Air Education and Training Command (AETC)

Regular Air Force: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) is the first step in every Airman's Career. Its mission: Find, Recruit, Train, and Educate the Airmen the Nation Needs, is realized through its recruiting service, basic military training, technical training, flight training, and the Air University (AU). AU provides the full spectrum of Air Force education, encompassing precommissioning programs for new officers; graduate programs in specialized military disciplines; progressive, career-long professional military development for officer, enlisted, and civilian Airmen; and specialized programs for U.S. cabinet appointees, senior executive service (SES) civilians, and general officers. The university’s primary operating locations are concentrated on four main military installations. AU’s officer and enlisted PME and officer accessions programs are offered in residence at Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex in northwest Montgomery, Alabama. AU’s distance-learning PME programs are also developed and maintained by the Maxwell–Gunter campus faculty. The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), AU’s college of engineering, science, and technology, is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; and the Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) is located at Edwards AFB, California.  AU strives for diversity, drawing students from all service components of the Department of Defense (DOD), other U.S. government security agencies, and foreign military services from 80 plus nations each year. Air University organizations include, Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer College, International Officer School, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, USAF Center for Strategy and Technology, AFIT, USAF TPS, and several support organizations.


All active-duty Service members may be eligible for Air Education and Training Command programs and services. Eligibility varies by school and program.

Benefit Highlights

Air Education and Training Command - Education and training programs include basic military training, technical training, expeditionary training, Aerospace Physiology Training Program, Flying Training (traditional pilot and Remotely Piloted Aircraft), SERE Training, Air Battle Manager Training, Weapons Director Training.

Air University - Air University (AU) provides the full spectrum of Air and Space Force education, from pre-commissioning to the highest levels of professional military education, including granting degrees and professional continuing education for the total force.. AU is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and conducts courses both in-residence and via distance learning. Additional information on the programs offered at AU are listed below.

Enlisted Education

  • Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education - The Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education provides education for enlisted leaders throughout the Air Force. Its schools include U.S. Air Force NCO Academies, the Community College of the Air Force, Airman Leadership School, Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course, the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute, the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Academy.

    • Airman Leadership School (ALS) - Airman Leadership School the first level of enlisted PME. It teaches leadership skills required of supervisors and reporting officials throughout the Air Force. ALS enhances the development of Senior Airmen and Guardians by strengthening their ability to lead, follow, and manage while they gain a broader understanding of the military profession. ALS is held at the base level and attended by Senior Airmen (E-4) and required for promotion to Staff Sergeant (E-5).

    • Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) - Noncommissioned Officer Academy is the second level of enlisted PME and prepares Technical Sergeants to be professional, war-fighting Air and Space Professionals who can manage and lead units in the employment of Air and Space power. The goal of NCOA is to develop the leadership capability of NCOs with relevant and solution-focused attributes. Graduates successfully lead teams, strengthen their organizations culture, solve problems collaboratively, and expand their understanding of the Air Force’s role in joint operations to achieve national strategic objectives.

    • Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy is the third level of enlisted PME. Its purpose is to educate and develop senior enlisted leaders and staff senior noncommissioned officers to lead the force in the employment of air and space power in support of U.S. national security objectives and interests. The curriculum focuses on Senior Enlisted Leader Organizational Leadership Environments, National, Military & Air Power Strategy, and Integrated Deterrence & Strategic Competition. The resident AFSNCOA is located at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex.

    • Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course (CLC) - The Chief Master Sergeant Leader Course (CLC) is the capstone level of enlisted professional CMSGT Leadership Academymilitary education . The CLC is designed to prepare Chiefs for their initial CMSgt roles and responsibilities. The course provides CMSgts the education to bridge strategic vision into tactical execution. CLC emphasizes critical thinking and an enterprise-level view in order to educate, inspire, and develop CMSgts into strategic-level leaders who effectively lead, manage, and mentor lethal and ready organizations. CLC is a resident program, consisting of 80 classroom hours, located on Maxwell-Gunter AFB.

    • Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course (EPMEIC) The Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course (EPMEIC) strives to produce enlisted Airmen and Guardians who can teach and lead effectively in and out of the classroom. The curriculum is designed to heighten students’ appreciation for and understanding of classroom fundamentals and essentials; technical skills associated with enlisted PME classrooms, and the typical day-to-day performance expected of enlisted PME professionals. EPMEIC teaches methodologies that are very specific to enlisted PME and is considered the “gateway” for an enlisted PME instructor.
    • AF Enlisted Heritage Research Institute (AFEHRI) - The AFEHRI supports the Barnes Center for Enlisted Education mission by educating and inspiring enlisted leaders on our enlisted history, heritage, and the resulting contribution to air and space power. The AFEHRI provides support to students in all facets of enlisted Professional Military Education (PME). It also provides secondary student support to the USAF First Sergeant Academy, as well as to the Officer Training School (OTS), Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), Air War College (AWC), the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the Junior ROTC (JROTC), etc.

    • Community College of the Air Force - The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is a federally chartered academic institution that serves the Department of the Air Force's enlisted total force. CCAF partners with 111 off-campus instructional sites and 300 education and training sections located worldwide. CCAF awards an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree upon completing the necessary instruction.

Air Force enlisted members are automatically enrolled in the Community College of the Air Force and begin earning college credit during basic military training. Through a unique combination of on-duty and voluntary off-duty courses, enlisted Service members work toward an Associate Degree in Applied Science in one of five career areas—aircraft and missile maintenance, electronics and telecommunications, allied health, logistics and resources or public and support services. College credit is earned by completing courses and performing the job.

  • Education Services - Through CCAF, the Air Force provides academic advice and offers financial assistance to Airmen and Guardians in planning and pursuing their educational goals.

    Education Services Offices are located at each installation and supported by professional educational administrators, guidance counselors, academic advisors, education technicians/specialists and test examiners.

    CCAF advisors work with the Air National Guard (ANG) and the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) to counsel students and serve as the direct link between students and CCAF. These counselors guide students toward degree completion and work with civilian collegiate institutions to arrange for course offerings needed to satisfy CCAF degree requirements.

  • General Education Mobile (GEM) The GEM program is a partnership between CCAF and other accredited schools which provide online general education courses to support CCAF degree completion. There are more than 140 partnering schools, offering over 2,000 vetted classes.

  • Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Completion (AU-ABC) - Upon completion of the CCAF degree, students may continue their education to the baccalaureate level through the AU-ABC program. This collaboration enables students to maximize their credits already earned through over 100 civilian institutions with more than 350 degree programs to choose from in meeting their goals.

  • Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (AFCOOL) - Air Force COOL is a program administered by CCAF, which provides a pathway for enlisted DAF members to earn industry recognized professional certifications, licenses to enhance their active-duty work, and to prepare them as they transition to the civilian job market.

  • Global College of PME (EPME) - The enlisted PME offered through the distance learning format offers Guard and Reserve enlisted the opportunity to learn how to effectively lead, follow, and manage in today’s Air and Space Forces as they prepare for greater leadership roles in their future. EPME DL focuses on the ranks of Senior Airman (ALS DL), Technical Sergeants (NCOA DL), and Master Sergeants (SNCOA DL) progressing through their programs in both self-paced courses and Capstone facilitated courses.

Officer Accessions

  • Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development - The Holm Center commander provides coordinated leadership and policy direction for the Air and Space Forces officer recruiting, training, and commissioning programs at AROTC detachments at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and at OTS. The Holm Center commissions approximately 75% of Air Force’s RegAF line officers and trains 100% of the chaplain, nurse and medical specialties and legal officers. These new officers join active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. The Holm Center staff develops curriculum and provides communications, computers, logistics, instructors and financial management support to train tomorrow's Air Force officers. The Holm Center also leads and directs the Air Force's high school citizenship development program, Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC).

Officer Education

  • Squadron Officer School - The Squadron Officer School (SOS) in-residence program is a 5-week educational experience for USAF captains. The purpose of the program is to develop solution-minded, bold and courageous Airmen and Guardians ready to overcome tomorrow's challenges. The course is structured around four areas: leading, communicating, warfighting, and thinking.

  • Air Command and Staff College - Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is the Air Force's intermediate officer Professional Military Education school preparing field grade officers to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and government arenas. ACSC teaches the skills necessary for air and space operations in support of a joint campaign, leadership and command, with a focus on shaping and molding tomorrow’s leaders and commanders. Qualified students who meet all curriculum and criteria requirements of the 10-month ACSC Resident Program are awarded Joint Professional Military Education I credit and the Master of Military Operational Art and Science Degree.

  • School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

    School of Advanced Air and Space Studies - The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) is a 48-week, follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level Department of Defense PME schools. SAASS creates warrior-scholars with a superior ability to develop, evaluate, and employ airpower within the complex environment of modern war. Upon completion of all requirements and with faculty recommendation, graduates receive a Master of Philosophy in Military Strategy.

  • Air War College - Air War College (AWC) resident program is the senior school in the Air Force Professional Military Education system preparing officers from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, international officers, and civilians of equivalent rank from U.S. government agencies to serve as strategic national security leaders.Air War College All U.S. students are dually enrolled in the AWC senior-level professional military education (PME) program and the Master of Strategic Studies degree program; therefore, they must meet admission requirements for the master's degree. AWC also offers an online program as part of the Global College of PME at Air University.

  • Air Force Institute of Technology - The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) provides several opportunities for enlisted personnel ranging from master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs to initial skills training and professional continuing education in fields such as civil engineering, cyber, nuclear deterrence policy and theory, data analytics, AFITacquisition management, and logistics management. Additionally, AFIT’s Civilian Institution Programs Office manages the Education with Industry (EWI) program partnering Airman with top tier public and private sector companies.

  • The LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education - The LeMay Center is the principle organization for developing, revising and accessing Air Force doctrine and advocating airpower in Joint, multi-service, and multinational strategic arenas. The center serves as the Air Force lead for tactical, operational and strategic lessons learned and ensures emerging concepts are integrated into the Air Force Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, wargames, professional continuing education (PCE) and professional military education (PME) . The Center educates over 54,000 E-4 to O-10 warfighters annually through resident, distance learning, and multi-service PCE/PME courses. Additionally, the LeMay Center is home to the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) which advances the understanding of capabilities, development, operating concepts, strategy, doctrine, personnel, organization, and limitations of China's aerospace forces. Finally, through its Air Force Wargaming Institute, the center executes operational and strategic wargames for the Air Force, Air University, and partner nations to provide insight into operational implementation of shared systems, concepts, and doctrine.

  • Global College of PME (OPME) — The PME offered through the distance learning format offers SOS, ACSC, and AWC DL programs for officers and select civilians. These certificate awarding programs are similar in scope to their in-residence counterparts and are offered in a combination of self-paced and facilitated courses and helps prepare students for the challenges of leading and fighting in future conflicts. GCPME also administers a cost-free online master’s degree program (OLMP) awarding an accredited Master of Military Operational Arts and Science degree to officers and civilians graduates. Offered through a choice of four concentrations, OLMP can satisfy JPME1 credit through the Joint Warfighting concentration.

Leadership and Professional Development

Academic Centers

AF Medical Services Training Medical Services Training - The Physician Education office manages all physician undergraduate and graduate programs sponsored by the Air Force to include: students in the Health Professions Scholarship Program and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences residents and fellows in active duty and deferred graduate medical education programs. The office organizes and conducts the Air Force's annual Joint Graduate Medical Education Selection Board and administers the Air Force continuing medical education program for the Office of the Surgeon General, providing continuing medical education through the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Medical training for 48 enlisted specialties occurs at the Medical Education and Training Campus including courses with college credit issued through the Uniformed Services University - College of Allied Health Sciences.

Air Force Survival School - Air Force Survival School conducts Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training (SERE) at Fairchild AFB, Washington. During this 6 months approximately three and a half months of training is in the field. Training and instruction occurs in all major climatic conditions, often in remote locations and in all possible weather conditions. You will become an expert in wilderness first aid, rough land evacuation and hand-to-hand combat. You also earn approximately 47 semester hours toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force

Defense Language Institute English Language Center - The U.S. Air Force is the Department of Defense’s Executive Agent for the Defense English Language Program and the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC). The Defense Language Institute English Language Center acculturates and trains international personnel to communicate in English and to instruct English language programs in their countries, trains United States Military personnel in English as a second language and deploys English Language Training programs around the world in support of DoD Security Cooperation efforts.

Air Force Education Transcripts - Transcripts for education completed at Air University, Community College of the Air Force and Air Force Institute of Technology are requested directly from the institution attended.

Obtain transcripts for AU at:

Community College of the Air Force at:

AFIT contact the Register at:

Tuition Assistance - For information on Military Tuition Assistance (MilTA) for degrees at civilian universities see the MilTA fact sheet at:

Additional Information

Air Education and Training Command:

Air University:

Air Force Institute of Technology:

Community College of the Air Force:

Jeanne M Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development:

Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2670, Total Force Development:

Document Review Date: 06 February 2024