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Air Force & Space Force
ROTC Program
Marietta College Air Force ROTC Logo

Introduction to AF/SFROTC at Marietta College

Marietta College students may participate in Air Force and Space Force ROTC opportunities through a “cross-town” agreement partnership with Ohio University’s ROTC program.

What is AF/SFROTC?

Air Force & Space Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AF/SFROTC) is a 4-year, in-college officer training program that allows college students to obtain an undergraduate degree while training to become an officer in the United States Air Force (USAF) or Space Force (USSF). Marietta College students participating in the program will be enrolled in the McDonough Center for Leadership & Business and will earn a minor in Public Sector Leadership. Upon course completion and graduation, cadets commission as active duty second lieutenants and serve the nation in a multitude of exciting career fields and duty locations.


Steps to Enroll

Your next steps to become a Marietta College student and ROTC cadet:


Military Scholarships

Training and Responsibilities in ROTC

The Air Force & Space Force ROTC program is challenging yet rewarding. Cadets learn critical leadership and management skills while balancing physical training and academics. Each week, cadets attend a Military Science class, physical training sessions, and a leadership laboratory to learn to march and move in formations. As cadets progress through the program, they earn more responsibilities and become mentors for underclassmen cadets. 

Physical Training and Fitness Standards

All cadets must participate in Physical Training (PT) sessions. The overall goal of Physical Training is to ensure cadets can pass the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA), which includes a 1.5-mile run, 1 minute of push-ups, 1 minute of sit-ups, and a body composition portion as established by the USAF Physical Fitness standards. Frequently, cadets conduct Physical Training in the form of high-intensity interval training, weight room workouts, circuit training, and formation runs. To be successful in the Air Force ROTC program and earn a commission as an Air Force or Space Force Officer, cadets must maintain a good GPA, meet the Air Force Physical Training standards, and set themselves to a higher standard exhibiting a high moral character.

Leadership and Professional Development

The program focuses on teaching college students the skills they'll need to become successful Company Grade Officers (CGOs) in the USAF and USSF. This is accomplished 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.

Frequently Asked Questions - ROTC

How long is the Air Force/Space 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 AF/SFROTC 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.

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 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 AF/SFROTC 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 Marietta College 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. Engineers require a 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:

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 AFSCs:

- 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 incredible responsibility.

Majors in Language / Finance / International Studies / Liberal Arts / Journalism can translate well into the following AFSCs:

- 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 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.


Frequently Asked Questions - ROTC at MC

Can I be a student-athlete and be in ROTC?

Yes! Students wanting to commit to ROTC can play a varsity sport for the Pioneers. The Athletics Department is working closely with Marietta's ROTC representative to ensure cadets have access to all varsity sports.

How often will I have to travel to Ohio University for ROTC?

For first-year students, travel to OU will be weekly. If there is inclement weather, cadets will be able to attend their Military Science course virtually.

Other than the ROTC scholarship and other scholarships, are there other forms of financial assistance to help cover the cost of being a cadet?

Marietta College's Veterans and ROTC Program is working closely with the Washington County Veterans Commission to find ways to assist cadets with travel costs associated with driving to Athens. Marietta College's Advancement Office also partners with the Veterans and ROTC Program to garner alumni support to help pay for students to travel to military conferences, as well as the Veterans and Military Families Center on campus.

What is the McDonough Center and how is it affiliated with ROTC?

Marietta College's premier leadership program, the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business is considered one of the best undergraduate leadership programs in the nation. Students who commit to and are accepted to the AF/SF ROTC program are automatically accepted into the McDonough Program. As ROTC cadets, students will also graduate with a Certificate in Public Sector Leadership and will be considered McDonough Scholars.

Will I also be considered an OU student if I commit to AF/SF ROTC Detachment 650?

No. You will be a Marietta College student, as well as an AF/SF ROTC Det. 650 Cadet. Your degree will be from Marietta College and you will be affiliated with a detachment based at Ohio University.

Committing to a Higher Standard

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 the Marietta College Admission Office or the Marietta College Veterans Center. 


Veterans & ROTC Services

Jason Nulton


McDonough Center for leadership & Business