Detachment 172 Frequently Asked Questions
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 air and space power 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 1.5 hour leadership laboratory, where you’ll acquire practical command and staff leadership experience, accompanies each of the Aerospace Studies courses. First-year freshman students: be sure to enroll in AS 1001 and AS 1000 at the time you pre-register for classes.
What is the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)?
The AFOQT measures aptitudes used to select candidates for officer commissioning programs and specific commissioned officer training programs. The scores are reported in five composite areas. Pilot, Navigator, Academic Aptitude, Verbal, and Quantitative. Cadets are required to take the AFOQT during their AS 200 year. For more information, go to AFOQT.
What if you didn’t do JROTC in high school?
Only about 25% of our incoming freshmen did JROTC in high school. Our program is set up for someone to start with no knowledge of the Air Force. Prior experience in JROTC will help at the beginning of the freshman year, but everyone will be caught up to the same point by mid-semester.
What will I need to major in for AFROTC?
You can do our program while pursuing any accredited bachelor’s degree. Of course the Air Force is always in need of cadets with technical majors (math, chemistry, physics, computer science) computer information systems or nursing. You can also start the program undecided as a freshman, but must declare a major during your sophomore year.
How do I become a pilot?
Being a pilot is very selective and will require you to excel in the areas of physical fitness, GPA, Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, medical physical and performance in AFROTC. You will also take some additional tests to measure your aptitude to be a pilot. You can become a pilot regardless of your academic major. Having a private pilots license will help you become a pilot, but it is in no way required.
Will I have to do physical fitness training?
Physical fitness is very important in both the active duty Air Force and cadet life. You are required to attend our physical training (PT) sessions on a regular basis. You will also be required to take a physical fitness assessment (PFA) each semester. You must pass the PFA to be eligible for scholarships, field training, and to commission. We encourage our new cadets to be physically fit when they first arrive.
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 1.5 hours long with some 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, training sessions, and special events.
How will I receive my Air Force ROTC uniform and books?
We try to have all uniforms issued within the first couple weeks of the semester (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. All AFROTC books are free of charge and will be issued the first day of class.
When do I wear my Air Force uniform?
Everyone in the cadet wing wears their uniform on Thursday from 0800-1700 (8:00am-5:00pm). Also, to their aerospace studies class (AS1001, 2001, 3001, 4001). Occasionally, you will wear your uniform to certain special events held during the year.
When not in my uniform what do I wear?
At all times while participating in AFROTC activities or while in Barrow Hall, civilian attire will be in good taste (clothing should not be too tight, tops should not excessively expose the chest area or midriff, and pants should not reveal underwear). Headgear of any kind shall not be worn inside Barrow Hall. Sunglasses will not be worn or perched on top of your head inside Barrow Hall. Headphones will be put away and not seen hanging out of clothing. T-shirts and sandals are authorized for all personnel. Pants/shorts shall not be worn below the waistline and shoes with laces will be tied. Women’s shorts must have an inseam no shorter than 7”, skirts must exceed fingertip when standing. When at the detachment any piercings need to be removed except for a female’s ears and men must be clean shaven. You must always remember that you represent both AFROTC and the Air Force in or out of uniform, so your clothing should not be offensive or obscene.
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 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 days. These extra activities are optional; you may participate as your time and schedule allows. The number of different activities you can do depends solely on your time management skills.
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. The number of different activities you can do depends solely on your time management skills.
What are the qualifications of my Air Force instructors?
AFROTC 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 at least a Masters degree and have considerable Air Force experience. The instructors are current active duty officers and 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 AFB, AL. It is an intensive evaluation period where you designed to evaluate your military leadership and discipline, determine your potential for entry into the professional officer corps and stratify you among your peers. We pay all your transportation costs and provide you with all necessary uniform items. In addition, you will be paid a salary equal to about half the monthly pay of a second lieutenant 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. You follow the same rules as any other students in your year group. There is an optional ROTC Freshmen Leaning Community in the dorms (both male and female) that you can volunteer to live in. If you decide to stay in the ROTC Freshmen Leaning Community you will have a fellow cadet as a roommate.
Do I have to be on scholarship to join AFROTC?
No. In fact, the majority of our incoming freshmen are not on scholarship. If you join and perform well you may earn an in-college scholarship.
Do I have to attend VSU to attend its detachment?
No. We have cross-town agreements with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Moody AFB campus), Park University (Moody AFB campus), and Georgia Military College (Valdosta and Moody AFB campuses). These agreements allow students from these schools to attend our detachment and be commissioned into the Air Force.
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.
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 and talked to the AFROTC staff. 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 may lose your scholarship.
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.
I’m about to begin my sophomore year, but would like to start AFROTC now, what do I do?
It is possible to start the program after you have started college. If you are about to begin your sophomore year you will “duel enroll” in our program. That means you will take both the freshmen and sophomore classes to catch up on the academics you missed as a freshman. You will need to sign up for AS 1001, AS 2001, and AS 1000. If you are in another academic situation besides the beginning of your freshman or sophomore year, give us a call (229-333-5954) and we’ll discuss the best schedule for you to complete the program.
If I’ve had any civil involvements or history of drug use can I still join AFROTC?
We have high standards for any current or potential cadets. Any issues with the law or drugs are handled on a case-by-case basis. You will be asked to divulge any pertinent information about your past in regards to drug use or law violations.
Do I have to be an American citizen?
You can start our program while pursuing your citizenship, but must be a US citizen prior to being nominated for Field Training.
How can I visit Air Force ROTC Det 172 on the Valdosta State University campus?
We are located on VSU’s North Campus. Our detachment is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Give us a call at (229) 333-5954 to set up an appointment to come by and see our detachment and get more information about our program.
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