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What Is ROTC?

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is an educational program designed to allow young men and women to pursue a commission in the United States Air Force. This can be accomplished by first attending a community college then transferring to a four-year university and graduating with a Bachelors degree. The cadre and staff are the officers that mentor the cadets and the staff that keeps paperwork and other things running smoothly.

AFROTC affords graduates the opportunity to pursue a broad range of career fields to include aviation related jobs, law, space operations, medicine, intelligence, computer systems, and engineering. You can take part in this unique experience as a college freshman with no commitment. You can continue on in the program without any commitment to the military for the first two years. The AFROTC program is open to all college students regardless of major.

Air Force ROTC at University of Washington meets three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Tuesday mornings cadets participate in Physical Training which prepares them for the Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). On Thursday mornings cadets attend Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) which prepares cadets for being in the military. Following LLAB cadets attend Aerospace Studies class which is taught by members of cadre with topics being: Introduction to the Air Force, Evolutions of Air and Space Power, Leadership and National Security.

Timeline of Cadet Rank
C/4C Cadet 4th Class AS100
C/3C Cadet 3rd Class AS200
C/2d Lt Cadet 2nd Lt AS300
C/1st Lt Cadet 1st Lt AS300
C/Capt Cadet Captain AS300/400
C/Maj Cadet Major AS400
C/Lt Col Cadet Lt Col AS400
C/Col Cadet Col AS400

Air Force ROTC cadets go through two stages, the General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer’s Course (POC).

You can enter our four or three year program. Our three year program is an accelerated course which shortens the GMC stage to one year.

General Military Course

The GMC portion of the program typically consists of freshman and sophomores and allows them the opportunity to try out AFROTC without any commitment. Freshmen will take AS100 and sophomores will take AS200. During the GMC period cadets will be exposed to the basic organizational concepts of the Air Force and its history. During the sophomore year, cadets will have the opportunity to compete for a field training allocation. Completion of field training is necessary in order to advance to the level of POC.

Field Training

Field training will be a cadet's first exposure to a working Air Force environment and the Aerospace Expeditionary Force concept. The program develops military leadership and discipline, and provides Air Force officer orientation and motivation. At the same time, the Air Force can evaluate each cadet's potential as an officer. It is a month long event that occurs over the summer.

Professional Officer Course

The POC consists of your junior and senior years in the program. Upon entereing the POC, cadets will contract with the Air Force. POC will take AS300 and AS400. As a POC you will be given leadership opportunities to practice and hone your skills. After completing 2 years as a POC you commission into the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant.


Take your desired major. The Air Force does not require that you take a specific major. However, certain jobs in the Air Force will only be available to certain degrees like engineering. As a contracted cadet, you will receive a monthly stipend so that you can concentrate on your studies.

Physical Training

Physical training (PT) is conducted Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Cadets are required to attend at least two sessions a week. PT activities vary between cardio, calisthenics, or sports.

These sessions are held at University of Washington recreation facilities. The Cadet Wing Fitness and Nutrition Flight Commander their staff are responsible for planning and executing the workouts. Det 910 doesn't mess around when it comes to working out. Our PT will prepare you for the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) all cadets must pass each semester and more importantly reach your own physical fitness goals. Many of our workouts are built around competitive team building.

The Air Force wants a culture of fitness and requires cadets to keep their bodies in shape. Twice a year cadets take a PFA (Physical Fitness Assessment). The PFA consists of 1 minute sit-ups, 1 minute push-ups and a 1.5 mile run. The test is administered in one session and there will be a short break between each activity. There are different standards for each gender and age group. Your score is composed of your performance in those three activities and your waist measurement.

To prepare you for the PFA and military duty you must attend 2 PT (Physical Training) sessions each week. One of those sessions must be Wing Mandatory PT. Other PT sessions are offered throughout the week.

Leadership Lab

Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) is mandatory for all Air Force ROTC cadets. Conducted on Thursday mornings, this is primarily when underclass cadets receive training from upperclass cadets, often referred to as POC (Professional Officer Course) cadets.

As a first-year cadet in Air Force ROTC, you will be classified as an AS 100 (according to your Air Force Science class), but you will often be referred to as an IMT (Initial Military Training) cadet. As an IMT, you will learn drill and ceremonies (marching), uniform wear, customs and courtesies (reporting and saluting), and proper conduct as a cadet in Air Force ROTC. You will be learning and following as your flight commander provides leadership, instruction, and your introduction to Air Force ROTC. During this time you will also be meeting the other cadets in your class and forming lasting friendships. There are also several cadet organizations you can join.

Second-year cadets are referred to as AS 200s or FTP (Field Training Preparation) cadets, and as the name suggests, you will be preparing for field training the following summer. You will have several POC cadets in charge of your instruction. They will teach you the various procedures required for field training, prepare you physically and give you an insight into what it takes to succeed during your field training encampment.

Once cadets successfully complete field training, they are inducted into the POC and are also referred to as ICLs (Intermediate Cadet Leaders). These cadets are assigned intermediate leadership positions within the cadet wing. These positions include flight commander, physical training officer, public affairs and recruiting, to name just a few. You´ll spend your ICL year learning how to be a leader and directly interacting with the IMT and FTP cadets to pass along helpful instruction and advice as those cadets learn more about Air Force ROTC and active duty.

In the final year of Air Force ROTC, cadets are referred to as SCLs (Senior Cadet Leaders). These cadets are assigned the top leadership positions such as squadron commander, group commander or wing commander. As an SCL, you will have several ICL and possibly many IMT and FTP cadets under your command. SCLs are expected to conduct themselves as leaders and mentors of the cadet wing as they prepare for the final step of earning their commission as 2nd Lieutenants in the US Air Force.

Aerospace Studies

When you are signing up for classes, make sure you don´t forget that the Aerospace Studies (AS) classes and Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) are mandatory. To determine what classes you need, contact our Recruiting Flight Commander via the 'Contact Us' page or call (206-543-2360). When you sign up for Aerospace Studies classes and Leadership Laboratory, your books and uniforms are issued at no cost to you. You will be informed how to wear and take care of your uniform. Upperclass cadets will be more than willing to help you ensure correct placement and appearance of your uniform.

Here at Detachment 910, Leadership Laboratory begins the second week of school. It´s important that your schedule is set and that you pick up your uniforms and Aerospace Studies textbooks so you will be ready to start the semester.

AS classes typically correspond to a four- or five-year undergraduate degree program. An Air Force officer teaches each class.

AS 100 - The Foundations of the United States Air Force. This class is an introduction to the Air Force; it takes a broad look at active duty and the lifestyle you can expect while serving as an Air Force officer. This overview gives first-year cadets a chance to "see the Air Force" and is designed to help you decide whether you want to continue in the program. This is important because high school scholarship cadets do not incur a commitment to pay back tuition or stipend funds through the end of the AS 100 year.

AS 200 - The Evolution of Air and Space Power. The sophomore year prepares you for the mandatory field training required between your second or third year in the program. This class provides a historical look at the Air Force and the application of air and space power from its infancy to modern-day conflict.

AS 300 - Air Force Leadership & Management I/II. Field training marks your transition from following to leading. Cadets spend this year in leadership and management studies. This class focuses on leadership theory, interpersonal dynamics, military ethics and management issues. Cadets are also given the opportunity to put these leadership and management lessons into practice as they perform the tasks required of their cadet wing position.

AS 400 -National Security Affairs and Preparation for Active Duty. This final Aerospace Studies class prepares cadets for entry to active duty. You´ll study national and foreign affairs, national security strategy, and current events that affect employment of U.S. military force. You´ll also survey military conflict as it affects the Air Force and its sister service branches. The last semester evaluates the various programs and regulations governing officership in the armed forces and provides final preparations for cadets ready for commissioning.

Cadet Wing

All training and operations are handled by the cadet wing. The cadet organization is based on a wing structure similar to active duty Air Force. The wing is broken down into groups, then squadrons. The upperclassman cadets will be the ones leading the wing in the training of becoming Air Force officers. As a first year cadet, you will be assigned to a flight in the Operations group, led by a flight commander. Your flight commander will be an upperclassmen cadet, and will train you into the basics of military protocol, drill and ceremonies, wearing your uniform, and cadet conduct. As a second year cadet, you will be assigned to a flight specialized in training you for Field Training. The flight commanders in these flights will lead lessons and help train you in preparation for Field Training. Your flight commanders are led by their squadron commanders, whom are led by the Operations Group Commander, who reports to the Wing Commander.

Each flight will consist of 10 or more cadets where cadets will learn to work as a team and as individuals. Cadets will change flights twice a year so that they can be exposed to new people and different leadership styles. Cadets will have the opportunity to take a job/role within the flight and will be evaluated by the Flight Commander.

In addition to their roles in the flights, cadets can take on a separate job in the cadet wing. Their performance in these roles can positively impact their evaluation in the wing. This may include keeping cadet areas clean, providing transportation for ROTC events, running and organizing Physical Training sessions, administering Physical Fitness Assessments, and managing the Website. As you spend more time at Detachment 910, you will learn about the various positions in the Cadet Wing, and how all the groups work together to provide support for the mission of producing leaders for the Air Force.


Commissioning is the pinnacle of an Air Force ROTC cadet's career--it marks the transition from cadet to officer.

United States Air Force: 

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