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.