About Air Force Junior ROTC

  • Published


Colonel Johnny R. McGonigalColonel Johnny R. McGonigal
Director, Air Force Junior ROTC 


Welcome to Air Force Junior ROTC. The mission of Air Force Junior ROTC is to "Develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community." Air Force Junior ROTC is not an USAF accessions program and cadets are never under any obligation to join the military. Air Force Junior ROTC is a Title 10 US Code mandated citizenship training program that is designed to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill personal responsibility, character, and self-discipline. The program achieves this through classroom education in air and space fundamentals and hands on learning opportunities in a number of fun and challenging extra-curricular activities. 

The Air Force Junior ROTC program is grounded in the Air Force core values of “integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.”  

The program has more than 850 Air Force Junior ROTC units in high schools world-wide. There are more than 85,000 high school cadets in the program and more than 1,600 retired USAF instructors who lead, mentor, guide, and teach our cadets in high schools in the U.S. and around the world. Air Force Junior ROTC enjoys overwhelming school administration and community support because of the huge positive impact on cadets, schools, communities, and our nation. In many communities that have no military bases within many miles, the cadets and instructors of Air Force Junior ROTC are truly “The face of the U.S. Air Force in communities all over the U.S. and the world.” 

Cadet Action Line: 
Instructor Recruiting: DSN 493-7743 / (334) 953-7743 /
Instructor Application Questions:
     NCO: DSN 493-2660 or 2535 / (334) 953-2660 or 2535
     Officer: DSN 493-4459 or 5112 / (334) 953-4459 or 5112
New Unit Application Questions: (334) 953-1178
New Unit Application email:
Leadership Development Programs (LDRs):
Flight Academy:
Public Affairs: DSN: 493-5116 / (334) 953-5116 /
Chief, Operations Division:  DSN 493-4247 / (334) 953-4247 /
Chief, Instructor Management:  DSN 493-7742 / (334) 953-7742 /
     Instructor Pay DSN 493-4697 / (334) 953-4697 /
Chief, Support Division DSN 493-6596 / (334) 953-6596 /
     Logistics/Credit Card Support DSN 493-6729 / (334) 953-6729 /
Chief, Program Development (LDRs, Flight Academy, Cyber Academy): DSN 493-5142 / (334) 953-5142 /
Deputy Director, AFJROTC DSN 493-7513 / (334) 953-7513 /
Director, AFJROTC DSN 493-7513 / (334) 953-7513 /
For more information on AFROTC (in-college): (866) 423-7682 /

Develop Citizens of Character Dedicated to Serving Their Nation and Community.

Instill values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and sense of accomplishment.

Personnel and Resources 
The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps staff includes 31 Headquarters personnel and nearly 1,700 retired Air Force officer and enlisted military instructors.  There are more than 850 Air Force Junior ROTC units with over 85,000 cadets in high schools across the United States and selected Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) in Europe, the Pacific, and Guam.   

AFJROTC provides citizenship training and an aerospace science program for high school students.  Secondary school students who enroll in the AFJROTC program are offered a wide variety of curricular and co-curricular activities.  The program explores the historic and scientific aspects of aerospace technology and teaches high school students self-reliance, self-discipline, and other leadership characteristics.  Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) concepts are also an important part of this world class program.  The AFJROTC program is open to 9th-12th grade students who are citizens of the United States.  By Title 10 USC, the program is a citizenship program and not chartered as a recruiting program for the military services and those students who participate in AFJROTC do not incur any obligation to the Air Force. 

AFJROTC objectives are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill a sense responsibility, develop character, leadership, and self-discipline through education and instruction in air and space fundamentals and the Air Force’s core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.  

Curriculum is comprised of Aerospace Science (40%), Leadership Education (40%) and Health and Wellness studies (20%).  Students who successfully complete the classes are granted credit toward graduation.  Aerospace Science includes the heritage of flight, principles of aircraft flight and navigation, human requirements of flight, development of aerospace power, aerospace vehicles, rocketry, space and technology programs, aerospace industry, cultural studies of major world regions and cyber technology. STEM curriculum is introduced to help students better understand science and math related curriculum, improve critical thinking skills, and prepare cadets to be more competitive in the 21st Century. Leadership Education introduces students to military customs and courtesies, character education, citizenship in the United States, first aid, wellness, health and fitness, basic drill and ceremonies, critical thinking, effective communications, management, human relations, and college and career readiness; preparing students for life after high school. AFJROTC units complement the curriculum through cooperation and resources of organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Civil Air Patrol.  

Leadership Development Requirements (LDR) 
To reinforce the curriculum, cadets are encouraged to participate in activities outside the classroom called Leadership Development Requirements (LDRs). Common activities include Unmanned Aircraft Systems, CyberPatriot, StellarXplorers, Rocketry, Academic Bowl, Marksmanship, Drill and Color Guard teams; however, the list of activities varies by unit. Many units focus on more localized activities such as offering tutoring services and conducting skits as part of an Awareness Presentation Team to counter growing high school trends such as drug use and bullying. Through these LDR's, cadets continue to refine their leadership and followership skills while bringing credit to their self, unit, school and community.  

CSAF Flight Academy Scholarship Program 
Through this program, AFJROTC cadets are competitively selected to attend a summer aviation program at an accredited university. This program is approximately 8 weeks long and cadets can earn their Private Pilot's License while receiving college credit. 2018 was the inaugural year of this program and it is projected to expand over the next few years.  

All AFJROTC instructors are retired Air Force commissioned and non-commissioned officers.  The instructors maintain Air Force standards and are trained through the AFJROTC Junior Instructor Certification Course.  They are full-time faculty members of the participating high school and are employed by the local school board to teach AFJROTC classes.  There are nearly 1,700 instructors serving in more than 850 units around the world.
Community Service 
Community service is a major part of the cadet experience and helps instill a sense of civic pride and citizenship.  Each year, AFJROTC cadets do more than 1.6 million hours of community service.  Projects range from working with national organizations like the March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy, the National Red Ribbon Campaign, and Special Olympics, to participating in local community projects such as cleaning and refurbishing cemeteries and building parks.  

Scholarships and Other Benefits 
Cadets who choose to continue their education may receive special consideration for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) scholarships.  Many of these scholarships will pay for two, three, or four years of tuition, books, and fees at numerous universities and colleges and allow cadets to pursue studies in various technical and non-technical majors.  

In addition, cadets electing to enter the military immediately after graduating from high school are eligible to enlist in the services at one to two pay grades higher than other enlistees.  Students completing three years in AFJROTC are eligible to enter the Air Force two pay grades higher than other enlistees, and are automatically enrolled into the Community College of the Air Force, to receive college credit toward their associate college degree.

For More Information 
For more information on the AFJROTC program, contact AFJROTC Headquarters, 60 West Maxwell Boulevard, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6501. Phone: 1-334-953-7513 or visit the website at:

AFJROTC Heritage Photo

The Junior ROTC program began in 1911 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The originator of the program was Army Lieutenant Edgar R. Steevers, assigned the duty of inspector-instructor of the organized military of Wyoming. The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized a junior course for non-college military schools, high schools, and other non-preparatory schools; the Army implemented Junior ROTC in 1916. Public Law 88-647, commonly known as the Reserve Officer Training Corps Vitalization Act of 1964, directed the secretaries of each military service to establish and maintain Junior ROTC units at public and private secondary schools which apply for and are eligible according to the regulations established by each secretary. Such schools must provide a course of military instruction not less than 3 years in length as prescribed by the military department concerned.

With a modest beginning of 20 units in 1966 Air Force Junior ROTC has grown to almost 900 high schools throughout the world, including units located in Department of Defense Schools in Europe and the Pacific. Junior ROTC enrollment worldwide includes more than 85,000 cadets. Only boys were allowed as cadets in 1966, but Public Law 93-165 amended the requirement that a Junior ROTC unit have a minimum number of physically fit male students, thus allowing female students to count toward the minimum students needed for a viable unit. In 1972 the enrollment included 2,170 females making up 9% of the corps. Since then the number of females has increased to 40% of the cadet corps.

The Air Force Junior ROTC program provides citizenship training and an aerospace science program for high school youth. Enrollment in the Air Force Junior ROTC program is open to all young people who are in grades 9-12. Host schools are selected upon the basis of fair and equitable distribution throughout the nation. Retired Air Force commissioned and noncommissioned officers who are full-time faculty members of the participating high school and employed by the local school board teach Air Force Junior ROTC classes.