The success of Air Force Junior ROTC would not be possible without the expertise and dedication of the nearly 1,900 retired Airmen who serve as Aerospace Science Instructors.
Air Force Junior ROTC is a full program and is not confined to the “regular” school day, nor just the classroom. Air Force Junior ROTC instructors conduct academic classes during the regular school day, but also supervise Leadership Development Requirements (LDRs) after regular school hours. LDRs are experiential learning activities like drill teams, academic bowl teams, marksmanship teams, etc. A robust and successful AFJROTC program will have several active LDRs throughout the year.
Air Force Junior ROTC Program Staffing. Each Air Force Junior ROTC program must be staffed with a minimum of two instructors. More instructors are added as enrollment grows. An Air Force Junior ROTC unit typically has one retired officer and one retired enlisted instructor.
Officer instructors are retired officers who have at least a bachelor’s degree. Over 90 percent of them have master’s degrees with backgrounds in teaching, extensive experience managing complex programs, and many have significant experience working with youth groups.
Enlisted instructors are retired noncommissioned officers who normally have at least a bachelor’s degree. All enlisted instructors have extensive experience in leadership, supply, administration, drill and ceremony, teaching, and many have significant experience working with youth groups.
Responsibilities of All Instructors. Instructors will exhibit only the highest levels of personal and professional conduct while serving as an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor. The proverbial "glass house" analogy certainly applies here. Instructors perform duties, accept responsibilities, and meet standards as prescribed by applicable Department of Defense (DoD), Air Force and Air Force Junior ROTC instructions. Instructors will directly supervise all cadets participating in official AFJROTC unit events, AFJROTC community service events, and other unit activities (e.g. drill competitions, curriculum-in-action trips, base visits, etc.) that enhance or supplement the program.
All Air Force Junior ROTC instructors are deeply involved in their communities. They teach Air Force Junior ROTC aerospace science and leadership education curricula. They also serve as liaisons between the Air Force and civilian agencies in the aerospace field, and perform career and performance counseling for AFJROTC cadets.
Instructors devote themselves to cadets in the classroom and during LDRs. Their hard work and devotion have resulted in an Air Force Junior ROTC program that’s highly acclaimed at the local and national level.
Essential Functions of All Air Force Junior ROTC Instructors. To successfully serve as an AFJROTC Instructor, an applicant must be able to:
1) Conduct Academic Classes. An Air Force Junior ROTC Instructor is expected to prepare for and teach periods of instruction of 45 to 90 minutes each, for as many as 4 to 6 periods per day, depending on a particular school’s schedule. Each class period may contain 30 students (possibly more in unusual circumstances) holding a range of ages and maturity levels, and coming from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Teaching academic classes involves significant organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, as well as a high degree of patience.
2) Lead Before and/or After-School Activities. An Air Force Junior ROTC Instructor is expected to coordinate and lead a variety of school activities, possibly held before or after each school day, both indoors and outdoors. These activities may include physical training events, academic clubs, rocketry teams, marksmanship teams, along with performing drill instruction and demonstrating drill sequences. Leading extracurricular activities involves significant organizational skills, strong teambuilding skills, and physical stamina.
3) Lead Off-Campus Events. An Air Force Junior ROTC instructor is expected to lead field trips to historical sites, visits to local government agencies and military installations, and to march in parades with their cadets. Leading off campus events involves significant organizational skills, physical stamina, and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
4) Be an Ambassador of the Air Force. An Air Force Junior ROTC instructor is expected to exemplify a positive image of the Air Force at all times by conducting themselves in a highly professional manner in both their words and their actions. Additionally, an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor is expected to maintain a professional military appearance in uniform, and to comply with Air Force Junior ROTC weight and body fat standards.
5) Complete any additional state and/or local school district mandated teacher certification or continuing education requirements. Any additional certification requirements above the basic Air Force Junior ROTC instructor certification must be accomplished at no expense to the Air Force.
6) Successfully incorporate Air Force Junior ROTC-approved interactive learning software/hardware with classroom instruction, and have a competent knowledge of curriculum planning, Air Force educational programs, drill and ceremonies, and educational administration, including tests and measurements. Academic, administrative, logistical, financial support tasks, and after-school activities will be equally shared by all instructors as regular duties.
7) Complete the mandatory Air Force Junior ROTC Instructor Certification Course (JICC) as a condition of certification.
Initial Application Process: Before any retired Airman can be considered for hire by a school, they must have an approved application on file with HQ AFJROTC Instructor Management Division.
The initial application process screens candidates for general suitability, including time since retirement, service history, college degrees, weight and body fat standards, and desire to teach in the high school environment. Not all applicants are approved.
All applications are taken via this website. Those who do not meet the initial screening requirements for use of the online application may still be considered on a case-by-case basis if they receive a waiver from the Chief of Instructor Management. An example of an unusual circumstance is if the applicant's time since retirement has exceeded five years, and they desire to apply for an extended vacancy or hard-to-fill location.
HQ AFJROTC's goal is to provide and maintain a fair and equitable nomination process so that any interested applicant has an equal chance at a particular vacancy. Anyone interested in a particular vacancy should not attempt to interview with the school directly until HQ AFJROTC officially refers them as an approved applicant. If it is determined that an applicant is circumventing the official process in an attempt to gain an advantage, that applicant may be rendered ineligible for that vacancy. HQ AFJROTC Instructor Management reserves the right to make that determination.
Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS Schools): Due to the high-visibility locations, proficiency training required, and increased cost of Headquarters visits to overseas locations, all applicants for AFJROTC vacancies in DoDDS are limited to experienced AFJROTC instructors (current and prior instructors only). Current instructors must meet the transfer criteria as stated in AFJROTCI 36-2010 to be considered. Prior instructors must have been in good standing when they departed their last school, and they must have received a satisfactory AFJROTC Form 98 from their previous school. Only those names screened, approved, and referred to DoDDS by Holm Center/JRI are eligible for consideration.
School Referral and Interviews: All vacancies are filled with volunteers only. HQ AFJROTC cannot force anyone to apply for a particular location. If we have no volunteers, we have no names to refer.
Once a person has an approved application with HQ AFJROTC Instructor Management Division, they are eligible to volunteer for a vacancy of their choice. All known vacancies or pending vacancies are posted on our website under the “Instructors” menu. HQ AFJROTC Instructor Management operates in three-week cycles, all year long, collecting volunteers for three-week periods.
At the end of each three-week cycle, we refer all interested applicants to the respective schools. The goal is to complete this entire referral process within five workdays. Referrals are sent via email to the school principal with the applicant’s name and contact information included. Each referred applicant receives a separate confirmation email telling them to which school they were referred.
Applicants are asked not to inquire about a specific referral until after five workdays have passed after the end of the cycle. If, after five workdays have passed, an applicant has received no referral confirmation email, then contacting HQ AFJROTC is appropriate.
Interview Process: It is up to the school and the applicant(s) to establish communication and accomplish any district paperwork, background checks, or other items necessary to complete the interview process. HQ AFJROTC does not track all application/hiring requirements within the 630 school districts that host AFJROTC Programs. Therefore, each school must guide all applicants accordingly. Be sure to ask questions!
Travel costs for an interview are at the applicant’s expense. Applicants are reminded not to volunteer for a position unless they are available and willing to travel to the school for an interview. Applicants who are nominated, but fail to contact the school or appear for a scheduled interview show insincerity unfavorable to the Air Force. Such applicants may be permanently withdrawn from further consideration. Note: In unusual cases where travel is prohibitive, schools may grant an applicant an interview via an internet-based video chat or other medium of their choice.
Applicants being interviewed must put their best foot forward. Wearing the Service Dress Uniform is the first choice for an in-person interview, since AFJROTC Instructors are required to wear the blue uniform regularly.
Hiring Process: NOTE: Please DO NOT accept an offer of employment without fully understanding the contract length and the salary! The school must offer a minimum of a 10-month contract at the Minimum Instructor Pay (MIP). They do not have to offer more than that, but many do. (NOTE: While on Terminal Leave, MIP is not mandated to be met.) The schools have the final say on which approved applicant they choose to hire. Once a school makes an offer to an approved applicant and the applicant accepts, the school will notify HQ AFJROTC Instructor Management. At that point, the school will be asked for any additional information needed, including completion of a DD Form 2767, Annual Certification of Pay and Data Form.
Instructor Transfer Process: Instructors may not transfer prior to serving two full academic years with their current unit, partial years do not count. Instructors may not contact school officials concerning vacancies unless specifically referred by Holm Center/JRI. Instructors who accept new positions must provide HQ AFJROTC Instructor Management a transfer AFJROTC Form 98 within 15 days of accepting the offer. They must also resign their current positions effective the end of the current school year. Instructors contacting school officials without a proper referral may be considered ineligible for the position. NOTE: Current instructors, who interview for, are offered, and decline a position may be ruled ineligible for transfer for one (1) additional school year.
Certification Process: HQ AFJROTC provides the basic certification for all AFJROTC Instructors to teach in AFJROTC. No instructor can become (or remain) an AFJROTC instructor without the certification granted by HQ AFJROTC.
Once a new applicant is hired by a school, the applicant is sent a Provisional Certification letter which they can provide to the district/school as required. This Provisional Certification allows the person to immediately teach AFJROTC classes and is good until the new hire completes all mandatory instructor training, including the in-residence portion of the Instructor Certification course, held each summer at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL. Once an instructor completes all mandatory training, they will be considered fully Certified.
Each state or district may levy additional certification or professional development requirements on their faculty, including AFJROTC Instructors. HQ AFJROTC does not prohibit any such requirements, but additional requirements should be carefully measured, since AFJROTC instructors can only teach AFJROTC-approved curriculum.