Specialized Skills Training

Air National Guard: State Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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The Department of the Air Force provides specialized skills training for Airmen and Guardians who want to advance their Air Force careers. Service members meeting the right criteria may attend specialized schools and leadership training. Ongoing training opportunities include tactical, technical, physical, and leadership development. These programs help Service members to develop skills for an Air or Space Force career and beyond.


Air National Guard Service members serving on state active duty are eligible to receive ongoing Specialized Skills Training. Eligibility requirements vary according to the particular program.Air Command and Staff College

Benefit Highlights

Technical Training / Career Field Specialties

The Department of the Air Force provides additional specialized technical training after Airmen and Guardians complete basic training that focuses on technical skills Service members need to perform in their career field specialties. Technical training is conducted in specialties such as: aircraft maintenance, missile maintenance, civil engineering, medical services, computer systems, security forces, air traffic control, weather, personnel, cyberspace support, intelligence, firefighting, and space and missile operations.

The Department of the Air Force provides specialized training to individuals with specific skills i.e. Medical, Lawyers, Chaplains, and Music as required by the Department of the Air Force.

Specialized Schools

  • Airborne School (Basic Airborne Training): Department of Air Force Service members may attend the U.S. Army Airborne School located at the U.S. Army Infantry Center, Fort Moore, Georgia. This course is designed to train Service members to become paratroopers. It develops the student's confidence through repetitious training so that the student can overcome the natural fear of jumping from an airplane; and develop and maintain the high level of physical fitness required of a paratrooper by rigorous and progressive physical training. Each student must satisfactorily complete 5 jumps from an aircraft while in flight. Entrance requirements for students can be found here. There are additional reporting requirements for Department of Air Force Service members. For more information contact the Air Force Liaison Office at:

    Address: McGinnis-Wilkam Hall, Building 4, Room 3100
    Phone: 706-545-9733 / 9734
    DSN: 835-9733 / 9734

  • Chaplain School Air Force Chaplain Corps College: Located at Maxwell AFB, AL provides education, training, and resources to care for the spiritual well-being of Airmen and their Families. The Chaplain Corps College includes instruction in crisis intervention skills, trauma pastoral care, and pluralism and faith group support requirements that will further their professional abilities to support chaplains in peacetime and contingency operations. The Chaplain School is critical for the success of the Air Force missions.

  • Defense Information School (DINFOS): Located at Fort Meade, MD, DINFOS teaches a variety of subject areas including public affairs, print journalism, photography, video production, broadcast journalism, broadcast equipment maintenance, and various forms of graphic design and digital media. DINFOS trains communicators across the DoD to help their organizations achieve strategic and operational goals through applied public affairs strategies and visual information products.Defense Information School

  • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC): The Institute, located in Monterey, CA, provides culturally based foreign language education, training, evaluation, and degrees for the Department of Defense. Students who attend a Basic or Intermediate Course in residence at the Monterey DLIFLC location obtain an Associate of Arts Degree. Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language or Russian are also awarded to students who complete the Basic Course and the Intermediate, Advanced, or Defense Threat Reduction Agency Course. DLIFLC is regarded as one of the finest schools for foreign language instruction in the nation. The Institute provides resident instruction at the Presidio of Monterey in 14 languages. Courses last between 36 and 64 weeks, depending on the difficulty of the language. Additionally, DLIFLC operates a satellite office DLI-Washington training over 900 students annually in approximately 60 languages.

  • Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI): Located at Patrick AFB, FL DEOMI's vision is, "An including force that values and develops all individuals and thrives on their contributions". It seeks to achieve this aim thorough innovative education, training, research and collaborative solutions to optimize total forceDefense Equal Opportunity Management Insitiute (DEOMI) readiness. DEOMI offers the following courses: Equal Opportunity Advisor, Disability Program Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Equal Employment Opportunity Professional "Entry", "Intermediate" and "Advanced" Courses, Equal Opportunity Specialist, Mediation Course, and Special Emphasis Program Managers. Resident and E-learning classes are offered. For more information see the DEOMI website.

  • The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School: Teaches the complexities of practicing law with the Air Force including military law, criminal prosecution, international law, and legal assistance. The JAG Corps offers the unique opportunity of serving one's country while developing professional skills. JAG responsibilities cover everything affecting military operations while focusing on the following areas: criminal law, legal assistance, civil and administrative law, labor and employment law, international and operational law, and contract and fiscal law. Service member must have a Law Degree and have passed the Bar exam.

    • Commissioned Officer Training (COT): Located at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. This eight-week program focuses on physical conditioning, classroom studies and training on Air Force customs and courtesies.

    • The Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course (JASOC): Located at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. This nine-week course focuses on many areas of military law, including military justice, trial advocacy and adverse administrative actions involving military member and civilian employees.

  • Jumpmaster School: E-4 and above-The Army Jumpmaster School is open to Department of the Air Force Service members. Jumpmasters are experts who teach other Service members the techniques of jumping from airplanes while instructing at Airborne school. To qualify students must be qualified, current (jumped within six months) have a minimum of 12 static line parachute jumps out the paratroop door, and been on jump status for 12 months. Jumpmaster school teaches the duties and responsibilities of the jumpmaster and safety; procedures for rigging individual equipment containers and door bundles; understanding and identifying personnel parachute components by their specific nomenclature and characteristics; procedures and standards required to conduct a jumpmaster personnel inspection; the duties and responsibilities of the drop zone safety officer; presentation of jumpmaster briefings and pre-jump training; and the execution of the duties of a jumpmaster from a USAF aircraft in-flight during a day/night combat equipment jump.

  • Pathfinder School: Pathfinders provide navigational aids and advisory services to military aircraft in areas designated by supported unit commanders as well as providing advice and limited aid to units planning air assault or airdrop operations. There are two options to attend the Pathfinder course the first is the Sabalauski Air Assault School Pathfinder Course at Fort Campbell, KY and the second is the Warrior Training Center Pathfinder Course at Ft. Moore, GA. The Pathfinder course is a three week course in which Service members learn the following skills:

    • Navigate cross country on foot

    • Establish and operate a day/night helicopter landing zone

    • Establish and operate a day/night parachute drop zone

    • Conduct slingload operations

    • Aircraft rappelling

    • Provide air traffic control and navigational assistance to aircraft within an operational site control zone.

The Army Pathfinder School is open to select Service members.

  • Ranger School: Army Ranger School, located at Fort Moore, GA teaches the fundamentals of small unit tactics and leadership. Ranger School is the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer. Ranger school trains both Officers and enlisted Service members through a 62 day course on the combat arms related functional skills necessary to lead difficult missions and engage the enemy in close combat and direct fire battle . Training at this school is available to select Service members. Students are encouraged to attend Airborne School prior to attending the Ranger course .

  • Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion Training Insignia Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion Training (SERE): U.S. Air Force Survival School located at Fairchild AFB, Washington, provides a five and a half month SERE training course to at risk of isolation personnel. Instruction concentrates on the principles, techniques and skills necessary to survive with confidence in any environment and return with honor.

  • U.S. Air Force Recruiting School: Located at Lackland AFB, TX- prepares Air Force Recruiters to maintain the strength of the force by helping high-quality recruits make the most of an Air Force career.

Special Operations Schools: The U.S. Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) is a primary support unit of the Air Force Special OperationsSpecialized Skill Training Special Operations School Command (AFSOC), the Air Force component of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The School is collocated with, and directly supports, USSOCOM's Joint Special Operations University. Courses are Open-Enrollment, Self-Nominated or Commander-Nominated Courses. See the Student Checklist for USAFSOS Enrollment.

Leadership Training

Noncommissioned Officer Education System

  • Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education
    The Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education discharges Air University's responsibility for the education of enlisted leaders throughout the Department of the Air Force. It serves as the umbrella organization for all continental U.S. Air Force NCO Academies as well as the Community College of the Air Force, the Airmen Leadership School, the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute, the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, the Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course, and the Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course.

    • Airman Leadership School (ALS): Airman Leadership School is the first level of the Enlisted Professional Military Education and held at the base level. ALS prepares Senior Airmen for positions of greater responsibility by stretching their ability to lead, follow, and manage while they gain a broader understanding of the military profession and their role within the Air and Space Forces. Completion is required to assume the grade of Staff Sergeant.

    • Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA): Noncommissioned Officer Academy is the second level of enlisted Professional Military Education. It prepares Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) for increased responsibilities by developing their leadership capabilities and expanding their understanding of the military profession to achieve national strategic objectives. The overall goals of NCOA are to develop the leadership capability of NCOs with relevant and solution-focused leadership attributes to 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): Located at Maxwell AFB, AL. The AFSNCOA is the third level of enlisted Professional Military Education. It prepares senior NCOs to lead the enlisted force in the employment of airpower in support of U.S. national security objectives.

      AFSNCOA is a resident program that consists of 200 classroom hours. Senior NCOs are prepared to lead the enlisted force in the employment of air and space power in support of US national security objectives . AFSNCO provides an education to help SNCO’s become adaptable, critically thinking, and strategically relevant leaders in complex and ambiguous environments.

    • Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course (CLC): Located at Maxwell AFB, AL CLS is the capstone and pinnacle level of Enlisted Professional Military Education this course consists of 80 classroom hours. The mission is to provide Chief Master Sergeants the education to bridge strategic vision into tactical and operational execution. CLC emphasizes critical thinking and enterprise-level view in order to educate, inspire and develop Chief Master Sergeants into strategic-level leaders who, effectively lead, manage and mentor lethal and ready organizations.

    • AF First Sergeant Academy (FSA): Located at Maxwell AFB, AL, the mission of the First Sergeant Academy is to train, educate and develop, select senior noncommissioned officers to serve as United States Air Force First Sergeants. First Sergeants advise commanders on the readiness, health, morale, welfare, and quality of life or Airmen and families to ensure a mission-ready force. Students attend 20 days of resident study at the Academy.

eSchool of Graduate PME Officer Education

The Education of Air Force Officers is a progressive and sequential education and training process that begins in the pre-commissioning phase and continues in schools through basic entry level, advanced level, intermediate command and staff level, and senior level. The system is comprised of the following opportunities:

  • Officer Training School (OTS): A four-phased, nine-and-a-half week program of initial entry training which develops college graduates into military officers. Upon completion of OTS, graduates take the oath of office and are commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the Air Force.

  • Squadron Officer School (SOS): Squadron Officer School (SOS) is the Department of the Air Force’s center for company grade officer professional development. Squadron Officer School is a five-week in-residence course that develops solution-minded, bold, and courageous Airmen and Guardians ready to overcome tomorrow’s challenges. The course is structured around three areas: leadership, design thinking, and joint warfare.

  • Air Command and Staff College (ACSC): Air Command and Staff College is the Air Force's intermediate officer Professional Military Education school. ACSC educates field grade officers of all U.S. services (primarily majors), and develops air-minded joint leaders able to lead, compete, and win in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous work.. The ACSC resident curriculum is a rigorous 10-month graduate-level program taught through intensive small group seminars and engaging lectures. Courses cover topics that include the profession of arms, leadership and ethics, joint operations, airpower, and the international security environment. Additionally, students can conduct research and participate in elective courses that explore topics of varying interests. Students who successfully complete the 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: The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) is a 50-week, follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level Department of Defense professional military education schools. School of Advanced Air and Space Studies creates warrior-scholars with a superior ability to develop, evaluate, and employ airpower with the complex environment of modern war. Upon completion of all requirements and with faculty recommendation, graduates receive a Master of Philosophy degree in Military Strategy.

  • Air War College: Air War College is the senior school in the Air Force Professional Military Education system preparing officers from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (primarily lieutenant colonels), international officers, and civilians of equivalent rank from U.S. government agencies to serve as strategic national security leaders. 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. The AWC War College online program is part of the eGraduate School at Air University.

  • Air Force Institute of Technology: The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), located at Wright Patterson AFB, is the Department of the Air Force's graduate school of engineering and management as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education. A component of Air University and Air Education and Training Command, AFIT is committed to providing defense-focused graduate and professional continuing education and research to sustain the technological supremacy of America's air, space, and cyber forces. Since 2008, AFIT has been designated as the Air Force’s Cyber Technical Center of Excellence.

  • CAPSTONE: The CAPSTONE General and Flag Officer Course objective is to make students more effective in planning and employing U.S. Armed Forces in joint and combined operations. The CAPSTONE curriculum examines major issues affecting national security decision making, military strategy, joint/combined doctrine, interoperability, and key allied nation issues.

Air University Global College of PME: In an effort to deliver high quality, precision distance learning and professional education to the “Total Force”, officer and civilian equivalents of the Air University Global College of PME offers distance education programs in the following areas:

Additional Information

For more information, please see the ongoing training webpage maintained by the Department of the Air Force:

Air University

Air Education and Training Command

Document Review Date: 31 August 2023