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After High School
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Reserve Officer Training Corps
Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON AIR FORCE JUNIOR ROTC
1 Oct 1997
1. What are the benefits of taking AFJROTC?
Cadets receive credit toward high school graduation...(one credit per
semester and 1/2 credit per summer school). Cadets who complete three (3)
semesters in AFJROTC are eligible to enter the Armed Services two (2) pay
grades higher than other enlistees. (Approximately $150.00 more per month). EXCEPTION: The Marine Corps will start them out one (1) pay grade
higher. (Approximately $100.00 per month)
2. Are there any college scholarships available specifically for
Each AFJROTC instructor is allowed to nominate one cadet to receive
a full college (four year) scholarship through Air Force Senior ROTC. Additionally,
213 three-year scholarships are available; also financial need is not a
consideration in applying for college ROTC scholarships or academy appointments.
In order to be considered for any of these scholarships, a cadet must have
completed at least two (2) semesters of AFJROTC.
1. What is the current status of the Air Force Junior ROTC expansion?
The expansion is complete. There are more than 794 Air Force Junior
ROTC units located at high schools worldwide, including those in Puerto
Rico, Guam and Department of Defense Schools overseas in Europe and Japan.
Of these, 107 were activated in 1993 as part of the expansion; 80 units
were activated in 1994; 80 were added in 1995 and 23 were opened in 1996
for a total of 609. Subsequent expansion will lead to a total of 955
AFJROTC currently (2008) operates 869 units worldwide with expansion plans to 955 units in the near future. The success of AFJROTC would not be possible without the dedication of its Aerospace Science Instructors. We need additional instructors each year as AFJROTC grows.
2. What are the eligibility criteria for a school to request an
Air Force Junior ROTC unit?
Eligibility criteria include application for a unit and the ability
of the school to meet Air Force standards.
3. How does a school apply for an Air Force Junior ROTC unit?
A school representative sends an application to the Junior Program
Branch at Air Force ROTC (AFROTC/DOJ), Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
4. What Air Force standards must schools meet?
The Air Force examines several areas before establishing an Air Force
Junior ROTC unit. For example, inner-city (schools in a metropolitan area
of 150,000 or more) or at-risk (schools with a high drop out rate, and
crime and gang problems) schools have priority, after considering geographic
distribution within a state. Additionally, the total school population,
academic quality, physical facilities, and the attitude of the faculty
and community are important.
5. How many students are enrolled in the program nationwide?
More than 90,000 high school students are enrolled in Air Force Junior
6. What percentage of these students usually go on to accept some
form of military obligation?
Annually, approximately 3,000 graduating cadets go on to some form
of military affiliation in the form of active duty, reserves, guard, service
academies or all branches of ROTC. This represents approximately 50 percent
of all cadet graduates with a certificate of completion (3 or 4 years)
of Junior ROTC.
7. Does the Air Force use Air Force Junior ROTC as a recruiting
There is absolutely no military obligation for Air Force Junior ROTC
cadets, nor does the program have a recruiting agenda. Air Force Junior
ROTC's goal is to build better, more productive citizens and the entire
emphasis of Air Force Junior ROTC is on citizenship and leadership training.
However, there are several advantages for Air Force Junior ROTC graduates
who voluntarily pursue an Air Force career. For example, if the student
chooses to enlist in the Air Force, they do so two pay grades higher than
other enlistees because their Air Force Junior ROTC background puts them
ahead of the average enlistee. Air Force Junior ROTC cadets also have additional
opportunities to pursue service academy nominations and various ROTC scholarships
not available to other college applicants.
8. If JROTC is not a recruiting program, what's the reason behind
The expansion was primarily an initiative of former President George
Bush and General Colin Powell to help at-risk youth in our high schools.
9. What does Air Force Junior ROTC offer that would be of interest
to at-risk youth?
Air Force Junior ROTC offers positive role models, a place to belong,
excel, and be rewarded. Cadets have a positive educational experience in
which they are encouraged to graduate and pursue higher education opportunities.
Additionally, Air Force Junior ROTC stresses and teaches the values of
citizenship, self-esteem, self respect, service to the community, pride
in belonging, self-discipline, and personal, family and social responsibility.
A strong anti-drug message is part of the program. As mentioned above,
Junior ROTC provides post-high school opportunities in the way of enlistment,
with advanced rank and college scholarship opportunities.
10. So what! What proof do you have that Air Force Junior ROTC can
Annual surveys and phone conversations with school officials show that:
- Air Force Junior ROTC cadets graduate at a higher rate than other
groups in the school. For example, at schools with JROTC, our cadets graduate
at a 96.2 percent rate, as opposed to 91.6 percent for the general school
- Inner-city/at-risk schools with JROTC have graduation rates of 95.2
percent for cadets as opposed to 89.7 percent for the general school population.
- Air Force Junior ROTC cadets have higher attendance rates and that
increases even more on the days they wear their uniforms.
- Many school officials report less disciplinary problems on days Air
Force Junior ROTC students wear uniforms
11. How did Air Force Junior ROTC and Department of Defense officials
feel about expanding Air Force Junior ROTC at the same time their military
organizations were being downsized?
Comparing the active duty force to Air Force Junior ROTC is like comparing
apples and oranges. Air Force Junior ROTC and the active duty force are
two entirely separate entities with two entirely different missions. Their
differences preclude an expansion/downsizing comparison.
- From its inception, the JROTC (Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps)
expansion has had high-level interest and support. Former President Bush
described the expansion as an effort to "give another 150,000 kids
the benefit of what has been a great program that boosts high school competition,
high school completion rates, reduces drug use, raises self-esteem and
gets these kids firmly on the right track."
- One of ROTC's biggest success stories and a driving force behind the
expansion is former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Army
General Colin Powell. He referred to the expansion as "the best opportunity
for the Department of Defense to make a positive impact on the nation's
- Air Force Junior ROTC can make a contribution and have a positive effect
on our youth through a strong academic program of Aerospace Science and
leadership education. Congress and the President recognize this and Air
Force Junior ROTC is ready to meet the challenge.
12. How has the education community received the expansion?
Wonderfully! Once the Air Force Junior ROTC program's mission is explained,
misconceptions are eliminated, and it's tough to dispute the value of the
1. Where does the funding for Air Force Junior ROTC units come from?
Congress determines the funding for Air Force Junior ROTC units.
2. What were the fiscal year 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
and 1997 budgets for Air Force Junior ROTC?
FY 91 budget was $14.7 million FY 94 budget was $25.5 million FY 92
budget was $15.5 million FY 95 budget was $31.2 million FY 93 budget was
$21.3 million FY 96 budget was $34.5 million FY 97 budget was $32.2 million
3. What are the Air Force's expenses at an Air Force Junior ROTC
Each Air Force Junior ROTC unit requires a minimum of two instructors
-- one retired officer and one retired noncommissioned officer. Federal
law requires that their retired pay be augmented to the level they would
receive on active duty. The school pays at least half the difference between
retired and active-duty compensation, and the Air Force pays the rest.
The Air Force also provides the Air Force Junior ROTC curriculum, including
textbooks, computers, and audio-visual equipment such as televisions, VCRs
and camcorders to enhance the program. Additionally, the Air Force provides
all cadet uniforms and associated accessories.
4. What are the local schools’ expenses for hosting an Air Force
Junior ROTC unit?
How much the school pays depends on the school's commitment. The school
supplies the facilities, which include a classroom used exclusively for
Air Force Junior ROTC classes, supply area, office space and drill areas,
and the portion of the instructors' salary mentioned above. Additional
school expenses vary from school to school; however, their overall cost
is larger than the Air Force contribution.
5. Who pays for field trips and drill meets?
The Air Force contributes a portion of the money for field trips. However,
most of these types of expenses are paid for by the school and various
cadet corps fund raising activities.
1. Who teaches Air Force Junior ROTC?
Each unit employs one retired Air Force officer and noncommissioned
officer to teach the curriculum. They are full-time faculty members of
the high school and are employed by the local school board. The contract
between the school and the Air Force specifies the instructors are permitted
to teach only Air Force Junior ROTC classes.
2. What qualifies these retired Air Force members as teachers?
These instructors have at least 15 years of active duty Air Force experience,
which includes receiving professional military education, teaching experience,
meeting high performance standards, management experience, physical conditioning,
appearance, and maintaining moral character.
- All our retired officer instructors have at least a bachelor's degree,
89 percent have a master's degree, and 72 percent have prior teaching experience.
- On the noncommissioned officer side, 28 percent of those teaching Air
Force Junior ROTC have a bachelor's degree, 14 percent have a master's
degree, and 47 percent have prior teaching experience.
1. What do the instructors teach Air Force Junior ROTC students?
The Air Force Junior ROTC curriculum is a balance of 60 percent aerospace
science and 40 percent leadership education. In the classroom, cadets study
and discuss the heritage of flight and navigation, aerospace vehicles,
rocketry, propulsion, space travel, and aviation careers. They are also
introduced to military customs and courtesies, flag etiquette, basic drill,
management, human relations and communications skills.
2. Are there any college scholarships available specifically for
Air Force Junior ROTC cadets?
Cadets who have completed two years of Junior ROTC upon graduation
and meet all the qualifications may be nominated by their Junior ROTC instructor
to compete for an Air Force ROTC scholarship.
- BACKGROUND BASICS
1. What is the purpose of Air Force Junior ROTC?
Air Force Junior ROTC's mission is to build better, more productive
citizens for America.
2. What are the program's origins?
The JROTC program, as it is known today, began in 1911 in Cheyenne,
Wyoming. Army Lieutenant Edgar R. Steevers, who was assigned as an inspector-instructor
of the organized military of Wyoming, came up with the idea of a non-compulsory
cadet corps in high school, aimed at making better citizens, as opposed
to soldiers. The National Defense Act of 1916 originally authorized JROTC.
The ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964 directed the Secretaries of each military
service to establish and maintain JROTC units at public and private secondary
schools, which are eligible according to regulations established by each
Secretary. Air Force Junior ROTC actually began in 1966 with 20 units.
AFJROTC Questions & Answers (Updated: 7/2008)
- 1. What is the AFJROTC program?
The AFJROTC program is primarily a 3-year course of military instruction, with a fourth year being optional. The curriculum is academically comparable to a secondary level science course. The curriculum includes an introduction to aviation, national defense, careers, space, and leadership. About 60% of the course is devoted to the first four subjects.
2. What is the mission of the AFJROTC program?
The mission of the AFJROTC program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. More specifically, the program is designed to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship; promote community service; instill responsibility, character and self-discipline; and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.
3. Who are the instructors in this course?
At least one retired officer and NCO are assigned to each unit. The officer is designated as the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI), and the NCO as the Aerospace Science Instructor (ASI). Additional NCO instructors are authorized if the cadet enrollment exceeds 150. However, an officer may be substituted if requested by the school and approved by Holm Center.
AFJROTC instructors are retired military members, but continue to wear the Air Force uniform (retired grade) in the performance of their duties. As such, instructors are required to meet and maintain Air Force uniform wear and grooming standards during their career as instructors.
4. Who may apply for the SASI position?
Officers who meet the following prerequisites may apply: Baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited institution; permanently retired as an officer with at least 20 years of active duty; served last year of active duty as an officer; retired less than 5 years from the effective date of employment; meet DODI/AFJROTC weight/body fat standards (26% for males/36% females), possess high standards of military bearing, appearance and moral character. Officers still on active duty may apply when within 6 months of a fixed retirement date or terminal leave date. Desirable prerequisites: a Master’s degree; teaching experience, command experience, and experience working with youth groups. Although AFJROTC provides certification training for applicants selected to teach AFJROTC, some schools may require instructors to be stated certified as a high school teacher or willing to work toward and achieve certification within a prescribed period.
5. Who may apply for the ASI position?
NCOs who meet the following prerequisites may apply: High school diploma or equivalent and obtain an Associate’s Degree or equivalent within 5 years of employment as an AFJROTC instructor, permanently retired as an NCO with at least 20 years of active duty; retired 5 years or less from the effective date of employment; meets DODI/AFJROTC weight/body fat standards (26% for males/36% for females); possess high standards of military bearing, appearance and moral character. NCOs still on active duty may apply when within 6 months of a fixed retirement date or terminal leave date. Desirable prerequisites: a Baccalaureate degree; experience in supply, administration, and drill and ceremonies; teaching experience; and experience working with youth groups. ASIs (NCOs) who are advanced to their commissioned officer grade on the retired list at 30 years service must terminate their employment as AFJROTC instructors. They are not eligible for employment as SASIs or ASIs.
6. Are retired Guard/Reservists eligible for SASI or ASI positions?
Yes, as follows:
- 1) Retired Guard/Reserve members with at least 20 years of active duty service credit who draw their retirement pay immediately upon retirement. These retirees would be subject to Minimum Instructor Pay (MIP) as outlined by Title 10, United States Code, Section 2031.
- 2) Retired Guard/Reserve members who have reached age 60 and are drawing their military retired pay as a result of their age.
3) Effective under the FY 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “gray-area” Guard and Reserve members who retiree with a minimum of 20 “good years of service, but ineligible to draw their military retirement until age 60, may apply and would be subject to a Minimum Instructor Pay (MIP) formula established by AFJROTC not to exceed the MIP of a retired active duty member of the same grade.
7. What is the SASI’s job?
The SASI manages the entire program. Although they spend much of their time in the classroom, enrollment activities are a fundamental part of the job. This involves: briefings to school administrators, faculty, and community organizations to explain the program and elicit support; counseling of cadets and other students; and briefings to students from supporting junior high schools. The SASI must be involved in: community relations, liaison with other Air Force and civilian agencies in the aerospace field, unit supply or administrative functions, career and performance counseling, and an extensive extracurricular program, such as a military ball, parent-cadet banquet, inter-JROTC sports competition, cadet newspaper, drill team, honor guard, parades, flag raising, retreat ceremonies, presentation of awards, fund raising activities for the unit or charitable institutions, and a rocket club. As classroom teachers, they will typically be required to teach five out of six periods in the school day. The teaching load may be less if the unit is in its first year of operation at the school. They wear their Air Force uniform while performing AFJROTC duties. The job of the SASI is not as structured as most Air Force jobs. Although the Air Force provides some guidance for managing the program, self-direction, initiative, and self-reliance are essential traits of the SASI. Only officers who desire this flexibility in their work should apply. For further information, refer to AFJROTCI 36-2004, AFJROTC Instructor Management (available at any AFJROTC unit).
8. What is the ASI’s job?
The ASIs work for the SASI. In most units, they are responsible for the Leadership Education portion of the curriculum. This includes drill and ceremonies, principles of leadership and management, and communication skills. They assist the SASI in teaching Aerospace Science, particularly those areas where they have special competence because of their experience and training. They may give or grade tests, give career and performance counseling, and supervise cadet corps activities. They are also involved in the enrollment and extracurricular activities described in question 7. Typically, the ASIs are appointed Military Property Custodians and are responsible for uniforms and equipment and for other administrative matters. They wear their Air Force uniform while performing AFJROTC duties. The instructors, although not on active duty, are still working in and managing a military-type unit. The same NCO-officer, subordinate-supervisor relationship which existed on active duty must be maintained in the AFJROTC unit. Only those NCOs who can support the objectives of AFJROTC and give their full loyalty, support, and cooperation to the SASI in achieving goals should apply. For further information, refer to AFJROTCI 36-2004, AJROTC Instructor Management (available at any AFJROTC unit).
9. For whom do the instructors work?
Instructors are employees of the school and are responsible to the school authorities and Air Force ROTC for the conduct of the program. The SASI works for the principal and is the direct supervisor of the ASI. The school and the instructor mutually agree on the length of the instructor’s contract (not less than 10 months per year). Even though the instructor’s contracts are with the schools, the Air Force reserves the right to remove instructors from the program through decertification action if their performance or conduct is unsatisfactory.
10. May the instructors teach non-AFJROTC subjects, such as math or social studies?
AFJROTC instructors perform only those duties connected with the instruction, operation, and administration of the AFJROTC program. Individuals employed as AFJROTC instructors will not perform duties or teach classes in any discipline other than Aerospace Science unless the performance of such duties or the teaching of such classes is outside the school’s normal day of academic instruction and is contracted for between the school and the individual AFJROTC instructor at no expense to the Air Force; however, this provision is not intended to preclude AFJROTC instructors from serving on committees or performing other routine duties that are rotated regularly among other teachers in the school.
11. What is the relationship of the instructors to other members of the faculty?
The SASI and ASI are members of the faculty and teach an integral part of the school’s curriculum. They are subject to the same extracurricular assignments and duties as other teachers, such as homeroom and study hall monitor, and usually receive the same benefits of sick leave, holidays, and vacations as do the other teachers. Some states/school districts may require the SASI and ASI to be certified as high school teachers above and beyond AFJROTC instructor certification. AFJROTC recommends that the SASI and ASI work toward certification. In some states, the ASI is permitted to teach military subjects without certification and may serve as a classroom assistant without being teacher certified by the state.
12. What pay does the instructor receive?
Instructors receive, as a minimum, an amount equal to the difference between their retired pay and the active duty pay which they would receive if ordered to active duty. Active duty pay includes base pay, quarters allowance, subsistence allowance, clothing allowance (NCOs), and variable housing allowance. This is computed on a monthly basis, and then multiplied by the length of the contract. Assume your active duty pay to be $3000 and your retired pay to be $1000 monthly; then: Active Duty
Pay & Allowances $3000
Less Retired Pay $1000
Minimum Pay from School $2000
(per month of contract length)
Schools must pay the minimum (prescribed by Public Law 88-647) but may pay above the minimum. Any amount above the minimum is subject to negotiation between the instructor and the school. The Air Force reimburses the school one-half of the minimum. Each active duty pay raise will result in an increase of the minimum pay from the school. Conversely, each cost of living raise in retired pay could result in a decrease of the minimum pay. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, AFJROTC instructors are not, while so employed, considered to be on active duty or inactive duty training for any purpose. Only the pay is computed as though you were on active duty.
13. Will my retired pay and school pay equal my gross monthly active duty salary?
Yes, your gross will be the same. However, your net pay may be different because allowances are not taxable on active duty; as an AFJROTC instructor, allowances are considered part of the gross pay and are taxable.
14. What is the length of the contract?
The minimum instructor employment contract length is 10 months. As you know, not all schools operate summer sessions. Therefore, the lengths of contracts vary. The school’s budget, school policy, and individual negotiating skill affect contract lengths. Some schools cannot afford to offer a 12-month contract, or will not because the other teachers are on shorter contracts. Those schools granting 12-month contracts must insure that the instructors will be performing duties in direct support of AFJROTC throughout the duration of the contract.
15. Will the school or the Air Force reimburse me for interview or moving costs?
The Air Force offers no reimbursement and most schools offer none. AFJROTC instructors selected for overseas positions in Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) are moved at DoD expense schedules.
16. Are regular officers affected by dual compensation laws?
17. What does the Air Force furnish the AFJROTC units?
The Air Force supplies curriculum materials such as instructor guides, textbooks, training aids, lesson plans, uniforms for students, some training equipment, a vehicle rental allowance, a telephone charge allowance, and up to one-half of an instructor’s minimum instructor pay (MIP) amount.
18. What does the school furnish?
The school furnishes a portion of the instructor’s pay, the necessary facilities for the classroom instruction, equipment and uniform storage, a drill area, and the same supervision, support, and equipment normally provided other teachers and classes.
19. Where are the AFJROTC units located?
The law requires that a fair and equitable geographic distribution be followed; therefore, schools may be selected in any of the 50 states. AFJROTC operates 869 units in 48 states, 13 Department of Defense Dependent School (DoDDS), and 5 overseas locations (1 in Guam/4 in Puerto Rico). Our present policy requires that the unit be accessible to an active duty base and not be in the same school with Army, Navy, or Marine Corps Junior ROTC units. Since the school must maintain 100 students or 10 percent of the school population (whichever is less) in the program, schools having fewer than 500 students are not usually considered.
20. Who is responsible for the success of the AFJROTC program?
The success of the program in any school depends primarily on the SASI and ASI. The differences in skill, experience, and grade enable each instructor to relate to the cadets in a different way and are thus complimentary. This partially explains the team effort required for a successful unit, and is a factor in determining whether the program will attract the required number and quality of students and, therefore, determine the viability of the unit and the tenure of the instructors.
21. How are applicants evaluated?
Applicants are given an overall evaluation score based on educational background, teaching experience, command experience (officers), experience with youth groups, military performance, highest grade held while on active duty, and an interview conducted by an SASI or a PAS. This evaluation is recorded as an overall point score and stored in the computer for use during nomination cycles.
22. How does the hiring process work?
Instructor vacancies are posted on the Internet at www.afoats.af.mil/jrotc. Applicants express their interest by calling or e-mailing their preferences to Holm Center/JRI. Candidates are considered for schools of their choice in order of merit by overall evaluation score. The top candidates are nominated to the schools. School officials interview nominees and select the instructor.
23. What are my chances for selection?
Selection opportunity depends primarily on one’s qualifications as measured by the criteria listed in question 21. Selection probability can also be improved if the applicant volunteers for less popular locations or is available for CONUS-wide assignment. If your primary interest is obtaining employment, indicate “worldwide” for your state of preference on the application. Do not put “worldwide” unless you are willing to relocate to any vacancy.
24. How will I find out about available positions?
You should go to the Internet at www.afoats.af.mil. The vacancy list is updated twice each week.
25. When should I apply?
If you are retired, you should apply immediately. If you are not retired, you should apply within 6 months of your retirement date or terminal leave date.
26. How long will my application be retained on file?
Generally, it is retained until you are retired from active duty five years (a one-year waiver is authorized for exceptionally well-qualified applicants). Instructors who terminate employment and are eligible for reemployment consideration may remain as active applicants for five years after their date of termination.
27. Will you return my records, resume, or other data I provide at the time of application?
We are unable to return any of this material due to the large number of applications and letters processed; so be sure you retain a copy of any material which you may need later.
28. What if I retired with Air Force or VA disability?
If you retired with 30% disability or more, you must submit a copy of your summary Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) finding or Veterans Administration Disability Determination to Holm Center/JRI for review by the AETC Staff Surgeon. You must also provide medical documentation that describes the original medical condition and current status.
29. When will I be eligible for nomination to a position?
You are eligible for nomination when Holm Center/JRI has received all necessary items, evaluated your application, and approved you as an applicant. Necessary items are: -- Application, AFJROTC Form 200 -- Copy of last 10 Performance Reports -- Full length photo (8 x 10) -- Copy of your retirement order -- PEB or VA findings (if necessary) -- Results of personal interview with an SASI or PAS (forwarded by the SASI/PAS after interview)
30. Where can I get the required photo?
AFI 36-2010, paragraph 3.6.2. (dated 9 Jun 06), authorizes you to get a photo at any photo lab at an Air Force installation for the purpose of employment with Holm Center. The portrait will be a formal pose in service dress uniform (including blouse, but without headgear), and will be full length. One 8 x 10 inch glossy, black and white or color print will be provided to you for transmittal to Holm Center/JRI, along with your application. Smaller photographs are acceptable if the photo lab does not make 8 x 10 inch photographs.
31. As an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor, will my retirement status change?
Your retired status does not change. You are not on active duty, and you are not in the active Air Force Reserves. Although you teach aerospace science and are associated with the Air Force as an AFJROTC instructor, you are a school employee.
(NOTE: Retired active duty members who enlist in the Reserves following retirement and earn additional rank during Reserve service may wear the higher Reserve rank as an AFJROTC instructor.)
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