Air Force Junior ROTC expands opportunity to actively serving Guard and Reserve members

  • Published
  • By Air Force Junior ROTC Public Affairs

The opportunity to serve as an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor has expanded significantly, adding thousands of newly eligible personnel.

The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act created for the first time, the eligibility for non-retired, currently serving members of each military service’s Guard and Reserve components, as well as some honorably discharged veterans, to serve as Junior ROTC instructors.

The pay tables needed to support this initiative have now been published, marking the opening of the application period for this newly eligible population. Prior to the bill’s passage, all Junior ROTC instructors were retirees of their respective military service.

Under Section 562 of the act, entitled, “Expanded Eligibility to Provide Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Instruction,” service secretaries may approve hiring of instructors who are “separated under honorable conditions within the past five years,” or “are active participating members of the selected reserve at the time of application.”

“Leveraging the tremendous skills and experiences of Air National Guard and Reserve professionals as well as Air Force and Space Force veterans will help us solve an expanding instructor manning crisis,” said Col. Johnny McGonigal, Director, Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC. “We’re excited to see what this new pool of eligible instructors brings to our mission of ‘developing citizens of character.’”

Currently, Air Force Junior ROTC has more than 250 instructor vacancies across 830 high school programs worldwide.

“These changes provide additional opportunities for Reserve and Guard Airmen to have closer connections within their communities and make positive impacts on young people’s lives across the country,” added Col. Eltressa Spencer, Reserve Advisor to the Commander and President Air University.

Now that the Defense Department has published the pay tables associated with this act, the services can begin accepting applications from the newly eligible personnel. To be eligible to apply as an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor, regardless of military status, applicants must have achieved the grades of E-6 to E-9 or O-3 to O-6 and hold a minimum of an associate degree. 

“It's not just about meeting the quota for detachments and instructors - it's truly about making a difference in the lives of young people and building stronger community connections,” said Lt. Col. Sara Kerr, Air National Guard Advisor to the Commander, Air University.

For further information on Air Force Junior ROTC and instructor opportunities, please visit this website: