Leadership Development

Transformations begin in Leadership Lab

At the core of your development is Leadership Lab, a cadet-organized and operated class. For two hours each week, you’ll focus on building interpersonal leadership, real-time problem solving and decision making, and confidence and public speaking—all skills required for success in the Air Force and beyond.

What I like most about being in AFROTC is the ability to one day commission as an officer within the Air Force, allowing me to eventually lead and inspire others.

Sam, cadet majoring in informatics

Realize your potential in field training

Field training is a mandatory program for all individuals who want to continue Air Force ROTC. Cadets usually attend field training during the summer between their sophomore and junior years.

This rigorous program involves physical conditioning, weapons training, and survival training. Field training offers you the opportunity to develop your skills as both a leader and team member.

AFROTC has helped me break out of my comfort zone and has allowed me to become a better leader and follower. Not only in ROTC, but I have also been able to develop these skills in my personal life as well.

Aaliyah, cadet majoring in community health

Professional Officer Course (POC)

Move up to POC after completing GMC and field training. This part of the program is designed to simulate an Air Force flight, and each POC cadet assumes a leadership role in the wing.

What you’ll gain

  • Learn the responsibility of leading younger cadets
  • Act as a role model and teach GMC cadets
  • Prepare AS200 cadets for field training

What you’ll do

  • Complete Aerospace Studies courses 301 and 302, learning the anatomy and importance of quality leadership and management, the role of discipline in leadership situations, and the variables that affect leadership.
  • Get assigned job positions to lead and train other cadets.
  • Work with the cadre to submit requests for U.S. Air Force job selection and base location.

What you’ll gain

  • Know how to lead a large organization effectively
  • Cultivate your ability to assemble a team based on individual strengths
  • Learn how to be a consummate professional
  • Master the responsibility of being a role model


What you’ll do

  • Complete Aerospace Studies courses 401 and 402, learning the role of a professional military leader in a democratic society and societal attitudes toward the armed forces.
  • Help plan and manage the entire 215 Cadet Wing.
  • Receive your U.S. Air Force job selection and first base location (unless completing an Air Force-approved, five-year degree program). Typically cadets will be notified during fall semester of senior year, but those in rated categories (including pilots) find out spring semester of junior year.
  • Learn more about and prepare for active duty.

After fulfilling your IU degree and the Air Force ROTC requirements, you’ll graduate and receive your Air Force commission. You will be commissioned during a special ceremony normally held the day after IU graduation.

You can expect to enter active duty anywhere from a few days to a couple of months after graduation and commission.

You may request an educational delay if you desire to attend graduate school at your own expense before going on active duty. If approved, the Air Force will postpone your active-duty tour. Delays are routinely provided if you select to attend dental or medical school. Scholarships also exist for students accepted to medical school.

Explore Air Force careers

What is leadership? Selflessness.

Description of the video:

None of us were saints. Far from it. We just refused to believe that the line between right and wrong is hard to see.

People always know the right thing to do. But they hesitate because they think of themselves.

The things we did, we did because we cared more about duty than glory.

We cared more about getting it done than getting a medal.

We never thought, “How could I do this?”

We thought, “How can we not do this?”

What were we going to do—let somebody else do our job? Because it was hard?

We want you to fly this jet through the sound barrier.Yes, sir!

We need to you jump out of a balloon in outer space, to see if a human can survive the fall.Yes, sir!

We need you to fly a bomber from an aircraft carrier for a raid on Tokyo. And you probably won’t come back.Yes, sir!

Selflessness only means something when you have something to give.

Airmen, you have so much inside you, you have no idea.

You will think of your mission, and you will think of your country.

And you will not hesitate.

Some people think we’re trained so that we don’t think. We just react.


In the Air Force, we’re just trained to think faster. We are required to think at three times the speed of sound. A hundred billion terabytes come at you in a nanosecond.

And three hundred million American heartbeats are waiting and wondering what you are going to do to keep them safe. Right now.

Fear is natural. The most primitive human instinct is to save your own skin. To think of yourself first. To wonder, “Who will make that sacrifice for me? If I’m watching over the world, who’s watching over me?”

We are.

Aim high, airmen.