Command Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps
Location Maxwell AFB, AL
Established 1966 (First prog. opened)
Service/branch U.S. Air Force
Director/Commander Colonel Stephen T. Sanders
Status Active

The Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps(AFJROTC) program enrolls approximately 102,000 cadets, employs more than 1,900 instructors and operates units in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and Guam. AFJROTC units are located within host high schools, public and private, and, by law, the program is limited to students in grades 9 – 12. AFJROTC instructors are employees of the host school.[1]


AFJROTC cadets.jpg
Air Force Junior ROTC cadets standing in formation.
Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps can track its heritage to a program founded in 1911 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by Army Lt Edgar R. Steevers. Lieutenant Steevers was assigned as an inspector-instructor of the organized military of Wyoming. During his assignment, he envisioned a noncompulsory cadet corps comprised of high school students. His program was aimed toward making better citizens.

The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized a junior course for non-college military schools, high schools and other non-preparatory schools. The Army implemented JROTC in 1916. Public Law 88-647, commonly known as the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964, directed the secretaries of each military service to establish and maintain JROTC units for their respective services. The first Air Force JROTC programs were opened in 1966.[1]


The objectives of JROTC are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline, and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.

The AFJROTC program is grounded in the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. The curriculum emphasizes the Air Force heritage and traditions, the development of flight, applied flight sciences, military aerospace policies, and space exploration.

Air Force Junior ROTC cadets take a peek inside a New Mexico Air National Guard F-16 Falcon during Aerospace and Technology Honors Camp at the University of New Mexico.

Curriculum opportunities include:

  • Academic studies
  • Character education
  • Life skills education
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Team-building experiences
  • Intramural competition
  • Field trips / training opportunities

The AFJROTC program is primarily a 3-year course of military instruction, with a fourth year being optional. The curriculum is academically comparable to a secondary level science course. The curriculum includes an introduction to aviation, national defense, careers, space, and leadership. About 60% of the course is devoted to the first four subjects.[2]

Scholarships and other benefits

While in AFJROTC, cadets may compete for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force private pilot's scholarship through PT scores, SAT scores, GPA/class ranking and Aviation Qualifying Test(AQT). If you earn the scholarship, you will be sent to the nearest university that participates in the program to earn your pilot's license. The scholarship will cover room and board.

AFJROTC cadets who choose to continue their education may receive special consideration for AFROTC scholarships. Many of these scholarships will pay for two, three or four years of tuition, books and fees at numerous universities and colleges and allow cadets to pursue studies in various technical and non-technical majors. In school year 2007-2008, 372 out of 515, or 72.23 percent, qualified AFJROTC cadets received AFROTC scholarships during the scholarship selection board process. The overall select rate for all applicants was 50 percent.

Cadets completing two years of AFJROTC and who continue AFROTC in college may waive one term of the AFROTC program. Students completing three years in AFJROTC may receive credit for a full year of college-level AFROTC.

In addition, cadets electing to enter the military immediately after graduating from high school are eligible to enlist in the services at one to two pay grades higher than other enlistees. Students completing three years in AFJROTC are eligible to enter the Air Force two pay grades higher than other enlistees and are automatically enrolled into the Community College of the Air Force to receive college credit toward an associate degree.[3]


Each AFJROTC unit is staffed with a minimum of one retired Air Force officer and retired noncommissioned officer. No specific AFSC or career field is required for instructor duty. Desirable prerequisites are teaching and experience working with youth groups; and exerience in leadership, supply, administration, and drill and ceremony.

All AFJROTC instructors are deeply involved in their communities. They teach aerospace science and leadership education curricula. They also serve as liaisons between the Air Force and civilian agencies in the aerospace field, and perform career and performance counseling for AFJROTC cadets. They help plan and support activities like military balls, cadet competitions, cadet newspaper production, military ceremonies and charitable activities. They provide instruction in drill and ceremonies and in the principles of leadership and management. In short, the instructors devote themselves to the cadets in the classroom and during extensive extracurricular activities. Their hard work and devotion have resulted in an AFJROTC program which is highly acclaimed on local and national levels.[4]


Officer instructors in AFJROTC are required to have a minimum of a bachelors degree and almost 90 percent have a Master's degree or higher. Most instructor officers in AFJROTC are known as a Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI).[4]


Enlisted Instructors (and instructor applicants) must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent and obtain an Associate’s degree within 5 years from date of employment as an AFJROTC instructor. NCOs are strongly encouraged to complete a CCAF degree prior to retirement. Presently, 30% of all NCO instructors have at least an Associate's degree with an additional 48% holding a Bachelors or higher degree. Enlisted instructors are known as a Aerospace Science Instructor (ASI).[4]

Chain of Command

Main article: Air Force JROTC Chain of Command


  1. 1.0 1.1 AFJROTC Website
  2. AFJROTC History
  3. Factsheets: AFJROTC, "Air Force Link", Retrieved September 4, 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 AFJROTC Instructor Information, AFJROTC Website, Retrieved September 4, 2008

Also see

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