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Leadership Lab (LLAB)

Cadets stanting at attention

The majority of the officer training within the Air Force ROTC program takes place during Leadership Laboratory (LLAB), or "lead lab" as the cadre call it. This is a course held once a week, where cadets are able to practice customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, leadership and operational skills that they will need on active duty. LLAB is run by the senior cadets and supervised by the cadre members.

It is within this environment that the distinction between cadets and cadet officers is most readily apparent. Freshman (AS100s) and sophomores (AS200s) are enrolled in the General Military Course (GMC), and occupy the place of enlisted personnel in the organizational structure. AS100s receive their first introduction to the Air Force. Subjects that they are instructed in include marching and drill, warrior knowledge, Air Force rank and organizational structure, and beginning flight commander skills. Once they have completed their first year, they will become AS200s, whose training is directed at preparing them for field training, emphasizing knowledge of the required information to successfully complete the field training course, dormitory maintenance, and command skills. Instruction in the Airman's Manual is becoming significantly more important as the Air Force progressively adjusts officer training to better prepare commissionees for their duties. Cadets who are not selected to attend field training or advance their date of commission will repeat the AS200 course but will instead be referred to as an AS500 cadet.

Upon completing field training, cadets compete for acceptance into the Professional Officer Course (POC), and if selected, return to their detachments as AS300 cadets. At this level they will be directing some of the basic aspects of training, such as commanding and supervising flights of junior cadets, writing lesson plans, leading physical training, or carrying out other duties within the wing. As seniors, they become AS400 cadets, who run the entire wing and are in charge of developing and executing an operational plan for it. Those cadets not engaged in training activities evaluate both the GMC cadets and the AS300s on their performance. Some cadets, such as those in engineering or aviation majors, will require one or two additional semesters to complete their degree. They remain at the detachment as AS700 cadets, exempt from some of the attendance requirements and attending no academic classes. With the completion of their degrees, they are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force.