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About Air Force ROTC

Ohio University's Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is a 4-year, in-college officer training program that allows college students to obtain a undergraduate degree while training to become an officer for the United States Air Force (USAF) or Space Force (USSF). As part of the AFROTC, students earn elective credit hours towards their undergraduate degrees. At Ohio University, AFROTC cadets earn a minor in Aerospace Studies upon graduation. Upon course completion and graduation, our cadets commission as active duty second lieutenants and serve in the nation in a multitude of exciting career fields and duty locations.

Commander's Welcome

On behalf of the Detachment 650, welcome to the Bobcat Wing! We have partnered with Ohio University since 1948 to produce high-quality officers for the United State Air Force. We provide many resources to help students succeed academically, physically, and mentally and prepare for the challenges and great opportunities that await them upon graduation. Through this program, we build the character, perseverance, and strength of cadets so they will live by Air Force Core Values--integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

We are proud of the achievements of many of our commissioned graduates, including four general officers and two members of the US Air Force Thunderbirds. We are confident our current cadets will also find great success. Are you ready to challenge yourself and not just have a good job, but a great career? Give us a call or, better yet, stop by and see for yourself!

Det 650 Mission

Air Force ROTC recruits, develops, and commissions trustworthy, selfless, and professional Second Lieutenants for the nation.

About Detachment 650

Detachment 650 is a proud organization with a rich history that has grown into a top of the line AFROTC detachment. We are dedicated to molding and guiding quality, respectable and responsible second lieutenants and civilians. The detachment is geared towards helping others do their very best. Excellence in all we do-- one of the USAF Core Values--certainly hits home for the cadre at the Detachment. We provide a program that will push you to achieve your goals while getting involved in the community, making new friends, learning new skills and turning you into an excellent officer in the world's best Air Force.

The program focuses on teaching college students the skills they'll need to become successful Company Grade Officers (CGOs) in the USAF. We do this by instilling a broad set of personal, professional, leadership, and managerial skills into each cadet throughout their three to four years in the program. These skills are developed through academic, hands-on experience, and mentorship. Every cadet is held to a high standard as a future officer and is challenged to continuously push themselves in order to stimulate personal growth throughout the breadth of their cadet careers.

Choosing to participate in becoming an officer in the United States Air Force or the United States Space Force will be one of the best decisions you can ever make. If you have any questions, please contact us at 740-593-1343 or afrotc650@ohio.edu

Air Force ROTC Detachment 650 Group Photo


Air Force ROTC
Detachment 650
Ohio University
35 Congress Street
Bromley Hall 159
Athens, OH 45701

Phone: 740-593-1343
Email: afrotc650@ohio.edu
Facebook: Ohio University Air Force ROTC


How long is the Air Force ROTC program?

Undergraduate students must have at least three or more years remaining in their undergraduate studies. If you are a second-semester freshman, a sophomore or otherwise and have at least three years remaining in your undergraduate studies, you will likely be eligible to join the AFROTC program. If you have less than three years remaining towards your undergraduate then Officer Training School (OTS) is your best option if you are seeking a commissioning. Additional information can be found on the Air force website.

What physical criteria must cadets meet?

Cadets are required to participate in two physical training (PT) sessions each week in order to maintain good physical condition. Cadets must be able to complete a timed 1.5 mile run, and complete a specific amount of push-ups and sit-ups based on the Air Force standards. Along with staying in good physical condition, all cadets must conform to the maximum weight and body fat standards as established by the United States Air Force. Additional information can be found on the Air Force website.

What academic criteria must cadets meet?

Cadets need to maintain full time status for fall and spring semesters (12 credit hours - including the AFROTC classes). Cadets may work on minors or dual major but cannot work on graduate studies without AFROTC HQ approval. Cadets must earn their undergraduate degree and commission prior to their 30th birthday. Additional information can be found on the Air Force website.

What scholarship opportunities or financial incentives are available?

AFROTC offers a number of ways to help pay for college. The first is through AFROTC scholarships.

Air Force ROTC High School Scholarship Program (HSSP). The HSSP may cover 100% tuition expenses and provides three- and four-year scholarships of three different types to high school seniors. The application process is the same for each type. HSSP needs to be applied for at the beginning of the candidate's senior year of high school, the deadline is in December. The general criteria to be eligible for the HSSP is listed below:

- Must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher

- Must have a 2.5 Term GPA or higher

- ACT score of 24 or SAT score of 1100 or better

- Pass the Air Force Physical Fitness requirements

- Complete a medical review process

In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP). There are scholarships offered to current college students available, competitive, and awarded based on merit. These 3.5 year scholarships may also cover 100% of tution costs (depending on if a cadet is considered an in-state or out-of-state student). In general, all cadets who've completed a single term in the AFROTC program become eligible for the ICSP scholarship. The criteria for the ICSP is very similar to the criteria for the HSSP, except standardized testing isn't factored, but the cadet's overall ranking by the Detachment Commander is considered. Best of all, cadets don't need to complete a complex application to apply for it, they just need to meet the criteria and to have completed at least one term!

Other financial incentives outside of scholarships do exist for cadets. Uniquely, Ohio University has partnered with AFROTC Det 650 to help offset the cost of room and boarding for cadets. So if a cadet maintains a good GPA, good physical fitness standards, and high moral character, this cadet may be awarded financially to help pay for part of, or nearly all, housing expenses. 

Additionally, all cadets who contract with the Air Force, after completion of Field Training or when accepting an AFROTC scholarship, will receive a monthly stipend. The amount of the stipend depends on what year the cadet is in, freshman through senior-year in the program.

The Air Force does not reimburse school expenses upon commissioning. Additional information can be found on the Air Force website.

What is the AF Learning Community?

Ohio University offers degree specific classes for first-year students during their first semester to assist them with their transition to college. The University has created one of these unique classes specifically for the AFROTC program. This provides new cadets with a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the USAF as well as AFROTC and make lifelong friends that will be a part of your cadet family for the next four years. For more information on Ohio University learning communities visit the learning communities website.

What commitment do cadets have to the Air Force?

Cadets are not committed to the Air Force until they come back from Field Training (with the exception of cadets that have been awarded Air Force Scholarships, they contract upon acceptance). When cadets have completed Field Training, the summer between their 2nd and 3rd year, they will contract into the Delayed Entry Program prior to the start of their 3rd year. Once they have graduated, they will be commissioned into the active duty Air Force. The number of years they are committed to is dependent on the training they will receive for their respective career field. Generally, 4 years is the minimum service commitment. For cadets who commission as pilots, pursue a graduate degree in law, or a medical career field, this commitment may extend between 7-10 years. Additional information can be found at the Air Force ROTC website.

Is JROTC mandatory for participation in AFROTC?

In a word, No. JROTC is a high school program that has a mission to build better citizens for America. AFROTC is a college program specifically created to train and commission leaders into the USAF. JROTC IS NOT a prerequisite for ROTC.

Do I have to be a freshman to join AFROTC?

No. The program is designed around a four year concept but can be altered to a minimum of three years. The cadet will just have to double up on the academic portion of the program in order to take both the first and second year requirements. It is more advantageous to participate in the four year program because it better prepares the cadet for the challenges of Field Training. With that said, individuals on the fence are encouraged to simply try out the academic class (AST1010 or AST1020) only at first, to gauge their interest in the program. They will be identified as a "Participating Student" and only be required to attend the 1 hr class per week; meaning no physical training (PT), Drill, or Leadership Laboratory. It is a great way to dip your toe into the program for a semester before you decide if the USAF is right for you.

Can I attend AFROTC without a scholarship?

Yes. It is not a requirement and many cadets commission without being awarded a scholarship. For more information on scholarships visit the Air Force ROTC website.

What majors may I pursue, and what career fields make sense for certain majors?

Cadets may pursue any major the University offers. In fact we encourage you to seek a degree in something you are interested in, because this usually means you will do well. Our main concern is that you maintain at least the minimum 2.0 GPA (but we recommend much higher to compete for scholarships or Field Training) and that you can finish your degree in the planned time period.

With that said, certain career fields do require certain degrees (i.e. Civil Engineers require a Civil Engineering degree). Also, Science, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors are more competitive for scholarships. See a list of different career fields the Air Force has to offer here: https://www.airforce.com/careers

Majors in Business / Finance / Human Resources / Liberal Arts / Acquisitions can translate well into the following Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC).

- Acquisitions Officer: Help spend the Air Force's $156 billion dollar budget by purchasing cutting-edge technology and working with vendors to get the equipment we need.

- Contracting Officer: Negotiate with external vendors and manage multi-million dollar contracts that support operations across the Air Force.

- Force Management Officer: Lead the human resources component by taking care of the most important aspect of the Air Force, its members, through managing career development, evaluations, and more.

- Finance Officer: Manage finances and accounting to help Air Force leaders spend operational funds appropriately.

Majors in any degree / Liberal Arts / Management can translate well into the following AFSC's.

- Airfield Operations Officer: Manage airfields and runways, helping Air Force bases run efficiently.

- Missile Operations Officer: Manage and operate the United States arsenal of nuclear warhead...an incredible responsibility.

Majors in Language / Finance / International Studies / Liberal Arts / Journalism can translate well into the following AFSC's.

- Intelligence Officer: Collect, analyze and disseminate information to Air Force Commanders so they can plan missions effectively.

- Public Affairs Officer: Lead as a journalist by attending events across the globe and reporting on what the Air Force is doing.

What is the AFOQT?

This stands for the Air Force Officer Qualification Test and is a standardized aptitude test (similar to ACT or SAT). It is given during your second year in the program and becomes part of your Order of Merit (OM) when being selected for Field Training and your career choice. It can only be taken twice and must be administered at least six months apart. For more information please go to the Air Force ROTC website.

What is Field Training?

This is the Officer version of Basic Military Training. Cadets compete for attendance during their second year based upon their Order of Merit. If selected they will attend the three to four week course the summer between their second and third years. This rigorous and challenging event requires a great deal of preparation as an underclassman in order to successfully complete the course. Cadets will be expected to perform in a highly stressful environment where they will need to use the skills taught to them at their home detachments. For more information visit the Air Force ROTC website.

Det 650 History

Following World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower signed General Order No.124 establishing Air ROTC units at 78 colleges and universities throughout the nation. Ohio University was one of those institutions.

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) first arrived at Ohio University in 1935. At this time, the Air Force as it is known today, was under the Department of the Army and called the Army Air Corps.

In the summer of 1946, Capt Mark Treat (a B-26 pilot) went Temporary Duty (TDY) to Perrin Air Force Base (AFB), Texas to join other officers receiving training on how to start Army Air Corps Detachments at these 78 schools. Following training, he reported to the commander of the Ohio University Army ROTC unit; he had been told there would be a separate "Air Force" soon. In September 1946, the first 40 Air Force officer candidates began classes in the basement of what is now Scripps Hall. Their textbook was a 25 cent paperback edition of "The History of the Army Air Corps."

Captain Treat rented a home at 125 North Congress Street, but his Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) lived in some trailers that were set up at the Fairgrounds for World War II veterans. Most of the students were World War II veterans as well, and lived on "Hog Island," a group of barracks built on what is now the East Green. The pilots on the detachment staff had to fly each month to keep their proficiency and flight pay, so they drove to Lockbourne AFB (now Rickenbacker International Airport) and flew with the African American flyers stationed there known as the famous "Tuskegee Airmen."

In September 1947 the National Security Act created a separate Air Force. On 1 July 1949 Army and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) were designated as separate departments at Ohio University. In this era, cadets earned $27 per month in Subsistence Allowance: not bad considering tuition and fees totaled around $45 per semester.

AFROTC underwent changes in the 1950s. In May 1950 the John P. Robbins Squadron of the Arnold Air Society (AAS) formed at Ohio University, just one month after AAS started at the University of Cincinnati. The first cadet regulations were published and a bill to allow women into the corps was introduced. Detachment 650 reached its high point in enrollment in the 1950-51 school year, with 500 basic and 350 advanced students. A record 130 cadets received commissions that June.

Though there was an experimental program at a few universities to commission women through ROTC from 1956-1960, the program officially admitted women in 1969 and the first female Ohio University commissionee was 2nd Lt Harriet Hunter in 1974.

The size of Ohio University's AFROTC program has varied over the years, from the early 1950s when there were over 800 cadets to years with fewer than 50 cadets, depending on the needs of the Air Force. Due to the strong support of then Ohio University President Ping, the unit survived an effort by the Air Force to close the unit as a cost cutting move.

Air Force ROTC at Ohio University has a proud tradition of producing high quality young officers for the United States Air Force. We are very proud of the accomplishments of the first 60 years, and look forward to an even better future!


AFROTC Det 650 Copyright 2018 - Current as of Aug 2018 - Privacy and Security Notice - 35 South Congress St. - Bromley Hall 159 - 1 Ohio University Dr - Athens - OH 45701 - USA • 740-593-1343 • afrotc650@ohio.eduThe Holm CenterAFROTC RecruitingAF FOIA