By Lindsey Schoewe
Troy University’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Course sent ten of their cadets to Field Training this summer. For five weeks, these cadets were being trained and evaluated for potential entry into the professional officer course. The cadets’ leadership skills and academics were tested.
“I am really proud of our performance this summer at Field Training, and I am really excited about all the experience we have coming back along with our new cadets to make our ROTC program here at Troy one of the best in the nation,” said Cadet Wing Commander Troy Clemmons, a senior criminal justice major from Marianna, Fla.
Many of the cadets who attended Field Training were awarded for their excellent performance. Zach Ronkainen, a senior criminal justice major from Enterprise, was a distinguished graduate at Field Training, and received the Top Gun award. Along with Ronkainen, Bryant Bailey, a senior biomedical science major from Grand Bay, received the distinguished graduate award, and Nate Mack, a senior athletic training major from Andalusia, received the superior performance award.
The Air Force ROTC detachment at Troy is a two-year program along with Charleston Southern University. Unlike the four-year detachments across the nation, students don’t start the program until they enter their junior year.
“We may be a unique two-year program detachment, but the lieutenants that commission through our program are quality leaders that the Air Force benefits from greatly,” said Troy’s AFROTC Commander Lt. Col. Cristina Lussier.
The detachment offers a student organization, Trojan Air Club, for those students who can’t participate in the program. Trojan Air Club is open to all Troy students and is especially recommended for those looking to join the Air Force ROTC program later in their college career.
“Trojan Air Club is great in that it gives students a way to give back through community service, while also being able to learn about the Air Force,” said Jonathan Roberts, the president of Trojan Air Club and a senior criminal justice major from Enterprise.
“This year will be fun because we are going to visit Air Force bases, hang out in fun environments with the cadets, and go on events such as the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando,” Roberts said.