The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps—ROTC—program, offered in collaboration with Michigan State University, is an educational program designed to give men and women the opportunity to become an Air Force or Space Force officers while earning a degree. After successfully completing the program, students will be commissioned as a second lieutenant and begin serving as an officer on active duty.

Training to become an officer occurs at over 1,000 institutions throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The training, which occurs in a four-year program (or in special cases a three-year) consists of the following:

AFROTC cadets participate in fitness testing. The General Military Course

GMC portion of the program is usually taken during a students freshman and sophomore years. This program allows students to "try out" Air Force ROTC for up to two years without incurring any obligation (unless a student has accepted an Air Force ROTC scholarship). While attending class, students will learn about the Air Force and the historical development of air power, essentially setting the foundation of their military knowledge.

Leadership laboratory

As an Air Force ROTC cadet, students will also have up to two hours each week to put into practice the leadership skills and management theories presented in class. Leadership Laboratory is a cadet-centered program taken each year to improve a student's leadership skills. Leadership Laboratory is completed on Michigan State University’s campus, and cadets from Central Michigan University will travel to MSU once per week for the Leadership Laboratory class.

AFROTC cadets hike through a forest.

Field training

Cadets will attend Field Training during the summer between their sophomore and junior years, and before entering the Professional Officer Course—POC—portion of the program. Field Training, which takes place at an Air Force base, offers cadets a first-hand look at the Air Force environment. While there, cadets are put under pressure, tested both physically and mentally, and pushed to succeed in critical thinking. Field Training has a highly competitive enrollment process, and those cadets wishing to continue in the program must be selected to attend.

Professional Officer Course academics

The Professional Officer Course—POC—portion of the program is primarily available to students who have successfully completed their GMC years, as well as students who have been chosen to attend Field Training. The POC course is offered to cadets in their junior and senior years. POC classes are focused on national security, understanding higher level leadership challenges, and learning what life will look like once they reach active duty.

Professional development

Air Force ROTC offers a variety of different professional development opportunities. Cadets can take part in summer internships, Air Force Base visits, the Air Force Academy jump school, and many more career-broadening activities.

Scholarships

Flags lined up next to a Never Forget memorial. Air Force ROTC offers High School Scholarships, and In College Scholarship opportunities. For either opportunity, please reach out to Detachment 380 via telephone number 517-355-2168 or email at airforce@msu.edu. Cadre will help to explain each opportunity, as well as guide you on how to apply.

Student status

Students can join the ROTC program and remain a Central Michigan University student, although students are required to go to MSU's campus once per week. Students will attend a one-credit class as a freshman or sophomore, or a four-credit class as a junior or senior. Students are able to sign-up for the program at CMU at the same time when enrolling for other classes. Reach out us at airforce@msu.edu to determine what classes you should enroll.

Qualifications

To qualify for the general military course, students must:
  • Be a full-time student at Central Michigan University.
  • Be a United States citizen (to receive a scholarship).
  • Be at least 14 years old (17 to receive a scholarship appointment).
  • Be in good physical condition.
  • Have good moral character.

Obligations

After graduating from college and completing all Air Force ROTC requirements, students will commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air or Space Force. Non-flying officers serve four years on active duty, navigators serve six years after training, and pilots serve ten years after training. After those initial commitments, it is your choice to continue to serve. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to an Air Force Cadre member.