Air Force Technical School Restrictions

Student Leaders and Other Ropes

Swearing in at Air Force BMT Graduation Sept 11, 2015
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When you arrive at Air Force technical school, one of the first things you'll notice is all those people running around with different color braided ropes over their left shoulders. Who are these guys?

Well, the "ropes" are students who have special leadership responsibilities, or who perform special duties.

Special Duty Ropes

There are three special duty positions for "student ropes:"

  • White Rope - Chapel Guide
  • Black Rope - Student Drill Teams and Special Activities Teams
  • Silver or Blue & White -- Drum and Bugle Corps

Airman Leaders

The purpose of an Airman leader is to assist MTLs, improve Airman morale, and enhance personal leadership skills. Airmen leaders supervise or monitor students assigned to their squadron or placed under their charge.

Green Rope
A "Green Rope" is a "Bay Chief" or "Element Leader." Motivated students volunteer for this position. They are typically responsible for all Airmen assigned to a dormitory bay and/or element, and, and are generally the ones who march the students to and from class.

Yellow Rope
The Yellow Rope is a "Floor Rope" or "Flight Leader." They are typically responsible for all Airmen assigned to a dormitory floor and/or flight. It's one step up from the Green Rope. They generally have greater responsibility, and supervision authority. They are usually responsible to ensure the dormitories are maintained up to standards. Green Ropes who show exceptional leadership skills can be selected for this position.

Red Rope
It is the "top" student supervisor (shift leader). He/she is selected from Yellow Ropes who show exceptional leadership qualities. The "Red Ropes" usually work directly for the Chief and Senior MTL, and provides general supervision and guidance to the other student ropes. Red ropes are responsible for all Airmen assigned to a shift or squadron. It is the highest leadership position a student can obtain in technical school.

Selection of Airman Leaders

Airman leaders will be in the grade of Airman First Class and have a minimum 80 percent grade average or, if a member has no grade average, be progressing satisfactorily. The assistant flight chief or higher will approve candidates to become Airman leaders after a review of their student records and personal interview. In making selections, the assistant flight chief considers the following: disciplinary infractions, BMT report card, instructor recommendations, and past leadership experience.

Note: If no qualified Airmen First Class are assigned to the unit, Airman leaders may be selected from the ranks of Airman and, subsequently, Airman Basic.

The Airman leader program consists of three phases: Phase I is receiving and reviewing the Airman leader guide (ALG). Phase II is attending the Airman leader course (ALC) conducted by the MTSF, and Phase III is continuation training in the squadron.

The Assistant Flight Chief or higher will remove Airman leader status from Airmen who abuse their authority or fail to perform assigned duties. If an Airman leader's grade average falls below 80 percent or he or she fails to progress satisfactorily, he or she may continue in Airman leader status until the next block test or retest. Results from the block test or retest will determine continued Airman leader status. Only an assistant flight chief or higher may reinstate Airman leader status.