AFROTC & Admissions staff are here to answer your questions.
We are always happy to talk about our leadership and service model and active campus military clubs and student organzations, but the following cover some of the most common FAQs.
What are the joining qualifications for Air Force ROTC?
To qualify for the General Military Course (Air Force ROTC’s first two years), you must:
- Be a full-time Norwich student (12 semester credit hours)
- Be a member of the Norwich Corps of Cadets
- Be a U.S. citizen or pursuing citizenship
- Meet AFROTC height/weight standards (i.e., body fat of 20% male & 28% female)
- Be at least 14 years old (17 to contract) but no older than 30 years at commissioning
- Possess good moral character
What are the minimum fitness standards?
Pushups (1 min) >39 >22
Situps (1 min) >42 >40
1.5 mile run <13:14 <15:50
Must I cut my hair?
Your hair must stay within USAF and Space Force regulations.
How does Junior ROTC in high school differ from ROTC in college?
Junior ROTC aims to build American leaders and better American citizens. College Air Force ROTC aims to deliver USAF and USSF leaders of character and action.
Will I receive ROTC credit for Junior ROTC?
You may. Three years of Junior ROTC (JROTC) are considered equal to three semesters of the General Military Course; two years are equal to one General Military Course year. No credit is given for less than two years of JROTC training.
If I join USAF ROTC, am I joining the military?
Not immediately. Although Air Force ROTC exists to commission Air and Space Force officers, cadets are not in the military until they contract and then graduate and commission. To fulfill all USAF ROTC requirements, cadets will, during their college years, need to sign a commitment (i.e., contract) stating that they will join the Air or Space Force as an officer postgraduation.
If high school students receive four-year scholarships through the High School Scholarship Program, the first year of college will be paid for, and they can quit at the end of their freshman year with no obligation. If students are offered scholarships while already in college, they are not committed to the Air Force until they accept their scholarship (usually in the fall of their sophomore year). Non-scholarship cadets are not committed to joining until the start of their college junior year. Air Force ROTC gives students many opportunities to see what the Air and Space Force is about before they commit.
May Norwich University students take ROTC classes if they don’t want to join the Air or Space Force after graduation?
Yes. There is no service commitment for students who take ROTC classes without intention of becoming officers. If students are interested in becoming officers, there is no service commitment during the Air Force ROTC program’s first two years (the General Military Course) unless they have Air Force ROTC scholarships. If students opt to stay and are selected to join the Professional Officer Course (the program’s last two years), they will sign an commitment contract to enter active duty after graduation.
How much time must I spend with the U.S. Air Force ROTC every week?
Cadets must attend weekly ROTC classes, Leadership Lab, and physical fitness training (for a total of about seven class hours per week for first-year and sophomores, or nine class hours for juniors and seniors). Cadets must also prepare for these activities, e.g., completing homework and readying uniforms.
ACADEMICS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Can AFROTC students pick any college major?
Yes. The Air Force and Space Force encourage cadets to take curriculums that interest them and offer success. However, the Air Force seeks technical (STEM) and nursing majors especially. ROTC students must maintain a GPA over 2.0 and earn degrees within their designated graduation year. GPA impacts scholarship (minimum of 2.5) as well as selection for continuation.
May I change my major while on an ROTC scholarship?
Yes; however, this must be coordinated with the cadre and approved by headquarters. Scholarship recipients and those already selected for Professional Officer Candidacy are limited in changing degrees.
Must I join AFROTC as a first-year student?
No. However, cadets must participate in the program for at least three years to meet all Air Force ROTC graduation requirements. If students are close to finishing their bachelor’s degrees, the Air Force recommends they consider Officer Training School, an officer commissioning program for people who already have bachelor’s degrees.
Is AFROTC closed to students without ROTC scholarships?
No. Most students do not start with a scholarship but many earn one eventually. At any given time, about 80 percent students receive financial assistance, but are not required to receive a scholarship to complete the program and graduate as officers.
Will I have to drill and march?
Some, yes. Marching and drilling are practiced during Leadership Laboratory and field training. Marching develops mental discipline, mutual trust and unity of effort.
What’s involved in the physical training?
Cadets train physically two to three times weekly. Physical training, consisting of calisthenics, dynamic activities, and running, helps achieve the AF standard fitness assessment. This test sores pushups and situps within one minute to gauge anerobic strength and then a run for aerobic fitness.
When must I wear my U.S. Air Force uniform?
Cadets wear their Air Force uniforms to all required Air Force ROTC functions, including leadership laboratory, and during special events.
Do scholarship students get preferred treatment?
No. Having an ROTC scholarship has no bearing on career or program experience
May I play sports while I am in U.S. Air Force ROTC?
Yes. ROTC cadets may play sports or join other extracurriculars as long as they maintain their grades and meet all ROTC requirements. We encourage multiple leadership opportunities, such as sports, for well-rounded officers.
When do AFROTC cadets take the Air Force Officer Qualification Test?
AFROTC cadets must take this test no later than spring of their first year. The test will be repeated again early in the Fall of their sophomore year. A cadet must pass within three attempts with at least 90 days in between testing. Passing this test is required for commissioning in the Air or Space Force. All cadets are strongly encourage to take the SAT or ACT as practice for the Air Force Officer Qualification Test.
What are the long-term benefits of ROTC?
In short, leadership skills, life lessons and lifetime friendships … awareness of yourself and others not available outside the brother and sisterhood of the cadet corps.
May I pursue graduate education after I'm commissioned?
Yes. The U.S. Air Force financially supports graduate studies. Cadets may apply for the Air Force Institute of Technology to earn an advanced degree on full scholarship. Additionally, most bases have graduate college programs, and students may use the Tuition Assistance program to fund advanced degrees.
Am I joining the military if I join Air Force ROTC?
No. Scholarship students/cadets that were awarded and accepted a 4-year AFROTC scholarship from high school will have their first year of college paid for and you may quit at the end of your freshman year with no obligation. If you were awarded a 3-year scholarship from high school or college then you are not committed to the Air Force/Space Force until you accept your scholarship. If you did not receive a scholarship, then you are not committed to joining the Air Force or Space Force until you start your junior year of college when you have successfully completed Field Training after your sophomore year summer.
I’m in Air Force ROTC. What’s my Air Force time commitment upon graduation?
Most officers commit to four years. Pilots commit to 10 years after pilot training; Combat systems officers/air battle managers/remote aircraft pilots commit to six years after training.
When will I know my job as an Air Force officer?
You’ll know your specific Air Force job category during your junior year. You’ll compete in a selection process, much as you did for enrollment allocation as an officer candidate, that will consider your Air Force Officer Qualifying Test scores, field training performance rating, grade-point average, your physical fitness test score, academic major and the Detachment Commander's ranking.
Must I become a pilot or navigator?
No. The vast majority of Air Force jobs involve no flying. For almost every civilian in the workforce, there is an Air Force officer counterpart performing a similar job. For more information about the careers available, visit the Air Force ROTC careers page.
How can I become a pilot or combat systems officer/navigator?
Because pilot slots are hypercompetitive, you’ll need to perform well throughout your whole Air Force ROTC career. That means achieving your best success with your GPA, standardized test scores, commander’s ranking and field training performance.
When do I commission as an Air Force officer?
Cadets commissioned during a special ceremony on graduation day. Cadets can expect to enter active duty about 30 days after graduation, but may defer active duty until 90 days or more have passed, depending on training requirements.
Must an Air Force ROTC cadet enter active duty in the Air Force immediately following graduation and commissioning?
Not necessarily. You may request an educational delay if you wish to attend graduate school at your own expense before starting active duty. Delays are routinely provided for students who opt to attend dental or medical school. (Scholarships also exist for students accepted to medical school.)
I don't have 20/20 vision. May I still fly?
Possibly. Your cadre will have information on vision requirements for all rated (flying) career fields. You may opt for eye surgery before any selection boards, but this is at your own expense and must be completed, and medically approved, before pilot or rated selection boards meet.
Do I need a specific major to become a pilot or navigator?
You can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or other rated slot in Air Force ROTC.
Are there age limits for cadets to compete for a pilot or rated position?
To compete for the pilot or rated categories, you must complete your bachelor's degree and be commissioned through Air Force ROTC before age 29.
How do Air Force ROTC graduates compare with Air Force Academy and Officer Training School graduates?
The Air Force achieves the best diversity and talent by drawing officers from more than one commissioning source; the academy, Officer Training Scholl and ROTC all produce qualified U.S. Air Force officers. Once officers start active duty, job performance, not commissioning sources, is the most important factor toward promotion.
How much will I get paid after active duty?
Based on estimates using 2013 figures, 2nd lieutenants fresh from college will make about $47,000 a year. Officers’ pay will hinge on rank and service time. Doctors and pilots will receive special pay considerations and bonuses. In four years, you’ll make about $74,200 as a captain with Basic Pay before adding in other pay like Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is calculated at this website: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm. approximately $650 to $1,200 a month, depending on where you are stationed. Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is around $225 a month for officers. Both allowances are tax-free and are included in the aforementioned salary estimates. Current pay information is at www.dfas.mil.