The award, which is merit based, is presented by the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command. Detachment 875 competed against 47 other large detachments in the country to win this prestigious award. To qualify as a large detachment there must be more than 82 cadets in the program. Virginia Tech’s unit has nearly 200 cadets.
Detachment 875 produced the largest number of second lieutenants and the most distinguished graduates this past year. Unit commander Col. Cameron Torrens explains how the cadets in this unit earned this award and what these great numbers represent.
“Many of the accomplishments the detachment was recognized for were related to numbers, for example most cadets commissioned and most cadets graduating from Field Training," he said. "The reason we have these high numbers is because cadets who join Air Force ROTC don’t quit. The reason they don’t quit is because they are in charge of this leadership experience and they are excited about being a part of something larger than themselves.”
The detachment was selected for the award based on many accomplishments, some of which include:
- Highest GPA among Air Force ROTC detachments at the five senior military colleges that have an Air Force ROTC unit, which also include Texas A&M, Norwich, VMI and the Citadel.
- Highest physical fitness scores among those five senior military colleges and 15th out of 145 in the nation.
- Most cadets participating in Department of Defense sponsored overseas summer programs.
- Highest number of summer field training graduates, with 49 graduates receiving a total of 33 awards.
- An aggressive training program run entirely by cadets.
Detachment 875 offers leadership training and the benefits of being at a senior military college. Cadets who are members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets can choose to participate in one of the four ROTC programs, Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force, offered at Virginia Tech. As one of only two senior military college programs that are also part of a large public university, cadets in Detachment 875 and the Corps of Cadets have opportunities to get involved with civilian organizations on campus as well.
Air Force ROTC is one of three ways to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Over 1,000 colleges and universities offer the program, preparing college students for the responsibilities of being an Air Force officer.
Written by Katherine Wells, a Virginia Tech senior studying public relations and political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences