Frequently Asked Questions

As you consider joining Air Force ROTC at Syracuse University, you may find the attached documents useful.

The Frequently Asked Questions document is a collection of typical questions students ask when researching our program.

The Grooming Standards document reviews our standards. Don’t worry about memorizing this document—we’ll cover this during training.

Lastly, the Physical Training Prep document is a recommended workout routine we encourage knew cadets to use when preparing for our Physical Fitness program.



Please see the below FAQs for help or contact the Recruiting Flight Commander at or (315) 443-2461 with any further questions.

For help with more questions visit the Help Center at

Do I have to join ROTC as a college freshman?

No, there are various opportunities for college students. Most students complete the program in four years, however the minimum is three. Qualified cadets can commission in as little as one or two years (with approval). Ask the Recruiting Flight Commander for more information.

Do I need a specific major to enroll in AFROTC?

No, AFROTC accepts any major that earns a bachelor’s degree.

How do I enroll into AFROTC at Detachment 535?

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 week 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. Find other preparation tips including class schedules here.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis for those still in high school  or already in college. Ask the Recruiting Flight Commander for details.

What about my previous military training?

There are specific waivers for prior military experience as well as Junior ROTC, Civil Air Patrol and Service Academies. Ask the Recruiting Flight Commander for details.

Do I have to fly?

No. There are many other career fields in the Air Force that include flight duty such as Pilot, Combat Systems Officer (CSO), and Air Battle Manager (ABM). These careers are available on a competitive basis. For a full list of available positions in the Air Force, including many non-flying careers, visit

Can you guarantee me a Pilot, Combat Systems Officer, or Air Battle Manager slot?

No. Pilot, Combat Systems Officer, and Air Battle Manager candidates are selected during cadets’ junior year. The process is competitive.

Do I have to live in a barracks?

No, not while you’re in school. You will live just like any other college student during the semester, whether it be on or off campus. You will live in a barracks or dormitories during summer field training which is 3-4 weeks typically between your junior and senior year.

Do I have to cut my hair?

Maybe. Hair must be kept in accordance with Air Force guidelines when in uniform.

Do I have to wear a uniform to class every day?

No. You are only required to wear your uniform once or twice per week.

How much time do I have to spend with ROTC each week?

You are required to attend your Air Force ROTC class and Leadership Lab (3 to 5 hours each week). You have to also attend at least two 60 minute physical training sessions per week. You can also participate in optional extracurricular activities.

How often do I have to go away for training?

All training activities take place during scheduled classes and Leadership Lab. You will be required to attend summer field training once for 3 or 4 weeks; field training usually occurs during the summer after your sophomore year. There are many other voluntary training opportunities both in the local area, across the nation, and even in other countries.

FAQs about Enlisted Students

Can I be in the Reserves or National Guard and enroll in AFROTC?

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 (no later than 30 days before commissioning). Individuals cannot have another military contract while contracted with AFROTC. All the necessary forms and paperwork are available at your local base education office.

FAQs about Cross Town Students

What is the Crosstown Program?

The Crosstown Program allows students to enroll into the Syracuse University Air Force ROTC program while attending a neighboring college or university. This allows cadets to complete a degree at a university while still taking part in Air Force ROTC officer training at Syracuse University.

In our area, we have agreements with the following schools: Cazenovia College, Columbia College at Hancock Field, Hamilton College, Le Moyne College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Morrisville State College, Onondaga Community College, SUNY-ESF, SUNY Poly, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Utica College.

How will I get to and from Syracuse University for classes?

It is the student’s responsibility to arrange transportation to and from SU. To ease the burden of traveling from further schools cadets are sometimes excused from some events, such as physical training. However, cadets must still complete two hours a week on their own. Many cadets arrange carpools to get to the SU campus.

Will I be able to fully participate in the Air Force ROTC program if I am a cross town student?

Yes, Cross town cadets are treated no differently than 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.

Will Air Force ROTC interfere with my school schedule?

No, Air Force ROTC commitments are mainly satisfied through the ROTC class and leadership lab. Students should be 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.