My experience with AFROTC has been incredible thus far. I was new to the program last year, knowing for a long time that this is what I always wanted to do. This program has really allowed me to step out of my shell and excel in an environment that hones your leadership development as well as encourages camaraderie and teamwork. We work hard but we can also play hard and it provides a great balance.
That being said, the nice thing about AFROTC is that you do not have to know right away whether or not this is something you want to commit your life to. The first year of the program allows Cadets to get a taste for what it is like to lead others without making the commitment of a contract.
Your first year as a cadet is all about being a sponge. You are introduced to the program, the Air Force way of life, and you are asked to take in as much information as possible to help prepare you for future success in the program. AFROTC is great because, for the most part, you decide how much time you want to put into it. There are plenty of extra opportunities for the new cadets to become involved in the wing and the hard work and determination is definitely noticed by your peers and cadre.
Alec Dawson, C/3C
AS200 year… what an experience. Definitely a year where you can see yourself grow in the two short semesters and hours you put into the AFROTC program. My AS100 year was more of an introduction to everything, and I just took what I learned with a grain of salt and went through the motions. If I had continued with this mindset, I would have just hindered myself and my team. The AS200 year is all about learning to work as a team and work efficiently as a unit (something you really don’t understand until the later weeks of Field Training Preparation.)
Being prepped for Field Training was a blast. If you have the right mindset and put everything you have into your school work and bettering yourself and your flight, you will be happy with the results. Watching your close friends go through the process of forming, norming, storming, and performing is one of the most rewarding things that I have experienced thus far in AFROTC. The training was intense, mind-opening, frustrating, efficient, and best of all, rewarding. Don’t slack off and don’t be that cadet who just goes through the motions and gets by without being noticed. Take risks, ask the POC a million questions, and become a sponge to the knowledge that you will receive. Look forward to the year you are about to have!
Bradley K. Chiseck, C/1st Lt
Going into your junior year you are just coming back from Field Training. 28 days of sweat and hard work where you really discover a lot about yourself and what type of leader you are. You have spent multiple semesters being in General Military Course (GMC) where your job is to learn and soak up as much as you can. After Field Training you have finally crossed the line from being an underclassman GMC to being a big bad awesome POC (Professional Officer Course). This is the year that you finally get to take on some real responsibility and show the type of leader you have become. Don’t get me wrong though, the only difference between you and the GMC are those 28 days. You are not perfect. You still have so much to learn and you will make mistakes, and that is ok, that is what your junior year is meant for. It is a chance to test the waters while having a little responsibility under your belt.
Being a POC is awesome and an extremely rewarding experience that I have loved every minute of. You are now a person that is looked up to as a role model and a mentor, and you have a responsibility to yourself and every single GMC to live up to their expectations. It is all up to you, this is the year where you really grow in to your own skin and start seeing yourself as the person and leader you have always wanted to be.
Allison Rayome, C/Capt
This year is all about what you make of it. By now you're at the point that you know how things work while also having the power to change them. ROTC promotes leadership from day one but as the AS years increase the leadership style your taught changes. Take AS 100 year, where you do exactly what your told (servant leadership) compared to the latter years where you are actually doing the teaching. AS 400 year is a culmination of all the years fit for the cadet to showcase his/her skills. There is built into the curriculum a section where everyone will lead an entire class to explore a military based topic, advocacy briefs and tons of active duty prep. We learn about cultures and are frequently updated with current world affairs. This is the year where your less worried about how to wear a uniform and more worried about how to better the man/women in it.
Chadwick Nickson, 2nd Lt