Get the leadership skills that will help you succeed in the Air Force. Whether you require an advanced degree to excel as an officer or just the necessary tools to finalize your training, officer education programs can help you succeed. Plus you won’’t have to pay for it on your own. The Air Force offers a number of financial assistance programs to help our Airmen at all levels.
The Air Force Institute of Technology, or AFIT, is the Air Force’s graduate school of engineering and management, as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education. The school aims to be a world leader for defense technological education, research and consultation. It is located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
AFIT’s Air Force Graduate School for Engineering and Management allows Airmen to pursue graduate studies as a full-time active-duty assignment. Here officers can advance their careers with a master’s degree or Ph.D. in one of more than 20 areas of specialization.
The Graduate School of Engineering and Management is among the nation’s top engineering schools and provides advanced education, research and consultation focused on defense technology.
The Air Force Institute of Technology Center for Cyberspace Research (CCR) conducts defense-focused research at the graduate level, helping to train and equip the warriors of the future for the cyber domain. The center is forward-looking and responsive to the changing educational and research needs of the Air Force, the Department of Defense and the federal government.
Civilian institutions of higher learning: For specializations not available at AFIT, officers may be sent to pursue a degree at civilian institutions of higher learning including world-renowned universities and state colleges. AFIT’s Civilian Institution Program places students in more than 400 universities, research centers, hospitals and industrial organizations throughout the United States and in several other countries.
The Air and Space Basic Course (ASBC) instills in every graduate the heart, body and mind of an air and space warrior. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of air, space and information operations as a part of the joint war-fighting team. At the same time, you’ll strengthen your knowledge of the history and core values of the United States Air Force.
Squadron Officer School (SOS) lets you step out of your specialty and focus on becoming a more effective leader. First, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Air Force’s core values and a stronger appreciation for the Air Force as an institution. Then you’ll develop your leadership skills through class and field exercises, experiencing firsthand how your skills as a leader directly influence the success of an entire group of Airmen.
The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) offers professional continuing technical education throughout your career with the Air Force. AFIT’s School of Systems and Logistics offers more than 40 courses in the fields of acquisition, logistics and software engineering. Similarly, the Civil Engineer and Services School component of AFIT provides continuing education in the areas of engineering, environmental and management subjects through more than 50 courses.
The prestigious Air Force Academy gives students a high-quality, cost-free education in exchange for their commitment to serve in the Air Force. In order to attend the Air Force Academy, you must be nominated for appointment by a U.S. Congressman, Senator or the Vice President of the United States. The Academy will give you instructions to help you with the nomination process.
We recommend starting your preparations early. The best time is when you’re still attending junior high school. That’s when you should begin planning and preparing for your high school academic course choices, as well as starting your physical fitness training. Both activities can put you a step ahead of other applicants.
There are more guidelines regarding admissions and physical fitness requirements, all detailed at the Air Force Academy Admissions website. To learn more about joining the Air Force or entering the Academy, contact an Adviser today or visit the Academy’s website.
You can start training to be an officer in the Air Force while studying at the college of your choice, thanks to the Air Force ROTC program.
Air Force ROTC is available at nearly 1000 colleges and universities across the country and offers scholarships to high school and college students with outstanding academic and leadership qualities. It allows students to have the normal college experience while earning money for school and preparing to be an officer in the Air Force after graduation.
Air Force ROTC offers one- to four-year scholarships on a competitive basis to both high school and college students. Scholarship recipients will receive partial or full tuition, as well as a nontaxable monthly stipend. Many colleges also offer an additional subsidy for tuition, fees and books to ROTC cadets.
ROTC programs are frequently changing. To get the most up-to-date information on how the Air Force can help with your college education, contact an adviser or visit the official Air Force ROTC web site or view the ROTC brochure.
The Air Force Technical Degree Sponsorship Program (TDSP) offers money to those working on an engineering or meteorological degree who are within 24 months of graduation. Each candidate must successfully meet and complete an evaluation by an Officer Training School (OTS) board. Once selected, each candidate receives an active-duty E-3 (Airmen 1st Class) enlisted pay along with housing and food allowances — essentially, you get paid to go to school full time. Candidates are also eligible for medical and dental benefits. Upon graduation you’ll be commissioned as an officer and get started in an Air Force job that utilizes your technical skills. View the Technical Degree Sponsorship Program brochure.
The Air Force Tuition Assistance (TA) program is designed to help active-duty personnel pursue voluntary, off-duty educational opportunities. Currently, the program pays 100% (up to $250 per semester hour or equivalent) of the cost of college tuition with a limit of $4500 per fiscal year. Courses and degree programs may be academic or technical and can be taken from two- or four-year institutions on base, off base or by correspondence.
The Post-9/11 Bill is an educational assistance program that provides eligible Airmen with up to 36 months of benefits for education and training opportunities outside of the Air Force while they are on active duty. These benefits may be used for undergraduate and graduate degree programs, vocational and technical training, tutorial assistance, books, supplies and monthly housing. Generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following release from active duty and may be transferred to spouses or dependent children.
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is an assistance program that provides eligible Airmen with up to 36 months of benefits for education and training opportunities outside of the Air Force. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following release from active duty.
The College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) is for all non-prior-service persons considering enlistment in the Air Force. If you have taken some college courses and have accumulated debt, this program may be for you. Participants must sign up for this program when signing the enlistment contract. Under CLRP the repayment maximum is $10,000 per recruit.
To learn more about any of these educational opportunities, chat with an Air Force adviser.