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Program Overview and FAQs

In addition to your normal coursework at Saint Louis University, Air Force ROTC courses and hands-on leadership opportunities will push you to make the most of your college life and career.

Taught by world-class military faculty and supplemented by distinguished speakers, Air Force ROTC Detachment 207 classes at SLU bring policy and history to life. Classes take place in University classrooms at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, which are equipped with everything needed for learning in a comfortable and positive atmosphere. Computers and other facilities are located at the Air Force ROTC detachment located at 3631 Forest Park Ave. as well.

Cadets are only required to wear their uniforms on Wednesdays or during occasional special events. The rest of the time cadets look like every other college student.

Program Overview

Freshman Year

Cadets enrolling in ROTC classes as freshmen are classified as AS 100 cadets, in reference to the AS 100 series of classes they take. The freshman experience in ROTC is far different from the experience of first-year cadets at service academies, such as the U.S. Air Force Academy.

ROTC does not have an “initiation” year where freshmen cadets are placed under severe restrictions. AS 100 cadets are instead expected to simply learn all they can about ROTC and the Air Force in order to make an informed decision about whether to continue in the program.

Sophomore Year

Sophomore year, AS 200 cadets participate in the Field Training Preparation (FTP) program. Marching skills, military customs and courtesies, and uniform wear are brought to the level of excellence. AS 200 cadets learn hands-on followership and leadership skills as they lead their peers — skills that will help them succeed both in the Air Force and in civilian life.

Cadets who enroll in ROTC with only three years left until graduation are enrolled as members of the AS 200 class and participate in FTP activities. Cadets pursuing a career in the medical corps usually apply for their position during the winter of their sophomore year.

Field Training

The summer after their AS 200 year, cadets are flown to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama to participate in field training. This rigorous four-week program involves physical conditioning, weapons training and survival training. It is an opportunity to develop your skills as a leader and a team member. Cadets are evaluated on their ability to work together and succeed as a team.

Graduates of field training earn the privilege of wearing the historic Prop and Wings emblem on their uniform and enter the Professional Officer Course.

Junior Year

Following successful completion of field training, cadets are placed in positions of leadership and responsibility within the cadet wing. AS 300 cadets are often assigned to manage the various projects and programs that enhance the experience of Detachment 207 cadets. Many AS 300 cadets also serve as commanders of cadet flights (the equivalent of an army platoon), where they are responsible for the training and preparation of up to a dozen cadets. Some AS 300 cadets also serve as executive officers of the wing commander and the group commanders, as squadron commanders supervising two flights and in other various assignments.

Cadets pursuing a career as a pilot, combat systems officer or navigator, or air battle manager will usually apply for these positions during the winter of their junior year.

Senior Year

AS 400 cadets prepare for commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force by serving as the senior leadership of the cadet wing. The wing commander, vice commander, and most of the group and squadron commanders are selected from the ranks of the AS 400 class. AS 400s may also serve as program or project managers and flight commanders. In all of these positions, the AS 400s hold a mentorship role as they help the AS 300s develop their leadership qualities by exemplifying the fully-developed officer candidate.

Cadets who have not already been selected for a career field in medicine or flying will apply for their desired career field during their AS 400 year.

Fifth Year (if applicable)

Cadets requiring a fifth year to complete their major may choose, with Air Force ROTC approval, to delay their commissioning in order to study for one additional year. Fifth-year cadets do not attend Air Force ROTC academic classes.

Financial Aid

Air Force ROTC can help you with the rising costs of college education with an array of full or partial scholarships that cover tuition and fees. Recipients also receive $600 a year for books and extra spending money.

Find more Air Force ROTC Scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join Air Force ROTC if I am already in college?

Once you are enrolled as a full time student, you can register for AS 101 if you are a freshman. If you are a sophomore or only have three years left of your degree, you may still join but will need to contact the unit admissions officers first.

What can I do in the Air Force if I am not a pilot?

There are a wide variety of career opportunities available within the Air Force. Only 4 percent of airmen are pilots, leaving numerous other technical, scientific, specialty and health care careers available, all of which are fulfilling and offer important leadership experience.

What is the difference between Air Force ROTC and enlisting in the Air Force?

Air Force ROTC is one of three commissioning sources for the United States Air Force. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree and Air Force ROTC, you will be commissioned as an officer, followed by specific training in a career field.

Officers are trained to be the leaders and supervisors of enlisted personnel. Rank, pay and career opportunities for officers are commensurate with their elevated level of responsibility. Enlisting in the Air Force is done through a local recruiter followed by basic training and prospective technical training. This avenue does not require a college degree.

Will the Air Force pay for my school?

Air Force ROTC offers many scholarship opportunities. Prospective cadets can apply for a high school scholarship before entering into college. Once in college, you can apply for an in-college scholarship. This process is handled by the host detachment.

What happens after I graduate college and complete Air Force ROTC?

Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree and Air Force ROTC, you will be commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force.

What is the service commitment after completing Air Force ROTC?

Most careers require an active duty service commitment of four years with the exception of flying and medical careers. Following the active duty service commitment, four years of inactive reserve is required.

What is Air Force ROTC like in college?

Air Force ROTC is a program that will challenge and train your leadership skills and leadership potential. The academic class covers military education and aerospace history. Leadership labs take place once a week and are designed to train cadets to react as leaders to various situations. Experienced cadets become leaders within the cadet corps and are responsible for training new cadets. You are required to wear a uniform to your ROTC classes during the week.

Can I be in Air Force ROTC if I am not awarded a scholarship?

Yes, there are many cadets who are not on scholarship, complete the program and earn a commission in the US Air Force.

Will I be called to active duty while I am attending college?

The chances of this are extremely slim but cadets are contracted with the Air Force, which makes active duty a very remote possibility.

Will the Air Force pay school loans?

No, Air Force ROTC does not pay student loans.

Can I be on reserve status rather than active duty after Air Force ROTC?

No, you must be on active duty status after completion of Air Force ROTC. Once this commitment is up, you can continue in the Air Force as a reservist.

In what majors is the Air Force interested?

All majors, so you can choose any field that interests you. However, technical career fields in the Air Force require technical degrees. Currently, the Air Force is in particular need of electrical engineers and meteorologists.

How can I join Air Force ROTC if I already have a bachelor’s degree?

Officer Training School (OTS) is normally the desired commissioning source for applicants with bachelor’s degrees. Graduate students can participate in Air Force ROTC and apply for some in-college scholarships. If you are not eligible for Air Force ROTC scholarships due to your age, you can still enroll in Air Force ROTC. During your last two years, you would receive stipend only.

How can I be in Air Force ROTC if I am not a U.S. citizen?

You can begin Air Force ROTC while in the process of becoming a citizen. However, you cannot contract with Air Force ROTC until citizenship is granted. A cadet not on scholarship will typically contract the last day of their sophomore year.