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What to Expect

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What Should I Expect Life to be Like as Cadet?

First, you are not joining the Air Force when you sign up to take ROTC classes.  You are simply trying out Air Force ROTC and deciding if Air Force officership is right for you.  The commitment comes when you are offered a scholarship and accept it, or at the start of your junior year (after attending Field Training).  You may be able to try out Air Force ROTC for two whole years with no obligation!

Air Force ROTC is a professional training environment.  Hazing, maltreatment, disrespect, or physical discipline are not tolerated.

Physical training (PT) is part of the Air Force ROTC experience.  Cadets that attend OU are expected to attend PT sessions twice per week during the academic term at the Houston-Huffman Fitness Center.  PT is conducted from 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  A Friday afternoon session may also be available.  Cross-town students have different PT options available to them.

You will be issued uniforms shortly after the semester begins.  Cadets are required to wear their uniforms to classes on Thursdays between 8:00 AM and 6:30 PM.


Cadets are college students first. Your primary mission is to earn a degree! ROTC commitments will take up some of your time, but you should still have plenty of time to study for your other courses and hang out with your friends. The time commitments involved with ROTC include an academic class, a weekly Leadership Laboratory, and twice-weekly PT attendance. 

First- and second-year students will attend a one-credit Aerospace Studies academic course each week, along with Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). The academic class introduces aerospace studies and a background in aerospace history. It can be taken on either Tuesday or Thursday. The two-hour Leadership Laboratory occurs once a week on Thursday afternoons. 

Juniors and seniors will attend a three-credit Aerospace Studies academic course each week, along with Leadership Laboratory. The Aerospace Studies classes and LLAB provide the instruction and training you need to succeed as an Air Force officer!

As a cadet, part of leading is knowing how to follow and function as part of a team. You will be part of a team called a flight. Each flight typically has a short weekly meeting, much like a club on campus.

Once a semester, you will be required to attend an evening event, either a combat dining-in or formal dining-out.

Aerospace Studies

These classes typically coincide with a four- or five-year undergraduate degree program. However, there is an option to complete the program in three years for those students who do not start Air Force ROTC as freshmen (the AS100 and AS200 classes can be taken concurrently). An Air Force Officer teaches each class.

AERO 1011 (Fall) / AERO 1021 (Spring):  This survey course introduces students to the United States Air Force and provides an overview of the essential characteristics, missions, and Air Force organization.

AERO 2011 (Fall) / AERO 2021 (Spring):  This course provides a fundamental understanding of leadership and team building. It explains the various levels of leadership and the requirement to master skills such as listening, self-awareness, followership, and problem-solving. Cadets will apply these leadership skills through team-building activities and classroom discussions. 

AERO 3013 (Fall) / AERO 3023 (Spring):  This course builds upon the lessons taught in AERO 2011/2021. Cadets will have the opportunity to utilize their leadership skills as they assume higher leadership roles in the detachment. As officer candidates, cadets must also hone their writing and public speaking skills. The Spring semester is focused on leadership and ethic through reading and guided discussion, helping to get cadets thinking about leadership through their lens. 

AERO 4013 (Fall) / AERO 4023 (Spring):  This course is designed for college seniors and gives them the foundation to understand their role as military officers in American society. It is an overview of the complex social and political issues facing the military profession and requires a measure of sophistication commensurate with the senior college level.

AERO 1300:  Leadership Laboratory is where the theoretical education of the Aerospace Studies classes meets practical use. Before commissioning as an officer, you will put many of the skills you learn into practice, such as counseling, organization, and leadership. When you commission, you will be prepared for a military officer's leadership challenges with solid theory and practical leadership experience. Leadership Laboratory is taken each semester and is a co-requisite to the AS classes.