Caring for Future Leaders: Improving Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Graduates' Transition to the Active Duty
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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The United States Air Force USAF does not provide adequate guidance, personnel support, and processes to ensure a smooth transition for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps AFROTC graduates from cadet status to active duty. AFROTC students have two personnel challenges unique to their commissioning source. The first challenge stems from the fact that cadets serve in an Obligated Reserve status while students in the AFROTC Detachments DETs, and therefore, do not receive the same level of personnel support as cadets in other commissioning sources. The second personnel challenge occurs post-graduation when newly commissioned AFROTC Second Lieutenants are in a transitory period serving in an Inactive Reserves Status. During this transition, they are neither actively managed by either the losing DET and their servicing Military Personnel Section MPS, nor by their active duty gaining units until reaching their extended active duty EAD date when signing into their first assignment. These transitory issues are unique to AFROTC graduates and do not exist with the three other sister commissioning sources, to include the USAF Academy, Officer Training School OTS, and Commissioned Officer Training School COTS.Active duty Airmen do not experience the same challenges for permanent changes of station PCSs. Therefore, this analysis identified prescriptive guidance and processes for active duty Airmen assignment activities that formed a baseline for comparison to the AFROTC transition to active duty service. The analysis revealed differences between the active duty and AFROTC, and recommends solutions to improve AFROTC graduates transitions to active duty service. These recommendations include changes to AFROTC curriculum, guidance, and automated systemsprocess recommendation to mirror existing active duty personnel systems and processes while maintaining required Obligated Reserve and Inactive Reserve status.