Advice on AFROTC from a new 2d Lt


Mar 23, 2015
Now that's it's almost been a month since I commissioned into the Air Force, I've gotten to sit back and evaluate what these last few years have been like, and essentially give you current cadets (and future ones) just some advice and tips.

1) You are a student first. There is no easier way to put it. I don't know how many good friends I've lost in AFROTC due to the fact they DID NOT put their grades first. Nothing else should be above academics during your time in college. It is the #1 killer for cadets at any detachment.

2) Don't choose a difficult major thinking it's going to help you out more with getting an EA or your dream AFSC. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, it doesn't happen. Again I've seen many former cadets not make it through the entire program because their major just continued to become difficult as they progressed more into it. So don't choose difficult degrees (maths, engineering, biology, etc.) if you are not 100% committed and passionate about it. I chose to be a criminal justice major. Air Force says I just needed a Bachelors degree, so I chose something that wasn't going to stress me out, but at the same time I have an interest in so that I didn't become complacent.

3) Control everything that is in your power. I don't know how many posts I see about "what do I have to do to get an EA" or "what do I do to become a pilot". It is quite simple actually. Control everything that's in your power. What I mean by this: your academics (GPA), your fitness (PFA score), keeping clean nose (civil involvements), prepare yourself mentally for AFOQT (time constraints and certain sections if they apply to you: pilot, nav, etc.), and your involvement within your detachment and college community (CC ranking). All of these things are in your control: it's up to you how you want all these numbers to look when it comes time for EAs, rated slots, and AFSC drops. Don't think that you can coast by doing the absolute bare minimums and expect to get a pilot slot or your #1 dream job of Intel or something. **Hint 3rd Core Value**

4) Do not let AFROTC consume your life. Just refer back to #1: You are a college student. Enjoy the college life, while exercising good judgement at the same time. There's a reason why ROTC is different from the Academy, it is because you get to have the college life at the same time of pursuing a commission. So, don't eat, sleep, and live ROTC 24/7. Enjoy these 4 or more years you have.

5) Be a team player. Might sound easy but for some unfortunately they don't grasp the concept even into their senior cadet year. Do understand the concept of "no one is going to take better care of me than me". BUT, you have to work with your fellow peers to get tasks and the mission accomplished in your detachment. You have to show you can work with others and that you can lead fellow subordinates with the ability to delegate tasks. You should be breeding a healthy competitive spirit amongst your peers; this helps bring the best out of one another. Because in those days you don't feel 100%, it's going to be your fellow cadets who help you keep pushing forward.

6) Just because your Plan A does not work out, does not mean it's the end of the world. Perfect example for this, I'll use myself. When I came into the AFROTC program, I was only about being a pilot. That was my mindset, didn't even think of Plan B. It took me going to Field Training to kind of change my mindset from just pilot, pilot, pilot to being an Air Force Officer period. I want to be impactful Air Force Officer in whatever AFSC I was given. I was picked up first for Intel (which was my 1st choice on my non-rated dream sheet) and was so ecstatic about the possibilities that could happen in that career field. Rated boards then came around and I found out I didn't get picked up to be a pilot. Yes I was bummed, but instead I was given a RPA slot (which was #2 on my rated dream sheet). So now I had this opportunity to choose what career I wanted. I chose RPA because it was as close to being towards my dream that I originally set out to being with, and I cannot wait to dive into a career field that is growing so fast. Essentially what I'm trying to say here is: don't narrow your mind onto one thing; think big picture for the Big Blue. Because I promise you, there's 10-15 people you may know who would wish to be in the position you are in but they can't for whatever reason.

7) Research the career you want. I'm talking learn about the missions, the deployment life, base locations, the whole nine yards. I don't know how many cadets I know who have signed up for jobs that they have little to no clue on their job. They literally race for information at the very end of their ROTC career to learn before it's time for commissioning and AD. Do the research. Information is out there for anyone willing to take the time to.

Again this is just some tidbits of advice I have for you all out there. If you would like more, feel free to PM me and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Happy holidays!
Hey Will, just wondering what the EADs looked like for RPAs your semester?
Hey Will, just wondering what the EADs looked like for RPAs your semester?

For us Dec. grads, it all varies from early Feb to late April from the few I've heard from. I report in April so it's not too bad of a wait.