QUESTION #1 - What Determines Who Gets Accepted Into The AF Nationals?
All schools will registrater on-line on the MySchool website. Here you will input the basic contact information about your program, as well as identify whether you are bringing and Armed Team, and Unarmed Team, or both. Schools are accepted into the event on a first-come, first-served basis. That said, schools who are competing for an overall title in either the Armed or Unarmed Division will maintain first priority on all entry matters. This will be the most fair method to accept entries into this competition.

Schools should not register until they are fairly certain they will be attending. However you do not wish to wait too long or the needed competition spaces for the unit may be lost.

QUESTION #2 - How is the Date and Locations set for the Air Force Nationals Selected Each Year?
The dates for the Air Force Nationals are dictated in concert with the space available nature of the event venue. as well as waiting long enough into the Spring to reduce the risk of extreme cold or snow that could disrupt the event. The date for the Air Force Nationals events are always slated to be in later February through very early April.

Regarding the locations, SNI works with many factors to include the natural distribution of schools, a good gegraphic spread of locations acros the United States, a nearby AFB with motivated, community minded indioviduals looking to help and in some ways the most important factor, the enthusiam of the teams throughout that region to host their own Regional Championships! A number of willing schools, with a willing first-class facility with a sizable nearby AFB is a recipe for success!

QUESTION #3 - What Regulations are in Use at the Air Force Nationals?
The Air Force Nationals SOP outlines all of the regs. The drill area sizes and judge positions and other items partilar to each competition site are found on that specific event website. The most basic guidelines all schools will be expected to follow and judges will be utilizing will be those outlined within AFMAN 36-2203. Several maneuvers and other items that are not covered in sufficient detail are covered under Army TC 3-21.5. Both manuals ar available to download on this wensite and across the internet.

QUESTION #4 - Do We Have to Enter Every Event or Can We Just Enter One or Two?
There is no requirement that a team must enter all events within a division to attend the Air Force Nationals. However, with the huge interest from schools looking to capture an overall event title, teams that are looking to enter just an event or two are accepted ONLY AFTER teams looking to compete for an overall title are accepted. Our first priority in accepting any team for entry is, are they competing for an overall title? If they are not, they must somewhat go to the bottom of the pile of entrants. Therefore, we suggest any team serious about gaining entry look at entering every team event within their division.

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QUESTION #5 - Why do the Regulation and Color Guard Events Use Different Cadence than the AFMAN States?
AFMAN 36-2203 was written for the Air Force masses. It was designed to ensure Air Force personnel move both individually and as a group in a uniform manner. IT WAS NEVER WRITTEN TO BE USED AS A SET OF REGULATIONS TO DETERMINE A CHAMPIONSHIP AFJROTC DRILL TEAM. The teams attending the Air Force Nationals are "the best of the best" and many times face tighter and tougher regs at this event than those outlined within AFMAN 36-2203. Therefore, where there are aspects of the manual that it is felt are either too vague to be used to judge precision maneuvers, or they are just too easy for schools to execute as written in a uniform manner where the goal is to separate the best from the very best, these may be modified. We at SNI feel that JROTC units who have been training for years should use a far more lofty standard than the 100-120 steps per minute outlined within AFMAN 36-2203. Therefore, just as is prescribed in every other service drill manual (Army, Navy, Marine Corps), the cadence at the Air Force Nationals has been fixed at a much tighter window to better test the skills of the competing cadets.

QUESTION #6 - Why Does the Air Force Nationals Not Maintain Solo and/or Dual Exhibition Events?
Beginning in 2015 the event WILL maintain these event. Details are outlined on the specific event websites!

QUESTION #7 - The "No Crossing Over" Rule -- What Does That Mean?
Cadets may only compete on one TEAM at the Air Force Nationals. Therefore, while a single cadet may compete in each EVENT within either the Armed or Unarmed division, he/she may not compete on BOTH the Armed teams and the Unarmed teams. Teams found in violation of the this rule will be disqualified from the event. ENSURE YOUR TEAM DOES NOT HAVE ANY CADETS WHO ARE "CROSSING OVER", COMPETING IN TWO DIFFERENT DIVISIONS (i.e. both the Armed and the Unarmed events). The easiest way to understand this is to think of your two teams as being from separate schools.

QUESTION #8 - What Is The Per Cadet Package Cost - Can't we just Opt Out of that Fee?
In setting up the Air Force Nationals, it was decided that the event should maintain certain extras that give the event more of a first-class atmosphere, as well as making the event better and more memorable for all participants. Rich or poor, city or suburbs, every school and every cadet attending is treated exactly the same.

The per cadet fee will allow the addition of many extras. These include:
   - a specially designed Air Force Nationals event T-shirt
   - a beautiful Air Force Nationals medal
   - a beautiful 8" x 10" glossy color team photo
   - upgraded and expanded individual & team trophies
   - more comprehensive post-event scoring packages
   - post-event commendation certificates to all participating cadets

These extras help to provide the hard working cadets with the recognition and the mementos that are commensurate with the effort and sacrifice that is necessary to be accepted to attend a drill competition of this caliber

QUESTION #9 - What About Parents, Chaperones, Instructors, etc.?
Your unit may have cadets and instructors, as well as chaperones and team followers (parents, other non-competing cadets, etc.) planning to attend. If you have adult team followers not a part of the team that plan to stay at nearby hotels, your Air Force Nationals Team Folder will have hotel names and phone numbers you can contact. Make these plans early as these properties tend to fill up rather quickly.

QUESTION #10 - We Want to Get a Ballpark Cost for the Trip -- HELP!
There are several factors that any school should consider when trying to estimate a cost to attend the Air Force Nationals. Several of the most important things to consider are:

  1. Transportation
  2. Food
  3. Housing
  4. the Team Package Costs

Transportation: Teams traveling from any great distance must decide whether they will drive or fly. If the team decides to fly, teams should consider flying into all nearby airports (to comparison shop prices). Schools that fly to the Air Force Nationals must make arrangements for local transportation to and from the competition site. Taking a bus (either charter or school bus) to the event has the advantage of generally being much less expensive and giving you total flexibility to control all of your own transportation needs. This is why many teams bus to the event from throughout the bulk of the country.

Food: Meals in the area are plentiful and reasonable. Pizza subs, and hamburger places are EVERYWHERE! Also available are tons of family dinner chains, as well as cafeterias, etc. In general, I can see where $12-$15 per person, per day is a VERY ADEQUATE amount to feed all of your attendees.

Billeting:All competing schools are welcome to stay overnight anywhere they wish. The Air Force Nationals maintains no regulations on when or where your team should stay in the area. SNI has worked out an agreement with several nearby area hotels that can be access from the event website. These hotels would welcome your stay, treat you right, and keep the costs down for your group. Staying at these properties does help the event as these properties are official supporters and bringing them business helps the event. Additionally, units may look at local Armories or other nearby military facilities that likely have little or no cost.

Team Package Plan: The price of the Team Package Plan, as outlined above, is $20 per cadet. Tangible items this will provide each cadet: the custom Air Force Nationals Nationals T-shirt, ordered to size, an 8" x 10" color glossy photo of your unit; the custom Air Force Nationals Nationals medal, as well as personalized participation certificates presented to every competing cadet. Also of course, this fee will allow your cadets the ability to participate within all aspects of the Air Force Nationals competition.

Looking at each of these items, most schools should be able to put together a fairly accurate estimated cost to attend.

QUESTION #11 - Is it a requirement that our program maintain an official AFJROTC status?
While we do allow CAP programs to attend, we have only had a few in the history of the competition. So while the answer is yes, you will likely not see any.

QUESTION #12 - Will the Locations of the Events Ever Change?
The Air Force Nationals are designed to be hosted in areas where there are dense populations of talented and active Air Force drill programs, thus mitigating the costs for travel to a large number of teams. SNI currently maintained many sites to keep these costs within easy driving distance fopr upwards of 80% of the Air Force programs currenty maintained. The sites are selected because they have strong attendance. If a location fails to thrive or we feel there is simply more interest in a nearby location, we would strongly consider moviong the event! But again to do so, there would have to be a HUGE commitment from a large number of teams within an easy driving distance to any new venue to ensure the event had a solid number of telented, competition units.

Regarding specifically how a competition location is chosen is subjective, but in reality quite simple. First, the city must be able to provide a first-class, indoor venue at a reasonable price. This price is usually in the neighborhood of roughly 3K-4K dollars, all totalled (wow! yes, that is reasonable for a first-class facility!). Then this city must be able to provide ample, qualified judges within a reasonable driving distance. Those are the two biggies.

Now ideally, the city should be in a relatively climate-positive location to ensure bad weather does not cancel the event. Also, the city should have some compelling reason to be there. This can be proximity to historic landmarks (Washongton, DC), central location to vast majority of strong drill programs (like Central Texas or Macon, Georgia). The Air Force Nationals will look in the future at other locations as well should the primary objectives outlined above be met.

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