Squadron Officer School
|Squadron Officer School|
Squadron Officer School emblem
|Active||1 Nov 1954 to present|
|Country||United States of America|
|Type||Professional Military Education|
|Size||3,000 students annually|
|Part of||Squadron Officer College, Air University, Air Education and Training Command|
|Colors||blue and gold|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (4), Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (10)|
Squadron Officer School (SOS), is an eight-week long Professional Military Education course for U.S. Air Force Captains, Civilians and International Officers. It fulfills the U.S. Air Force's requirement for primary developmental education (PDE). SOS is based at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and the in-residence version of the course is taught there. SOS is part of the Squadron Officer College, an element of Air University.
The school traces its roots to the Air Corps Tactical School founded in 1946. SOS became an arm of Air Command and Staff College in 1950 when the Tactical School closed. Colonel Russell V. Ritchey, founder and first commandant, opened the Squadron Officer Course at Maxwell that same year. In 1959, SOS became a separate Air University school reporting directly to the Air University commander.
Since its activation, the program has received the following awards and recognition:
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (four times)
- 1 Jan 1969 - 31 Dec 1970
- 1 Jan 1973 - 31 Dec 1974
- 1 May 1980 - 30 Apr 1982
- 1 Jan 1983 - 31 Dec 1984
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (ten times)
- 1 Jan 1985 - 31 May 1986
- 1 Jul 1993 - 30 Jun 1995
- 1 Jul 1997 - 30 Jun 1998
- 1 Jul 1998 - 7 Feb 2000
- 8 Feb 2000 - 30 Jun 2001
- 1 Jul 2002 - 30 Jun 2003
- 1 Jul 2003 - 30 Jun 2004
- 1 Jul 2005 - 30 Jun 2006
- 1 Jul 2006 - 30 Jun 2007
- 1 Jul 2007 - 30 Jun 2008
Some colleges and universities recognize Squadron Officer School graduates with graduate-level transfer credits. Some of these programs include:
- American Military University and American Public University allow three semester hours of transfer credits to SOS graduates to be applied for a graduate degree.
- Central Michigan University allows for three semester hours of transfer credit to be applied by SOS graduates to a graduate degree.
- University of Oklahoma allows for three semester hours of transfer credit to be applied by SOS in-residence graduates to a graduate degree.