Believe it or not, a parent's opinion is the one that children respect above all others – especially now as they prepare to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives. If your child is considering Air Force ROTC, chances are you both have concerns and questions. Ask us! Visit our Contact Us » section and send us an email.
- What is the commitment to the Air Force upon graduation? »
- When will cadets know what job they will be doing for the Air Force as an officer? »
- Do all cadets have to become a pilot or combat systems officer? »
- When do cadets actually receive their commission as an Air Force officer? »
- Will my child go on active duty in the Air Force immediately following graduation and commissioning? »
- Can my child continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level? »
- My child does not have 20/20 vision. Can they still fly? »
- Is a major in Aeronautical Science required to become a pilot or combat systems officer? »
- What are the age limits for a cadet to compete for a pilot or combat systems officer position? »
- Will my child be behind their fellow nonmilitary graduates after they complete their service obligation and decide to get out? »
- How do Air Force ROTC graduates compare with Air Force Academy and Officer Training School graduates? »
1. What is the commitment to the Air Force upon graduation?
Most officers have a four-year commitment. For pilots it is 10 years after pilot training and six years for combat systems officers after training. Air Battle Managers have a six-year commitment. See the Service Commitment section ».
2. When will cadets know what job they will be doing for the Air Force as an officer?
They will compete in a selection process much like the one of an enrollment allocation as an officer candidate. The factors to be used will include their Air Force Officer Qualifying TestAir Force Officer Qualifying TestA standardized test similar to the SAT and ACT that measures aptitudes, and is used to select applicants for officer commissioning programs or specific training programs. A required test for all cadets and students on scholarship or in the POC. (AFOQTAFOQTAir Force Officer Qualifying Test ) scores, their camp performance rating, their grade point average (GPA), their academic major, their Physical Fitness TestPhysical Fitness TestPFT - an exam composed of three events in the following order: push-ups, crunches, and a 1.5-mile run. The test is used to ensure cadets maintain an acceptable level of fitness. (PFTPFTPhysical Fitness Test ) score and the DetachmentDetachmentThe Air Force ROTC unit at a host university. CommanderCommanderThe officer in charge of running an Air Force unit's day-to-day operations. 's rating. They will know their specific Air Force job category approximately six months before they are commissionedcommissionedAppointed by the President of the United States. .
3. Do all cadets have to become a pilot or combat systems officer?
No. The vast majority of Air Force jobs do not involve flying at all. In the civilian world, there are thousands of jobs and careers – doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, engineers, financial careers, food-service management – the list is endless. For almost every civilian out in the workforce, there is an Air Force officer counterpart performing a similar job. For more information about the many careers available, check out our Careers section ».
4. When do cadets actually receive their commissioncommissionBestowed upon an AFROTC graduate by the President of the United States recognizing them as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. as an Air Force officer?
CadetsCadetsMembers of the student population of AFROTC normally get commissioned in a special ceremony the same day they graduate. They can expect to enter active duty about 30 days after graduation.
5. Will my child go on active duty in the Air Force immediately following graduation and commissioning?
Not necessarily. They may request an educational delay if they desire to attend graduate school at their own expense before going on active duty. If approved, the Air Force will postpone their active-duty tour. Delays are routinely provided if they select to attend dental or medical school. Scholarships also exist for students accepted to medical school.
6. Can my child continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level?
Yes. The Air Force offers several opportunities to do so. In many cases they can request an educational delay. This delay between the time of commissioning and reporting for active duty will be of sufficient length to allow them to fulfill the requirements for a professional or master's degree. They will assume all financial obligations. There are also Air Force Institute of Technology programs where the Air Force pays for their graduate school education. These programs are explained in detail in Air Force ROTC.
7. My child does not have 20/20 vision. Can they still fly?
It depends. Check out the Flying Requirements » for more information.
8. Is a major in Aeronautical Science required to become a pilot or combat systems officer?
No. Academic major plays a minor role in pilot and combat systems officer selection. Cadets can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or combat systems officer slot in Air Force ROTC. They can even be on an Air Force ROTC scholarship in an engineering or science major and compete on an equal basis for a flying position.
9. What are the age limits for a cadet to compete for a pilot or combat systems officer position?
To compete for the pilot or combat systems officer categories, a cadet must be able to complete their bachelor's degree and be commissioned through Air Force ROTC before they are 29 years old.
10. Will my child be behind their fellow nonmilitary graduates after they complete their service obligation and decide to get out?
No. In fact, many companies prefer to hire former officers over new college graduates (even those with masters degrees). Their Air Force experience, the management skills they have gained on active duty and their active-duty educational benefits can give them the competitive edge they need.
11. How do Air Force ROTC graduates compare with Air Force Academy and Officer Training School graduates?
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 job performance.