The United States Air Force ROTC has voted Detachment 650 at Ohio University the best small detachment in the Northeast region for the second time. Division 650 won the award in 2019 and again for the 2021-22 school year.
This award was given on the basis of the high quality cadet training program combined with experiential learning opportunities provided with the support of University College. The Northeast region consists of 37 small, medium and large divisions from 14 states.
Cadet Wing Commander Brady Taylor, a senior aviation management major, praised the department.
“Our department may be smaller than a lot of other programs out there, but I think that requires us to work harder, invest more time and build stronger bonds within our cadet wing,” Taylor said. “This award underscores these qualities. I’m so proud to be just a part of it all.”
Last year the department commissioned 12 second lieutenants, the largest group in 11 years, and brought in its largest and most diverse first year class in six years. Graduates will be leaders in numerous Air Force career areas, including aviation, intelligence, aircraft maintenance, finance, airfield operations, and force support.
Two graduates received full scholarships to medical school and graduate school. Several junior cadets also received training places on competitive summer programs, where they had the opportunity to earn a private pilot’s license, fly gliders, and attend a special operations orientation course. Other highlights of the 2021-22 school year included three immersive field training exercises, military heritage events, many community service and volunteer events, an etiquette class and expanding the department’s social media presence with over 121,000 views on Instagram.
OHIO Civil Engineering Senior and Cadet Taylor Thole has several years of experience on the program, including serving as Cadet Vice Wing Commander in Spring 2022.
“My time with Division 650 has challenged me in the best possible way,” Thole said. “It taught me skills like leadership, professionalism, discipline and so many more that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. These skills have carried over into every aspect of my life including ROTC, school and my personal life. I don’t think I would have developed as much as I did throughout my studies without this program. It hasn’t always been easy, but I will always be grateful for everything this program has taught me.”
OHIO Air Force cadets know their department remains one of the best in the nation because of the transformative opportunities to develop character, leadership and camaraderie.
“That small distance means you’re not just a number. They won’t go away during training and the instructors are all trying to get to know us as individuals,” said flight commander and junior mechanical engineering major Charlie Eagle. “I constantly get meaningful feedback from everyone around me, and every task is made important to the mission.”
Detachment 650 at Ohio University helps young leaders become distinguished officers in the United States Air Force and Space Force. For more information on the Air Force ROTC Detachment 650, visit the Ohio University Air Force ROTC website or email [email protected]