eSchool of Graduate PME - Squadron Officer School (PDE)

PDE/SOS 2.0 Distance Learning Curriculum Flow

The eSchool's Squadron Officer School (SOS) program is the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force  primary developmental education (PDE) distance learning (DL) program designed to advance the professional development foundation provided by the accessions programs. The PDE/SOS DL curriculum is based on Air Force and joint professional military education publications for subject matter content in leadership, communication, profession of arms, warfare, and international security areas of study. As an Air Force educational program, PDE/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.

On 17 January 2017, the PDE/SOS DL program transitioned from its legacy format to a new curriculum (edition 2.0) that includes a robust mix of self-paced and asynchronous facilitated courses designed to provide students with peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration opportunities, facilitation by certified faculty, and the ability to customize the program to suit personal and professional needs.  This transition continues the transformation of the officer PME experience.


Student Handbook

Student Handbook

The SOS DL 2.0 program produces graduates who are able to...

  • apply critical-thinking and communication skills to address contemporary military issues [Program Outcome-1];
  • understand the moral foundation of military service and how this informs ethical leadership in the profession of arms [Program Outcome-2];
  • apply leadership theories and models to the practice of leading teams/units in complex, dynamic, and ambiguous tactical environments [Program Outcome-3];
  • understand the historical context of military and airpower theory, and how these inform the employment of joint forces in the international security environment [Program Outcome-4];  
  • analyze how airpower contributes to military operations in the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational (JIIM) environment, in support of national security aims [Program Outcome-5]; and comprehend concepts (theories, models, analytical frameworks, etc.) and issues relevant to the military profession [Program Outcome-6].  

The eligibility criteria for PDE/SOS DL are found in Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2656, Developmental Education.

  • Air Force and Space Force Active Duty - The intent is for all active duty to attend SOS in-residence and the PDE/SOS DL program to serve as an alternative if an officer is unable to attend the in-residence program. Therefore the following restrictions apply for active duty officers:
    • Line-of-the-Air Force (LAF) captains are prohibited from enrolling in the PDE/SOS DL course until seven years TAFCS.
    • Exceptions: LAF-J, HC, NC, MSC, BSC, MC and DC officers may enroll in PDE/SOS DL on or after their date of rank to captain.

  • Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve - Upon selection to captain, all Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve officers are eligible to enroll in PDE/SOS DL.

  • Civilians - DoD civilian employees in the grades of GS-9 to GS-12 and above (or equivalent) who possess regionally-accredited baccalaureate degrees may enroll in PDE/SOS DL.

  • Sister-services - Sister Service Officers in the grade of O-3 may enroll.  However, as per army regulations, Army Officers will not enroll in other than Army schools without written approval of the DCS, G-3/5/7 (Director of Training). AR 350-1, 10 DEC 2017.

Note: - Officers who complete the resident SOS program are prohibited from enrolling or reenrolling in the PDE/SOS DL course.

  • Military
  1. If you meet the program eligibility, you must create an AU Portal account before enrolling. A CAC card is required to create the account
  2. Go to AF Portal and login
  3. Under QUICK LINKS, scroll down to EDUCATION/TRAINING/FORCE DEVELOPMENT, and click on Air University Portal.
  4. Go to the silver bar that reads "Click here to login or create a new account," and click on "Create Account." (if you already have an AU Portal account skip to step 6)
  5. Finish creating the account by filling in the applicable information.  We recommend using a civilian email address.
  6. Once you have established an AU Portal account, go down to the menu bar on the left side of the AU Portal page and hover over "Distance Learning," then hover over “SOS DL” and select "Apply."
  7. On the Apply for Admission page, select “SOS DL ASU”
  8. Under Step 1 review the Eligibility criteria.  If you do not meet the criteria do not apply, the system will prevent entry, but it will waste manpower to review flagged applications.
  9. If you meet the eligibility criteria, select “Check for Eligibility”.  This does not actually check eligibility, it only allows you to update your profile information.  Please ensure you provide a civilian email address that you can access.  Once your profile is updated, go to step 2 and select “next”.
  10. Step 3 confirms your contact information has been updated.  Then click “Submit Application”
  11. If you are military, the system will run checks and automatically enroll you in the program if eligible.  You should receive an email notifying you of your status.  If the email confirms you are admitted to the program, then expect another email from noreply-ulis@asu.edu within 2 business days to initiate the onboarding into the SOS DL program. 
  12. If you do not have a CAC card or are not able to create an account for any other reason, please submit a help ticket at https://auservicedesk.af.edu.
Civilian Enrollment Instructions

For course descriptions, see the current Air University Catalog.

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Maxwell AFB, AL 36112

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