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Purdue University Air Force ROTC

A Department within the Division of Student Affairs

 

FAQ

If I join Air Force ROTC, does that mean I’m joining the military?

No. If you got a 4-year scholarship from high school, then the first year of college is paid for and you can quit at the end of your freshman year with no obligation. If you got a 3-year scholarship from high school or college then you are not committed to the Air Force until you accept your scholarship (usually in the fall of your sophomore year). If you didn’t get any scholarship, then you are not committed to joining the Air Force until you start your junior year of college.

With Air Force ROTC, we provide you with lots of opportunities to see what the Air Force is about before signing up. And while you’re waiting, you are getting college out of the way and having a lot of fun.

Do I have to join Air Force ROTC as a freshman?

No. Any student with more than two years remaining in their degree program can join Air Force ROTC. So, if you’re a second-semester freshman, a sophomore, or have at least two years remaining in your undergraduate studies, you can join.

Can I attend Air Force ROTC without a scholarship?

Yes, you can. Many of our students do not start with a scholarship, but earn one eventually. Still, at any given time, about 80% of our students receive financial assistance.

Is preference shown toward scholarship cadets?

Definitely not! The fact that a cadet may have an Air Force ROTC scholarship has no bearing on an Air Force career. Nor does it make any difference while in the Air Force ROTC program.

Are there any restrictions as to what students select as their academic major?

None at all. In fact, we encourage you to take a curriculum you are interested in and in which you have the capability to do well. Our main academic concern is that you maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) above 2.5 and attain your degree in the time period planned. The GPA requirements are different if you are applying for a scholarship and once you are on scholarship.

If I take Air Force ROTC classes, am I committed to military or government service once I join?

There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming an Air Force officer. For these types of students, it’s only another class. If you are interested in becoming an officer, there is NO service commitment during the first two years of the Air Force ROTC program (the General Military Course) unless you have an Air Force ROTC scholarship. If you decide to stay and join the POC (the last two years of the program), you’ll sign an allocation contract with the Air Force and are then under a service obligation. For Air Force ROTC scholarship students, you’re obligated once you’ve activated the scholarship and have entered your sophomore year.

Is the Four-Year Program more advantageous for students?

Yes, for the following reasons:

  • It gives you more time to participate in Air Force ROTC without obligation, to gain experience and to decide whether you want to apply for the advanced program, the POC.
  • You will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships if eligible.

What Courses do I have to take?

Fall Spring
Freshmen AFT 110 Class (1 Credit) AFT 120 Class (1 Credit)
AFT 111 LLab (1 Credit) AFT 121 LLab (1 Credit)
PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit) PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit)
Sophomores AFT 230 Class (1 Credit) AFT 240 Class (1 Credit)
AFT 231 LLab (1 Credit) AFT 241 LLab (1 Credit)
PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit) PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit)
Juniors AFT 351 Class (3 Credit) AFT 361 Class (3 Credit)
AFT 352 LLab (1 Credit) AFT 362 LLab (1 Credit)
PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit) PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit)
Seniors AFT 471 Class (3 Credit) AFT 481 Class (3 Credit)
AFT 472 LLab (1 Credit) AFT 482 LLab (1 Credit)
PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit) PES 114S Mon, Wed, Fri PT (1 Credit)

What will be the course content of my Air Force ROTC classes?

The Aerospace Studies 100 course is devoted to an introduction to the military profession and the Air Force. Aerospace Studies 200 is a mini-history course that examines the growth and development of airpower and the role of airpower in the present day. Both of these courses are worth one credit per semester. Aerospace Studies 300, offered in your junior year, is a leadership and management course. Rounding out your AFROTC education is Aerospace Studies 400, a course that examines American defense policy and prepares you for your first tour of duty. The latter two courses are worth three credits each semester. A two-hour leadership laboratory, where you’ll acquire practical command and staff leadership experience, accompanies each of the Aerospace Studies courses. First-year students: be sure to enroll in AFT 110 and AFT 111 at the time you pre-register for classes.

What is the feeling of the other students on campus about ROTC students?

Purdue is a land-grant institution and has offered military courses since 1876. ROTC members are looked upon with respect as persons who have elected to serve in an honorable profession. Purdue ROTC graduates have served honorably and with distinction. Purdue’s Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC units are truly considered part of the university community.

How much marching will I have to do?

Not as much as you think. During your freshman and sophomore years you are required to attend Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) once a week. Each lab session is two hours long with about a third the time spent on learning how to march and lead others in doing so. Marching helps create a sense of unity and teamwork by creating a single moving unit out of many different people. The remaining time at LLAB is for guest lecturers, joint training sessions, and special projects.

How will I receive my Air Force ROTC uniform?

We try to have a uniform ready for you when you arrive (at no cost to you). If it doesn’t fit, we will arrange for alterations. You will be responsible for keeping the uniform clean and presentable.

When do I wear my Air Force uniform?

Everyone in the cadet wing wears his or her uniform on one full day each week, the day of Leadership Laboratory. Additionally, each cadet will wear their uniform during their Aerospace Studies class and occasionally to certain special events held during the year.

Does the Air Force ROTC program include any extracurricular activities?

Yes. Being an Air Force officer means more than just working at an eight-to-five job and ROTC is specifically designed to foster the “whole-person” concept. Such activities as Arnold Air Society and the Tri-service Color Guard offer extra leadership opportunities. You will also become involved with community projects and understand the traditions of the military environment. In addition, there are numerous athletic events and sports nights. Tournaments are arranged in which several AFROTC units in the surrounding states come together to participate in competitive sports. These extra activities are optional; you may participate as your time and schedule allows.

To what degree am I expected to participate in these extracurricular activities?

None at all. Your first and most immediate concern is attending school and maintaining good grades. After you have met this responsibility, you may want to participate in various activities sponsored both by the University and Air Force ROTC. We certainly like to see our cadets participate in more than just the required class and lab periods. The more you put into the program, the more you will get out of it.

Can I participate in intercollegiate athletics or the band while a member of the Air Force ROTC program?

Yes. Generally, extracurricular campus activities and AFROTC are perfectly compatible as long as you do not overload yourself. Serious physical injuries suffered while participating in intercollegiate or intramural athletic activities could result in your being disenrolled from AFROTC because of a change in your medical status.

What are the qualifications of my Air Force instructors?

ROTC duty is a demanding job. Each instructor has been handpicked by the Air Force. In addition, since they are considered part of the academic faculty, the University has a voice in the selection process. Each officer-instructor must possess as least a Master’s degree and have considerable Air Force experience. The instructors represent a variety of Air Force backgrounds.

What is Field Training, and how often must I attend it?

Field Training (FT) is a four-week summer encampment which you must attend during the summer between your sophomore and junior years. It is conducted at Maxwell Air Force base in Alabama. It is an intensive training period where you receive additional leadership training, attend numerous career orientations, and learn firsthand what life on an Air Force base is really like. We pay all your transportation costs and provide you with all necessary uniform items. In addition, you will be paid a salary while you are there. You are only required to complete FT once while in the AFROTC program.

Will I have to live in a separate dorm with all the other ROTC cadets?

No. Like all other students Purdue students, your are free to live where you choose. Living options include 12 residence halls, 12 cooperative houses (five for men and seven for women), fraternity or sorority houses, and off-campus housing.

As a scholarship cadet, how do I receive my monthly stipend?

Your check will automatically be deposited in a savings or checking account that you select.

Does the AFROTC scholarship pay room and board?

No. The AFROTC scholarship pays tuition, a book allowance, lab fees, plus the nontaxable stipend each academic month.

How is a scholarship student paid for book expenses?

You will receive a textbook allowance of approximately $450 each semester. The allowance will be electronically deposited in your account. Because of the processing time for activating your scholarship, you should be prepared to pay for your books at one of the campus bookstores.

Does Purdue University offer supplemental financial assistance to Air Force ROTC cadets?

Purdue has scholarships you might qualify for. These awards include the Academic Success Award, the Valedictorian Scholarship, and many others offered by the academic schools.

If I’m a scholarship student, what should my parents do if they receive a bill from the University for my tuition?

Tell them not to panic. All they need to do is write “Air Force ROTC Scholarship Student” on the bill and return it to the University. Then they should notify the detachment NCOIC of the error.

If I have an AFROTC scholarship, is it possible for me to change my academic major?

Yes, but it is a complex process and should be attempted only after you have given it much thought. The Air Force offers scholarships only in certain academic areas and allows changes only under certain circumstances. You must have permission from the Air Force prior to changing. If you change without permission, you will lose your scholarship.

Can I apply for a scholarship after I join Air Force ROTC?

Yes. Air Force ROTC offers one, two and three year scholarships to members of the Air Force ROTC program. Your chances of being awarded a scholarship will depend upon your academic major, Air Force Officer Qualifying Test scores, grade point average, performance in ROTC, and the amount of money available from Congress. You can contact the detachment for more details on the scholarship programs or click here (the link is http://afrotc.com/scholarships/)

What are my options if I wish to continue my education beyond the baccalaureate level?

The Air Force encourages its officers to obtain graduate degrees and offers several opportunities to do so. You can request entrance to an Air Force Institute of Technology program whereby the Air Force pays for your graduate school education. You can also request an educational delay. This delay between the time of commissioning and the time you report for active duty should allow you to fulfill the requirements for a professional or master’s degree. Under educational delay, you assume all financial obligations. These programs will be explained to you in greater detail as part of your AFROTC training.

If I enroll and don’t like ROTC, can I quit?

If you are on a ROTC scholarship, you can quit anytime during the freshmen year. If you are not on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, you can quit anytime during the freshmen or sophomore years. If you drop out of ROTC before these deadlines, you will have no obligation to serve in the Air Force.

How can I visit Air Force ROTC Det 220 on the Purdue campus?

We are located on the second floor of the Armory. Please feel free to stop in Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. We can answer any questions you may have and give you a tour. In the mean time you can call us at our main number.