The AFOQT measures verbal and math skills (similar to the college entrance exams) as well as your aptitude in academics, pilot, and navigator/technical areas. Testing requires about 4 1/2 hours. After you have taken the AFOQT and receive your scores, an Air Force officer at Detachment 490 will tell you how well you did.
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Q. Are there opportunities to see what life is like as an Air Force officer before I'm commissioned?
A. YES! During the school year we visit local air force bases and during Leadership Lab we hold career nights. Air Force officers visit Leadership Laboratory and talk about their jobs and experiences. Additionally, we offer summer programs where you can spend several weeks at an Air Force base shadowing an officer in a career field in which you're interested. For more details about the many summer programs we offer.
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Q. Do I have to major in Aeronautical Science to become a pilot or navigator?
A. No! Your academic major plays a minor role in pilot and navigator selection. You can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or navigator slot in Air Force ROTC. You can even be on an Air Force ROTC scholarship in an engineering or science major and compete on an equal basis for a flight position.
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Q. What are the age limits to compete during my junior year for a pilot or navigator position?
A. To compete for the pilot or navigator categories, you must be able to complete your bachelor's degree and be commissioned through Air Force ROTC before you are 26 1/2 years old.
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Q. Can women and veterans join?
A. Yes! Opportunities are available for women and veterans. Since 1969, women have enrolled in Air Force ROTC. Today, women are training to become pilots, navigators, or pursuing one of more than 200 other career specialties. Pay, benefits and opportunities are the same for everyone in the Air Force. If you're a veteran of any branch of the Armed Forces and plan to attend college, you may be able to get a commission through Air Force ROTC. You must successfully complete a summer Field Training session before completing the Professional Officer Course. As a member of the POC, you will receive $450 to $500 a month (tax-free) besides any GI bill or VEAP benefits you are already entitled. You may also be eligible for an Air Force ROTC scholarship.
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Q. How much physical training is there?
A. All contract cadets must complete the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) every semester within standards. The PFT includes sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run.
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Q. How do I get my uniforms, and how much do they cost?
A. During the first few classes, you'll receive a complete uniform - at no cost to you - and instructions for free alterations. You are responsible to keep your uniform clean and presentable.
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Q. How do Air Force ROTC graduates compare with Air Force Academy and Officer Training School graduates?
A. The Academy, ROTC and Officer Training School all produce qualified Air Force officers. The Air Force achieves better diversity and talent by getting officers from more than one commissioning source. Once on active duty, the most important factor in promotion is duty performance.
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Last updated 20 Dec 13

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