Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

ROTC was established with passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. The first Air ROTC units were established between 1920 and 1923 at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College. After World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, chief of staff of the War Department, signed General Order No. 124, establishing Air ROTC units at 78 colleges and universities throughout the nation.

The ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964 authorized a new two-year Senior Program, scholarships and a Junior Program. In 1978, Air Training Command, with headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, assumed responsibility for Air Force ROTC programs. On 1 July 1993, Air Training Command merged with Air University to form Air Education and Training Command. Air University became a direct reporting unit under Air Education and Training Command and Air Force ROTC realigned under Air University. The ROTC and Officer Training School (OTS) merger resulted in the creation of a new Curriculum Division, which became responsible for the planning, development and coordinated implementation of all curriculum materials to support AFROTC, OTS (Basic Officer Training and Commissioned Officer Training).

While the historic origins for AFROTC emanate from the Morrill Act and subsequent land grant legislation and National Defense Acts, the current legal basis for AFROTC is Public Law 88647, the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. General Military Law, USC Title 10, Chapter 103 establishes the system requirement for ROTC education programs. DoD Directive 1215.8 mandates policies, which establish and govern the organization, administration, and operation of all services’ college corps programs.