Squadron Officer School (PDE) Distance Learning


PDE / SOS Distance Learning Curriculum Flow


The eligibility criteria for the SOS distance learning program are found in Air Force Instruction (DAFI) 36-2686, Officer Development.

• Active-duty line-of-the-Air Force (LAF) captains are prohibited from enrolling in the SOS DL course until seven years TAFCS. 

• Active-duty LAF-J, HC, NC, MSC, BSC, MC, and DC officers may enroll in SOS DL on or after their date of rank to captain. 

• Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve officers may enroll in SOS DL upon their selection to captain. 

• Department of the Air Force civilian employees in the grades of GS-9 to GS-12, DCIPS PB2, and NAF 4 who possess regionally-accredited baccalaureate degree and have their supervisor's endorsement. 

• Officers who complete the resident SOS program are prohibited from enrolling or reenrolling in the SOS DL course. 


For Civilians Only: During the enrollment process you will be asked to upload 2 documents: 1) a copy of your Civilian Career Brief (You can download it from MyBiz+) and 2) Your supervisor endorsement letter (Click here for an example letter).  As per the supervisor endorsement letter, Member must have a minimum of 2 years federal civil service.

For all eligible personnel: Please download and follow our step-by-step guide for completing the admissions process by clicking here.  

The Squadron Officer School distance learning (SOS DL) program is the Air Force’s primary developmental education (PDE) program and is designed to advance the professional development foundation provided by the accessions programs. The SOS DL curriculum is based on Air Force and Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) publications for subject matter content in leadership, communication, profession of arms, warfare, and international security areas of study. As an Air Force program, SOS DL seeks to provide an “air-minded” curriculum that prepares graduates for greater responsibilities at the squadron level while also building critical thinking skills in the application of airpower for national security goals and objectives. 

The SOS DL 2.0 program includes a robust mix of self-paced and asynchronous facilitated courses. This program continues the transformation of officer PME and the SOS DL experience to “…develop Airmen who are critical and creative thinkers by implementing an agile, individually tailored approach to life- long education….” (USAF Strategic Master Plan, May 2015). The SOS DL 2.0 curriculum provides students with peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration opportunities, facilitation by DL-certified faculty, and the ability to customize the program to suit personal and professional needs.


Student Handbook

Student Handbook

The SOS distance learning program produces graduates who are able to… 

1. Apply critical-thinking and communication skills to address contemporary military issues; 

2. Understand the moral foundation of military service and how this informs ethical leadership in the profession of arms; 

3. Apply leadership theories and models to the practice of leading teams/units in complex, dynamic, and ambiguous tactical environments; 

4. Understand the historical context of military and airpower theory, and how these inform the employment of joint forces in the international security environment; 

5. Analyze how airpower contributes to military operations in the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational (JIIM) environment, in support of national security aims; and 

6. Comprehend concepts (theories, models, analytical frameworks, etc.) and issues relevant to the military profession. 

For course descriptions and requirements, see the current Air University Catalog.

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Maxwell AFB, AL 36112

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