Life As A Cadet At Detachment 390
The Reserve Officer Training Corps program is one of three ways to gain a commission as an officer in the United States Air Force. As a part of the program, you will prepare yourself to excel as an Air Force Officer while completing your degree as a college student. This unique opportunity allows you to get a head start on your peers, gaining valuable leadership experience, preparing for a career as a professional, while still leaving time to experience all of the avenues that college life presents. The program is rigorous and selective, but prides itself on maintaining a standard of excellence that will guide you to commissioning and into your Air Force career.
The program itself is designed as a four year program, but there are opportunities for those wishing to join the program with fewer than four years of college remaining. Entering the program, you join a fully functional Cadet Wing, structured as an active duty Wing would appear. To start, you will be in the training squadrons, the main reason that the Cadet Wing exists, but by progressing through the program, you will move up through the ranks. Your first two years will be spent in the General Military Course, or GMC; these are the freshman and sophomore cadets who have not attended Field Training. The upper class cadets, are the Professional Officer Corps, who are in charge of running the wing and preparing the GMC to lead the wing in the future.
GMC (General Military Course):
- Initial Military Training/IMT/AS100s: These are first year cadets. This year is focused on introducing cadets to the program and a military environment. Here you will learn customs and courtesies, how to march in formation, how to wear a uniform proudly and begin to build basic leadership and followership skills. This year is to learn as much as possible and build a basis for future success.
- Field Training Preparation/FTP/AS200s: These cadets are preparing to go to Field Training and be evaluated to enter the POC. This year is about showcasing your knowledge and demonstrating that you have the skills and drive to succeed in adverse situations. A successful culmination of FTP year is an Enrollment Allocation and the opportunity to compete at Field Training.
POC (Profesional Officer Course):
- Intermediate Cadet Leadership/ICL/AS300s: These cadets have completed Field Training and are setting their sights on their active duty careers. While still in ROTC they are perfecting their ability to teach and to train, to motivate and to manage, and to build skills they will need to perform at the highest level as officers. These will be your trainers and your mentors, and they will look out for you. In the classroom, you will discuss the theory of leadership and management by reflecting on your previous two years of training.
- Senior Cadet Leadership/SCL/AS400: These cadets are at the highest levels of leadership in the Wing. They may manage squadrons consisting of 10 cadets, or entire groups consisting of more than 60 cadets. This is the culmination of AFROTC training, and the year that you are in charge. Furthermore, these cadets prepare for active duty Air Force by learning about national military policies and current events in the Air Force in a classroom setting.
Types of Events
- Leadership Laboratory/LLAB: Every Thursday you will have two hours of LLAB. During this time your trainers will have prepared a multitude of activities designed to push your limits and build your skills. Every week is different, requiring different types of preparation and knowledge. Sometimes it may be performing drill: marching in formations, learning procedures, leading a flight or squadron. Other times, critical thinking Group Leadership Projects may be assigned: one group, one mission, one time limit, many stipulations. It is up to you to complete the mission. These build communication, leadership and followership skills. At the end of the day, you’ll file the experiences away and try to apply the lessons you’ve learned elsewhere.
- Physical Training/PT: Twice a week you will be required to maintain your fitness as a warrior leader. An Air Force wide initiative of being “Fit to Fight” applies here in ROTC. You will have to push yourself, motivate yourself to be physically and mentally fit. Activities range from traditional workouts, to warrior runs, to supervised lifting, to competitive sports. Each semester’s worth of PT culminates in a Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) which you must pass, and do your best to excel on.
- Aerospace Studies Class/AS Class: This academic class will be taught by a member of Cadre and cover relevant topics to your growth as an officer candidate. You will take this class with your fellow cadets and be presented with knowledge to prepare you as an officer. Assignments can include written, reading, or class presentations, with a focus on preparing you to be an outstanding and well-read communicator as an officer.
- Everything else: ROTC is not limited to the hours you are required to be present. You can participate in extracurriculars like Color Guards for university sporting events, join an intramural sports team with fellow cadets, or learn to flip rifles with the Wolverine Rifle Team. Opportunities are afforded to cadets outside of the training environment to ensure that the detachment produces well-rounded cadets prepared to join Active Duty as a knowledgeable and professional officer.