Air Command and Staff College

The Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and is the United States Air Force's intermediate-level Professional Military Education (PME) school. It is a subordinate command of the Air University (AU), also located at Maxwell AFB, and is part of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.[1]

Air Command and Staff College
ACSC Shield
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
RoleProfessional Military Education
Part ofAir University
Air Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQMaxwell Air Force Base

ACSC prepares field grade or equivalent level commissioned officers of all U.S. military services in pay grade O-4 (e.g., majors in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps and lieutenant commanders in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, as well as major-selectees and lieutenant commander-selectees), equivalent rank international military officers, and U.S. Department of Defense and Department of the Air Force civil servants of at least GS-12/GM-12 level, to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and other government organizations.[1]

Officers in pay grade O-4 and DoD/DAFC civilians in grades GS-12/GM-12 may also complete ACSC via distance learning options, either via a seminar program (if available) at an active USAF installation or via a correspondence course program in CD-ROM format.[2] Successful completion of ACSC or an equivalent command and staff college of another service (e.g., United States Army Command & General Staff College; College of Naval Command and Staff curriculum of the U.S. Naval War College) is considered a de facto requirement for all majors in the U.S. Air Force (to include Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard to promote to lieutenant colonel.

Eligible senior members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the civilian U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, who hold the rank of major or above are entitled to attend ACSC. The curriculum is accessed by CAP student officers through the ACSC distance learning platform.[3][4]

ACSC is geared toward teaching the skills necessary for air and space operations in support of a joint campaign, as well as leadership and command at the USAF squadron level or its equivalent in the other services.[5]


Prepare warriors to lead air, space and cyberspace forces in joint/combined operations[5]


ACSC has three deans:

  • education and curriculum
  • services and support
  • distance learning

They provide academic leadership to the school's faculty and student body. The dean of education and curriculum, assisted by the vice dean for academic affairs and vice dean for operations, coordinates the integration of the final curriculum content and directs the planning and implementation of the academic programs. The dean of distance learning is responsible for planning, organizing, and delivering the non-resident program of instruction through the departments of Curriculum and Operations. The dean of services and support leads the efforts of cross-cutting organizations including personnel, fitness, technology, facilities, and security. The commander and staff of the 21st Student Squadron are responsible for the health, morale, and welfare of 500 resident students and their families.[5]


The present 10-month curriculum focuses on expanding understanding of air and space power and on the growth of mid-career officers. It is meant to:

  • facilitate the air and space minded thinking of students
  • develop and enhances abilities for higher-level command and staff responsibilities,
  • enhance students' abilities to think critically about operational air and space concepts in a dynamic international environment,
  • broaden students' understanding of the nature of conflict and current and future threats to the United States and its allies, and
  • develop and enhances students' abilities to plan and execute the joint campaign planning process and air and space operations to support the joint force commander.

There are currently five curriculum departments at the ACSC:

  • International Security and Military Studies
  • Joint Warfare Studies
  • Leadership, Command and Communication Studies
  • Airpower Studies
  • Specialized Studies[5]


ACSC is located in Spaatz Hall on Chennault Circle at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The building contains a 600-seat auditorium for lectures by distinguished speakers, a smaller 135-seat auditorium for special presentations, plus a variety of conference rooms, staff and administrative offices, and lounge areas. Seminar sessions are held in specially designed rooms featuring closed-circuit television, an array of multimedia equipment, and student access to a school-wide computer network and the Internet. Students are issued more than 80 books to expand their professional capabilities and a personal laptop computer to use to keep track of the academic schedules, on-line reading assignments, and for use in examinations throughout the academic year.[5]


The Air Command & Staff College traces its roots to the Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) located at Langley Field, Virginia, from 1926 to 1931, and Maxwell Field from 1931 to 1946. After World War II, with the establishment of an independent U.S. Air Force in 1947, and as the service grew and developed, the requirements and expectations of the renamed Air Command and Staff School evolved to fulfill the service's educational needs.

In 1952, Major Jeanne M. Holm became the first woman to attend the Air Command and Staff School. She was later the first female USAF officer to achieve the rank of brigadier general and later major general.[6]

In 1962, the school became known by its current name, Air Command and Staff College.

During academic year 1994, the school undertook the most significant change to its educational program since its inception. The school transitioned from a lecture-based to a seminar-centered, active environment with an integrated curriculum geared to problem solving across the continuum from peace to war. In academic year 1999, the school began efforts to align its curriculum under the Air University commander's Strategic Guidance for the Continuum of Education. That program now functions as a portion of a comprehensive and integrated career-long professional military education program.[5]


  1. "GoE Foundation :: Air Command and Staff College". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. Donald A. MacCuish (January 2004). "Distance Learning at the Air Command and Staff College A Discussion of Several Distance Learning Best Practices". International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. ISSN 1550-6908. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019.
  3. "Distance learning". Air Command and Staff College.
  4. "Aerospace Education". CAP University.
  5. "About". Air Command and Staff College.
  6. "Biographies: MAJOR GENERAL JEANNE M. HOLM". U.S. Air Force. 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.

See also

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