Summer Programs and Opportunities
Training in Air Force ROTC is not just in the classroom. Below are highlights of just some of the opportunities our cadets have been offered.
Click here for a complete list of professional development opportunities offered by Air Force ROTC!
Project Global Officer (or ProjectGO) is a language and cultural immersion program for ROTC cadets and midshipmen. “I went to Seoul, South Korea for free to study the Korean language at one of Korea’s top schools, Yonsei University. I had the best time studying there this summer! Although we had intensive classes all day, my coordinator took us to many field trips and I got close with a lot of people. I made friends from Georgia Tech and cadets from different schools, traveled across Korea, and had a lot of fun doing it. My favorite part of Korea is the food and the culture. I highly recommend for everyone to go to Korea or apply for other ProjectGO opportunities! I’m really thankful for this opportunity I had this summer to learn, grow and have fun.”
USAFA Preparatory BMT Instructor
“The summer before my senior year involved 18 days of basic military training (BMT), 240 basic cadet candidates, 25 USAFA and 20 AFROTC senior cadet trainers. We would wake up at 0400 to bang on the basic’s doors, lead physical training sessions, march…everywhere, inspect rooms and flip beds when they didn’t meet the standard. The duty day didn’t end until 2230 most nights; it was an exhausting time, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. On our few break days, we senior cadets were able to explore Colorado Springs, CO. I was able to network with cadets and forge friendships that will last through my Air Force career.
Operation Air Force
Operation Air Force (or OpsAF) is a program that sends groups of cadets to an Air Force base 2-3 weeks during the summer to see what life is like, shadowing both officers and enlisted. “I was lucky enough to go to Eglin AFB in Florida! It aided my understanding of life on active duty, as well as giving me an appreciation for all of the different jobs there are in the Air Force. OpsAF was a great experience and I made lots of friends from all over the country, most of whom I still keep up with today. My group was lucky in that we were able to get incentive rides in the T-38 Talon, which is a training jet! It was a very formative experience for me because it solidified my dream of becoming a pilot.”
Air Force Academy Freefall is a twelve-day parachute training program conducted at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The course comprises strenuous physical training, conditioning, ground school, and five freefall jumps from 4,500 feet. Cadets completing all five jumps are awarded a basic parachutist rating.
Soaring (SOAR) is a fifteen-day program designed to give cadets the opportunity to experience the basic fundamental of flight in nonpowered glider operations. Cadets receive instruction in basic flight through ground school and actual flight, leading up to and possibly including cadet solo. The majority of instruction is conducted by upperclassmen USAFA cadets trained as soaring instructors. The program assumes that cadets have no previous flight experience, and there are no special medical requirements. Training is conducted at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
National Character and Leadership Symposium
“The National Character and Leadership Symposium (NCLS) at the Air Force Academy (USAFA) was an amazing experience to be able to hear tips and ideas from very experienced leaders, both within the military and in the civilian sector. It brings together distinguished scholars, military leaders, corporate executives, and world-class athletes to motivate and equip participants for honorable living and effective leadership. It is a two-day event held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The keynote speaker for the entire event was Ishmael Beah, an author who was a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Dr. Robert Gates also gave a presentation, one of the few Secretaries of Defense to be retained between presidential administrations, as well as many other amazing people. As a career broadening experience, getting to meet my peers at USAFA and from other AFROTC regions during NCLS was fantastic, I was able to make some lifelong friends and to catch up with old ones. Overall as a professional development program, I highly recommend anyone apply to NCLS who is interested in learning life-long leadership lessons and wants to meet some great people along the way.”
“LEDx was a transformational event for me during my time as a cadet at Detachment 590. Hosted at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery Alabama, Air University brought in experts from around the country to talk to officers and cadets about how to grow our leadership capabilities. Following the popular TED format, the theme for this year was “Diversity at the intersection of leadership, strategy, and innovation”, and involved keynote seminars and breakout discussions on various aspects of leadership. Major topics included how friction catalyzes growth; innovating through subtraction; and how cultural change in an organization comes through magnifying or minimizing current realities. In addition to the main events of this leadership summit, those of us cadets had the opportunity to meet with the senior leadership of Air Force ROTC to get clued in to the big picture of our accession source. Overall, it was a highlight of my time in Air Force ROTC, and I was honored to represent my Detachment.”