Air Force ROTC adapts training in the face of COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske
  • Air University Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets completed Combat Arms Training and Maintenance amid the COVID-19 pandemic July 9, 2020, at the CATM facility on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. 

In response to the pandemic, we’ve gone from teaching two classes of 60 cadets each day to now teaching six classes of 16 cadets per day, said Senior Airman Christopher Murphy, a combat arms instructor with the 42nd Security Forces Squadron. We’re still training roughly the same number of cadets but in a much more condensed time frame.

Among the precautions taken to reduce contact between cadets and limit potential exposure to COVID-19, Air Force ROTC cadets are now required to wear colored reflective belts that identify their flight. This measure makes sure that each flight is self-contained and eliminates the potential risk of COVID-19 spreading between flights.

These precautions help maintain the quality of our officer’s training throughout the pandemic and ensure that our mission readiness as a branch of service does not degrade as a result of the pandemic.

“In order for them to go to their operational base and be prepared and to be set up for success, they really need to make sure that they’re going through all of the proper training that the past cadets and past members have gone through,” said Murphy. “It really is nice that ROTC worked with us to figure out a schedule that could keep everyone’s best interest and health in mind and to keep the operation going.”