Moving safely back to normal: AFROTC Field Training returns to Maxwell

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jackson Manske
  • Air University Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Field Training 2022 began the first of five training iterations May 21 on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

This is the first time since 2019 that field training will be conducted at normal capacity on Maxwell throughout the summer, marking a departure from modified operations as the COVID-19 pandemic abates.

In 2020, field training was held on Maxwell in a reduced capacity, and many cadets had their field training postponed to 2021 to maintain health and safety precautions. In 2021, field training was moved to Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Mississippi, to accommodate the increased cadet throughput requirements.

“Last year at Camp Shelby, the field training leadership and staff executed a herculean effort to train and evaluate on-time and deferred field training cadets,” said Col. Gregg Johnson, the commander of AFROTC Detachment 090 at Colorado State University. “This has allowed AFROTC to execute a more normalized field training throughput this summer with mission execution at Maxwell, to include facilities and support from the 42nd Air Base Wing.”

This summer, approximately 1,200 cadets will come to Maxwell to face challenges over the course of the two-week program designed to further develop and train cadets in leadership, followership and prepare them for the physical and mental demands of a deployed environment.

“Field training is a unique and transformational experience aimed at evaluating and preparing cadets to succeed and lead at their AFROTC detachments,” said Johnson, who is serving as the field training encampment commander over the summer. “This seminal event drives the cycle of AFROTC cadet leadership development by giving purpose and focus to detachment-level cadet operations.”

Cadets are trained, developed and mentored throughout their field training experience by flight training officers, cadet training assistants and other proficient cadre on a wide range of competencies to include communication skills, wingman culture, team building, critical thinking, adaptability and decision making. 

"Although AFROTC is the introduction to the military lifestyle, field training is when you truly begin your journey of being an Airman or Guardian,” said Merina Cazares-Tate, a cadet training assistant from AFROTC Detachment 330 at the University of Maryland. “Field training is more than an evaluation of everything you’ve learned so far, it’s the beginning of what the future holds as a second lieutenant."

The last training iteration, or "MAX", of AFROTC Field Training 2022 will end on August 12. After completing training, cadets will return to their respective detachments to continue their leadership development on the way to becoming officers in the Air Force and Space Force.