Lieutenant Colonel Joseph D'Amico II, Director
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) offers students a course of study designed to complement their individual academic major. This program is designed to commission young men and women as second lieutenants into the active duty Air Force upon completion of a bachelor’s degree and ROTC requirements. Students take one academic Aerospace Studies course and a leadership laboratory each semester to receive hands-on leadership and management practice. Cadets enrolled in the program represent a broad cross-section of the student body. By taking AFROTC, a student/cadet has an opportunity to explore and evaluate Air Force career opportunities while earning a college degree. Completion of the ROTC curriculum is the initial step in the education of the professional officer and provides a firm understanding of aerospace concepts and the Air Force mission, organization, and operation. A commission as an officer in the United States Air Force is tendered only after Valdosta State University grants the bachelor’s degree.
The Air Force ROTC program consists of two phases: the General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC). Each phase requires four semesters of study on campus. The GMC courses taken during the freshmen and sophomore years deal primarily with building a foundation for the Air Force way of life, such as developing customs and courtesies and learning proper uniform wear, as well as understanding various Air Force organizations and their missions. Finally, a deeper understanding of the history of the Air Force is taught in the sophomore year. General Military courses meet two and one half hours each week; one hour in the classroom and one and one-half hours in Leadership Laboratory (AS 1000). During the junior year, the Professional Officer Course emphasizes student involvement in learning and practicing leadership and management techniques. The senior year courses deal extensively with political, economic, and social factors relating to the formulation and implementation of national security policy. Communicative skills are stressed throughout the entire ROTC curriculum. The junior and senior cadets meet for four hours each week: two and one half hours in the classroom and one and one half hours in Leadership Laboratory (AS 1000). Additionally, cadets participate in a mandatory physical fitness program a minimum of two hours per week. This training is incorporated into AS 1000 Leadership Laboratory and must be accomplished in order to successfully complete the course. All cadets wear their uniforms all day on Leadership Laboratory days and POC students must also wear their uniform to their Aerospace Studies classes.
All students must complete a field training course conducted at an active Air Force base during the summer months. There are two types of courses available, depending on whether the student anticipates entering the two- or four-year program. The four-year program requires a four-week field training course to be completed normally between the sophomore and junior years. The two-year program is for those students who have not completed the GMC, to include transfer students and other students unable to participate in the on-campus GMC program. The two-year program requires a six-week field training course prior to entering the POC. Students interested in Air Force ROTC should contact the Aerospace Studies Department to determine eligibility.
A tiered stipend ranging from $250 to $400 per month is paid to contracted POC cadets or those cadets on scholarship. This sum is in addition to any other scholarship benefit held by a cadet. Additionally, when attending either field training encampment, cadets are furnished transportation or payment for travel, plus receive pay as well as free medical and dental care. Finally, all uniforms and AFROTC texts are provided at no cost to the student while participating in the program.
Selection for the POC
Selection for the POC is based on the best interests of the Air Force, together with achievement records of academic ability, observed leadership traits, fitness, the results of an officer aptitude qualification test, and physical examination. Schedules for these tests are announced through normal student advisory media.
Other requirements for POC entry are:
- Be a full-time student with at least two academic years remaining of undergraduate and/or graduate studies
- Qualify on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)
- Qualify on the Air Force medical examination
- Be at least 17 years old with parent or legal guardian consent
- Be a United States citizen
- Be interviewed and accepted for enrollment
- Be of good moral character
- Be in good academic standing
- Complete all commissioning requirements as follows:
- Pilot and Navigator Candidates: Before age 29
- Scholarship Recipients: Before age 31 as of December 31 in the eligible year of commissioning.
The following criteria may earn an individual appropriate placement credit within the AFROTC program: students who have completed ROTC courses in essentially military preparatory schools or junior colleges, participants in high school JROTC or Civil Air Patrol, or prior members of the armed services. Those who have served in the armed services may be awarded full credit for the entire GMC and may therefore be eligible to begin the program in the POC. It is important to understand that these credit possibilities are considered “experiential” credits and therefore do NOT count toward an academic degree requirement or the minor in Aerospace Studies, but will enable an individual to attend a 4-week rather than 6-week field training encampment. Students interested in AFROTC should contact the Aerospace Studies Department to determine eligibility.
Scholarships and Additional Benefits
Scholarships are available to highly qualified students participating in AFROTC. The “In-College” Scholarship Program (ICSP) pays up to full tuition and provides $750 annually for books in addition to providing the monthly stipend as previously mentioned. Scholarship consideration is predicated on student ability, performance, and potential.
The AFROTC program also offers other benefits. For example, the monthly stipend is also paid to POC cadets regardless of scholarship status. Additionally, when attending either field training course, cadets are furnished transportation or payment for travel plus pay. Free medical and dental care and all uniforms are provided while at field training.
When entering the Professional Officer Course, students must have at least two full academic years remaining to complete their college requirements for an undergraduate or a graduate degree or a combination of the two. Each POC student is required to enlist in the Air Force Reserve and to execute a written contract with the government. This contract requires a student to complete the POC and to accept a commission as a second lieutenant if tendered. General Military Course students are under absolutely no obligation if not on scholarship.
Students interested in this commissioning program should contact the Unit Admissions Officer, telephone 229-333-5954.
AS 1000. Leadership Laboratory. 1 Hour.
Graded “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory.” Practices in both followership and leadership. A study of Air Force customs and courtesies, drill ceremonies, military commands, and Air Force opportunities (for 1000- and 2000-level AS students). Advanced leadership experiences in planning, organizing, and executing cadet training activities; preparing and presenting briefings and other oral and written communications (for 3000- and 4000-level AS students). The leadership laboratory is required of AS students each semester, but total credit is limited to 3 hours.
AS 1001. Foundations of the U.S. Air Force I. 1 Hour.
Corequisite: AS 1000. A survey course designed to introduce students to the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
AS 1002. Foundations of the U.S. Air Force II. 1 Hour.
Corequisite: AS 1000. A survey course designed to continue the student’s introduction to the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
AS 2001. The Evolution of U.S. Air and Space Power I. 1 Hour.
Corequisite: AS 1000. Examines general aspects of the air and space power from a historical perspective. The course covers a time period from the first balloons and dirigibles to the Korean War.
AS 2002. The Evolution of U.S. Air and Space Power II. 1 Hour.
Corequisite: AS 1000. Examines general aspects of air and space power from a historical perspective. The course covers a time period from the Vietnam War to present operations.
AS 3001. Leadership Studies I. 3 Hours.
Corequisite: AS 1000. A study of leadership, management fundamentals, professional knowledge, Air Force personnel and evaluations systems, leadership ethics, and communication skills required of an Air Force junior officer.
AS 3002. Leadership Studies II. 3 Hours.
Corequisite: AS 1000. Continues the study of leadership, management fundamentals, professional knowledge, Air Force personnel and evaluations systems, leadership ethics, and communication skills required of an Air Force junior officer.
AS 4001. National Security Affairs. 3 Hours.
Corequisite: AS 1000. Examines the national security process, regional studies, advanced leadership ethics, and Air Force doctrine.
AS 4002. Preparation for Active Duty. 3 Hours.
Corequisite: AS 1000. The final step in preparing an officer candidate for active duty. This course examines the military as a profession, officership, military justice, and civilian control of the military.