Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the below FAQs for help or contact us at or (518) 276-6236 with any further questions.
For help with more questions visit the AFROTC.COM Help Center.

Q. Do I have to join ROTC as a college freshman?
A. No, there are various opportunities for college students. Ask the Unit Admissions Officer (UAO) for more information.

Q. Do I need a specific major to enroll in AFROTC?
A. No, AFROTC accepts any major.

Q. How do I enroll into AFROTC at Det. 550?
A. The application and associated paperwork is provided to the student by the detachment staff. This normally occurs during the Fall New Student Orientation or at any other specified time prior to the first day of class or during the first day of class. The important thing to remember is to plan your class registration process at your school around the detachment’s AFROTC classes and Leadership Lab schedule. The schedule may change and the most updated is located here.

Q. Are there scholarships available?
A. Yes. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Q. What about my previous military training?
A. There are specific waivers for prior military experience as well as Junior ROTC, Civil Air Patrol and Service Academies. Ask the UAO for details.

Q. Do I have to fly?
A. No. There are other many career fields in the Air Force but pilot and navigator opportunities are available on a competitive basis. Pilot and navigator training start after you graduate.

Q. Can you guarantee me a pilot or navigator slot?
A. No. Pilot and navigator candidates are selected during cadets’ junior year.

Q. Do I have to live in a barracks?
A. No, not while you’re in school. You’ll live in a barracks or dorm during summer field training.

Q. Do I have to cut my hair?
A. Maybe. Hair must be kept in accordance with Air Force guidelines when in uniform.

Q. Do I have to wear a uniform to class every day?
A. No. You are only required to wear your uniform the same day as your Air Force ROTC classes and Leadership Lab each week.

Q. How much time do I have to spend with ROTC each week?
A. You are only required to attend your Air Force ROTC class and Leadership Lab (3 to 5 hours each week). You have to also attend at least 2 physical training sessions per week. You can also participate in optional extracurricular activities.

Q. How often do I have to go away for training?
A. All training activities take place during scheduled classes and Leadership Lab. You will be required to attend summer field training once for 4 or 6 weeks; field training usually occurs during the summer after your sophomore year.


Q. Can I be in the Reserves or National Guard and enroll in AFROTC?
A. A contracted member of the Reserves or National Guard can enroll in AFROTC. However, he/she must be released from their contract before contracting with AFROTC. Individuals cannot have another military contract while contracted with AFROTC. All the necessary forms and paperwork are available at your local base education office.

Q. Will I get paid my current salary while enrolled in AFROTC?
A. You will remain on active duty and receive full pay and benefits under the (AECP) Airman Education and Commissioning Program. This is the only enlisted scholarship program offered by the Air Force ROTC with Active Duty pay and benefits.

Q. What is the Cross town Program?
A. The Cross town Program allows Air Force ROTC cadets to attend colleges and universities other than the host university (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). This allows cadets to complete a degree at a university while still taking part in Air Force ROTC officer training.

Q. How will I get to and from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for classes?
A. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange transportation to and from RPI. Many cross town schools have public transportation access to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Q. Will I be able to fully participate in the Air Force ROTC program if I am a cross town student?
A. Yes, Cross town cadets are treated no differently then cadets attending the host school. All cadets will have the same opportunities to actively participate in ROTC and earn positions of responsibility in the Air Force ROTC program.

Q. Will Air Force ROTC interfere with my school schedule?
A. No, Air Force ROTC commitments are mainly satisfied through the ROTC class and leadership lab. Students are still able to schedule classes around the Air Force ROTC activities. In Air Force ROTC, education comes first and a college degree is necessary and essential to the Air Force officer commissioning program.

Q. How will I stay in contact with the rest of the Detachment?
A. Detachment 550 makes extensive use of its website and electronic mail to keep all cadets informed about important information and current detachment events. Most cross town schools provide students with access to electronic mail even if the student does not have a personal computer. All information pertaining to schedules and uniforms will be relayed on a weekly basis to all cadets in the Detachment.

Q. What other events will I have to attend?
A. Besides the normal class and leadership lab schedule, all cadets must attend the Military Ball (a formal military dinner held once during the fall semester) and Dining-In which is held in the spring semester. Both of these events occur during the evening and will not interfere with your class schedule. Cadets will also have mandatory Physical Training (PT) they must attend twice a week. Cadets at any of our cross town schools have the option of attending PT sessions at their school with the Army or Navy ROTC units.