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August 2010

Release Date: Aug. 4, 2010ASU Logo

ASU AFROTC Unit Named Best in Southwest Region

Angelo State University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 847 has been named the 2010 High Flight winner as the top medium detachment in the Southwest Region, and will now compete against winners from the other three regions in the national Headquarters AFROTC Right of Line competition later this year.

Detachments are selected for the High Flight honor based upon their university activities, community participation, military preparedness and success in meeting AFROTC goals in academics, fitness, retention and a variety of other areas. The ASU detachment has been completely revamped since it last won the award in 2007.

“This designation really acknowledges the hard work we have put in over the last three years,” said Col. Mike Buck, detachment commander. “We have spent a considerable amount of time changing the nature of the detachment to one that is really focused on producing leaders for the Air Force. This has brought tremendous improvements in grade point average and physical fitness. Most importantly, I think this designation recognizes the positive culture that we have built here within the detachment.”

“I’m really proud of where we stand,” he added. “We don’t have many fancy programs, but we are very, very strong in leadership training. It’s easy to say you are a good detachment, but we wanted to prove it, and that is what won it for us this year. We were able to prove it with numbers and accurate, objective data. We are one of the top four medium-sized detachments in the country, and I hope to win the overall ROTC award in October.”

ASU’s detachment was selected from among those at 36 universities in the 11-state Southwest Region as the best medium-sized detachment. The region includes Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The University of Mississippi was named best small detachment, and Loyola Marymount University was recognized as the best large detachment in the region.

The ASU detachment’s two-page, single-spaced nomination listed dozens of accomplishments over the last two years. As a result of a new aggressive recruiting strategy, the detachment has grown from 81 cadets in 2008 to 110 enrolled for the upcoming academic year. Additionally, minority representation in the corps of cadets has risen to 41 percent, up from 33 percent in 2008.

On the academic front, the overall grade point average (GPA) of ASU’s detachment is now 3.1, up from a 2.4 GPA in 2008. Recognizing a need within the Air Force, the detachment has also recruited 12 cadets majoring in health professions, including five in nursing and six in pre-med. More than 65 cadets are on scholarship, and the detachment boasts the highest graduation rate of any campus student organization.

In an effort to graduate cadets better suited for Air Force leadership positions, the ASU detachment implemented numerous programs featuring interaction with Air Force personnel, including base visits, incentive flights, warrior training and officer shadowing. More than 70 military career day speakers and guest instructors have come to campus since 2008.

Additionally, the detachment also added or revamped programs in physical fitness, communication skills, field training, virtual mentoring, information science and technology, and personal finance.

As the largest student organization on campus, the ROTC detachment has finished in the top three for “Most Spirited” and in intramurals participation the last two years. Cadets annually build the Homecoming Bonfire, lead the Homecoming Parade and the ASU Veteran’s Day Vigil, and conduct a JROTC Drill Meet for area high school programs. They have also initiated numerous campus and community fitness activities and events.

Cadets are also very involved in the community, already posting more than 700 hours of community service during the 2009-10 academic year and raising more than $13,000 for the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. They have also participated in various recycling projects and food and blood drives, and the Color Guard makes about 50 appearances a year at high school and college sports contests, graduations and other events.

Other awards earned by the ASU detachment this year include being named the first-ever “Honorary Unit” by the Commemorative Air Force, a third-straight first-place finish at the annual Goodfellow Air Force Base Chili Cook-Off, placing second at the 2010 Texas Inter-Detachment Field Day and a fifth-place finish at the Goodfellow AFB Fireman’s Challenge competing against 14 active duty teams.

Detachment 847 was founded in 1971. Results of the national Right of Line competition will be announced in October.

For more information, call Col. Buck at (325) 942-2036.