Heritage

Flag Raising 2 ResizedA Tradition of Honor, and a Legacy of Valor


We are America’s Airmen—a Total Force of regular, guard, reserve, and civilian patriots. We fight and win where ever our nation needs us. Expeditionary Airmen provide the air and space power necessary to protect America and our way of life.

Our United States Air Force reflects the vision of the founders of airpower. We foster ingenuity in the development of the world’s most professional Airmen. Airmen are the heart and soul of our unique fighting force, and are identified by a proper noun—Airmen. We will continue to transition new technologies into joint warfighting systems and integrate our capabilities to produce decisive warfighting effects.

You have joined a team of Airmen who have a rich history, and play an unparalleled role in the defense of America. Our Air Force is the greatest air and space force in the world because of the generations of professional Airmen who devoted their lives to serving their country. Airmen today recognize and honor their historic achievements and unique contributions to fighting and winning America’s wars.

Whether we are active duty, guard, reserve, or civilians, first and foremost, we are America’s Airmen—confident in our ability to protect and defend the United States of America.

Air Force ROTC Organization and History

AFROTC is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. Its headquarters is located in Montgomery, Alabama, at Maxwell AFB. The program recruits, educates and commissions officer candidates through college campus programs based on Air Force requirements. Students can attend classes through host or cross-town enrollment programs or consortium agreements.

ROTC was established with passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. The first Air Force ROTC (then called Air ROTC) units were established between 1920 and 1923 at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College.

After World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, chief of staff of the War Department, signed General Order No. 124, establishing Air ROTC units at 77 colleges and universities throughout the nation.

Women were accepted in the Senior Program, starting in 1969. Eligible Air Force enlisted men and women pursuing a college degree who are interested in becoming commissioned officers are given that opportunity through competition in the AFROTC Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program, established in 1973.

In 1978, Air Training Command assumed responsibility for AFROTC programs. On July 1, 1993, Air Training Command merged with Air University to form Air Education and Training Command and AFROTC realigned under Air University.

In February 1997, Air Force ROTC and Officer Training School merged under the newly parent organization, Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools. This restructuring placed oversight for three-quarters of Air Force officer production under one organization and facilitated the sharing of manpower and expertise with minimum affect on the day-to-day operations of either organization. In June 2008, AFOATS was renamed the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accession and Citizen Development Center, or Holm Center.

There are currently 145 Air Force ROTC detachments nationwide.

Text: Airman (AF Handbook 1); Air Force ROTC