air university

Air University, a direct reporting unit located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., is a major component of Air Education and Training Command, and is theAir Force's center for professional military education.


Air University conducts professional military education, graduate education and professional continuing education for officers, enlisted personnel and civilians to prepare them for command, staff, leadership and management responsibilities. Specialized and degree-granting programs provide education to meet Air Force requirements in scientific, technological, managerial and other professional areas. Air University is responsible for research in designated fields of aerospace education, leadership and management. It also provides pre-commissioning training, and offers selected courses for enlisted personnel leading to the awarding of select Air Force specialty credentials. Air University contributes to the development and testing of Air Force doctrine, concepts and strategy.


Air Command and Staff College

Air Command and Staff College provides intermediate professional military education to prepare selected officers for command and staff responsibilities. The student body of the resident course is composed of mid-career officers from the Air Force, other services, selected Department of Defense civilians and international officers. The curriculum includes command studies, combat support, space, nuclear and theater warfare, low intensity conflict, military history and doctrine, national security affairs, quality concepts, staff communications and the profession of arms.

Another organization within Air Command and Staff College is the School of Advance Airpower Studies. An 11-month follow-on course for selected graduates of intermediate level PME, the goal of SAAS is to create soldier/scholars who, through concentrated studies, have developed a superior ability to develop, evaluate and employ airpower based on sound strategic principles. Officers not selected to attend in residence may complete Air Command and Staff College through the group-study program or correspondence course. About 550 students attend the course in residence, while more than 7,464 enroll in the associate programs annually.

Air Force Institute of Technology

The Air Force Institute of Technology, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, provides education and training to meet Air Force requirements in scientific, technological, managerial, medical and other fields as directed by Headquarters U.S. Air Force. To meet these requirements the institute conducts degree-level programs as well as continuing education and specialized courses.

The institute's programs are designed primarily for select Air Force officers and civilians. Several education and training programs are offered to satisfy specific needs of DOD and the other services. Courses are open to qualified members of DOD as well as international military service members.

The institute provides educational programs through the School of Engineering, School of Systems and Logistics, School of Civil Engineering and Services, and civilian institution programs. The Air Force Institute of Technology catalog, listing the various educational programs and admission procedures, is available through base education offices.

Through the three resident schools, AFIT graduates about 760 degree students annually. In addition, 750 more students complete extended non-degree, medical degree, and legal programs. Approximately 25,000 students graduate from AFIT continuing education programs annually.

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force. Air Force ROTC offers two educational programs -- Air Force Senior ROTC and Air Force Junior ROTC.

The Senior ROTC program is designed to recruit, educate and commission officer candidates through college and university campus programs based on Air Force requirements. As of January 1994, units were located at 146 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Students from schools near AF ROTC host institutions can attend classes through more than 600 separate cross-town enrollment programs or agreements.

Two routes to an Air Force commission are available to college students through the Air Force Senior ROTC program -- the four-year program and the two-year program. Students enroll in Air Force ROTC classes at the same time and in the same manner as for other college courses.

Courses in the Senior ROTC program normally award academic credit as part of a student's electives. At each host institution, ROTC has the status of a separate academic department. Each instructor is an active-duty Air Force officer with at least a master's degree and usually is accorded the academic rank of assistant professor. The unit commander has an academic rank of full professor.

The Air Force Junior ROTC program provides citizenship training and an aerospace science program at the high school level. Units are located at 426 high schools throughout the nation and at selected U.S. dependents schools in Europe and Guam. The program explores the historical and scientific aspects of aerospace technology and teaches high school students self reliance, self-discipline and characteristics found in good leaders. There are currently more than 57,000 students enrolled. Students who participate in the program do not incur any obligation to the Air Force. The program is open to all young people who are at least 14, physically fit, and citizens of the United States.

Air Force Quality Institute

The Air Force Quality Institute was established in 1991, at the direction of senior leadership, to provide total quality management education for the Air Force. The institute provides commanders and their organizations with concepts, methods, tools and advice for attaining a total quality culture.

As the clearinghouse for total quality-related literature and information, AFQI is the facilitator for Air Force-wide TQ implementation. The institute develops and deploys TQ courses and provides advisors for the integration of TQ into existing education and training systems.

Specific communication channels used are an electronic bulletin board system, success videos, software, a newsletter, telephone contacts, an annual quality symposium and a traveling quality resource awareness team.

Air University Library

The Air University Library is an integral part of the Air University educational system. Designated the Fairchild Library in honor of Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, Air University's first commander, the library is staffed by approximately 70 experienced professionals. Almost 30 are librarians who possess advanced degrees in their specialties.

The library's collections are comprehensive in their coverage of military affairs, international relations, aerospace operations, higher education, leadership and management, and social sciences. Holdings include 380,000 books and bound periodical volumes, over 512,000 military-specific documents and over 850,000 maps and charts. The library subscribes to nearly 1,900 journals and newspapers from around the world.

Air War College

Air War College, the Air Force's senior professional military education school, prepares selected colonels and lieutenant colonels for key command and staff assignments. The core curriculum provides a strong focus on the study of military strategy and the employment of air power. Class members analyze how the U.S. government is organized to formulate national security policy and acquire and manage resources for its implementation. The curriculum includes emphasis on regional security concerns and permits class members to analyze and evaluate trends and sources of conflict in the international system and to discuss national security strategies appropriate for dealing with regional instability. A tailored program of research and electives runs concurrently with the core curriculum, offering complementary opportunities to study special-interest areas in depth.

The ten-month Air War College resident program is attended by officers of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, other U.S.
military services and allied nations, and civilians selected from various federal agencies.

For those who cannot attend the college in residence, the Air War College Associate Programs offer both correspondence and group-study programs that closely parallel the resident course. About 250 class members a year attend the college in residence while nearly 5,000 enroll in the associate programs.

Civil Air Patrol - U. S. Air Force

Headquarters Civil Air Patrol is the Air Force organization which advises and assists the Civil Air Patrol -- the congressionally chartered civilian auxiliary of the Air Force. The primary missions of the Civil Air Patrol are aerospace education and training, cadet programs and emergency services. It
flies anti-drug missions for the U.S. Customs Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Forest Service.

Members fly nearly 5,000 corporate and member-owned aircraft. They perform more than 80 percent of all search and rescue flying hours authorized by the Air Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Civil Air Patrol operates a fleet of approximately 950 vehicles and provides a network of about 19,000 radios in support of local, regional and national emergency agencies, both military and civilian.

Civil Air Patrol membership is over 53,000. These volunteers wear a uniform similar to that of the Air Force with burgundy epaulets.

College for Enlisted Professional Military Education

The College for Enlisted Professional Military Education is composed of the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and also has responsibility for all of the Air Force's NCO academies within the continental United States. The college is located at Maxwell's Gunter Annex.

The college's Education Programs Department is responsible for program development and management for NCO academies and Airman Leadership Schools. Additionally, they develop correspondence programs for both courses and develop and teach courses to prepare instructors to teach at the academies and schools.

The Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy prepares chiefs, senior master sergeants and master sergeants to better fulfill their leadership and management responsibilities. The academy is the highest level of professional military education for noncommissioned officers. The seven-week curriculum is based upon the concept that students already possess some management and leadership experience.

Major areas of study include military studies, leadership, management, and communications skills. In addition, an electives program allows students to select management subjects of special interest for in-depth study. The curriculum is presented through lectures, seminars and independent study. About 2,000 senior NCOs attend the school each year, and 33,000 enroll in the correspondence program.

College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education

The College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education ­ known as CADRE, is an Air Force capstone organization with the mission to advance the theory and application of air and space power in support of national objectives. In addition to developing and analyzing Air Force concepts, doctrine and strategy, the CADRE staff provides specialized resident and non-resident education for planning, supporting and conducting combat operations.

Findings are published in articles, monographs and books such as the Airpower Journal, the Air Force's professional forum for the open debate of concepts, doctrines and strategies. Airpower Journal is published independently in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The college fulfills its mission through six major directorates: The Airpower Research Institute, the Air Force Wargaming Institute, the Senior Officer Directorate, the Combat Employment Institute, the Intelligence Directorate and the Educational Services Directorate.

In a recent reorganization, the Extension Course Institute became a branch of CADRE's Educational Services Directorate. ECI is the Air Force's correspondence school supporting career development, professional military education and the dual-channel system of on-the-job training and the weighted airman promotion system.

Community College of the Air Force

The Community College of the Air Force is known as "the enlisted person's college," and is the largest community college in the nation.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, CCAF awards credit earned through military schools and on-the-job training and accepts transfer credits from civilian schools toward job-related associate in applied science degrees. More than two-thirds of all Air Force enlisted members are registered with CCAF. The college contributes to Air Force readiness by enhancing the skills of enlisted people, preparing them to better fulfill increasing managerial, technical and leadership responsibilities.

Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development

Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development is home for nearly all of Air University's continuing military education programs. The college consists of nine schools: Air Force Judge Advocate General School (including enlisted paralegal specialist training), Professional Military Comptroller School, Technology Management School, Commanders' Professional Development School, Air Force Professional Manpower and Personnel Management School, Air Force Chaplain School (including enlisted chapel management specialist training), First Sergeants Academy, Academic Instructor School and International Officer School. More than 5,000 students a year attend one of the college's continuing education programs.

Officer Training School

Basic Officer Training

This program trains and commissions second lieutenants in response to U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve requirements in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Academy and AFROTC. The goal of the training program is to instill high standards of conduct and provide officer candidates with the essential military knowledge and skills needed for effective performance. Air Force officers are expected to be leaders; they must be able to set the example for those noncommissioned officers and airmen working for them.

The Basic Officer Training program is 13 1/2 weeks in duration and prepares officer candidates for the professional, physical and technical challenges
of commissioned service through a rigorous curriculum divided into four major areas; communicative skills, leadership studies, professional knowledge and defense studies. These areas are presented concurrently with emphasis on team building and learning in the first half, and leadership application in the second. Officer Training School is, above all, a leadership laboratory.

One of the highlights of the program is the Leadership Reaction course, a field exercise. Small groups of students test their ability to reason quickly and lead effectively to get the group through the specialized obstacle course. The final field leadership assessment exercise is "Vigilant Warrior," in which students demonstrate their ability to integrate and apply skills learned during the school.

Commissioned Officer Training

This program provides military orientation and indoctrination to commissioned, non-line officers through one of three courses. The first course, the Air Force Officer Orientation Course, is a two-week program designed for staff judge advocate, chaplain, and Air Force Reserve direct commissionees.

The second course, the Health Professions Officer Indoctrination Course, is a three-week course for Reserve second lieutenants entered in the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship or the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences programs. Students attend the course during the summer after graduating college and before beginning medical school.

Military Indoctrination for Medical Service Officers is the third course. This 17-day course is designed for Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Medical Service Corps and Biomedical Science Corps personnel. This orientation program also includes the Medical Readiness Indoctrination Course.

The Commissioned Officer Training program reflects the basic OTS curriculum: communicative skills, leadership studies, professional knowledge and defense studies. Due to course length, it is a compact program. Since the curriculum focuses on orientation instead of training, the program does not go into the same depth of training as OTS.

Squadron Officer School

Squadron Officer School is the first level of the professional military education of an Air Force officer. The school provides professional development for Air Force captains.

The curriculum is divided into four major areas: officership, communication skills, leadership in the Air Force, and force employment. The seven-week program combines lectures, seminars and leadership exercises. Captains with four to seven years of commissioned service attend one of five classes held annually. In addition to active duty captains, officers from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and air forces of other nations and select civilian employees also attend the school. The school is available through a non-resident correspondence program for officers unable to attend in residence. Approximately 3,000 students attend each year, while about 8,000 students enroll in the correspondence program.

502 Air Base Wing

As the host base organization for Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex, the 502nd Air Base Wing provides a wide range of support for Air University and other organizations and personnel assigned to the two facilities. In direct support of Air University organizations, the wing's 54th Airlift Flight, flying C-21 aircraft, provides air transportation to bring distinguished visitors from throughout the U.S., Canada and Central America to lecture at AU's schools.


At the close of World War II, as plans were made to establish the U.S. Air Force as a separate branch of the armed forces, officials recognized that continuing professional education would be as important to the new service's future as its inventory of weapons.

In 1946, under the direction of General Fairchild, a group of educational pioneers made plans for a new professional military educational system. They envisioned a centrally managed university complex with schools and colleges to meet a variety of needs. Today, Air University and its educational facilities stand as visible evidence of the soundness of their planning.

Point of Contact

502 ABW, Public Affairs Office; 50 LeMay Plaza S; Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6334
DSN 493-2014 or (205) 953-2014.




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