“The warrior who cultivates his mind polishes his arm,” said Cadet Capt. Casey Brumbeloe, a sophomore criminal justice major from Slapout, while quoting the Arnold Air Society motto.
“By cultivating our minds, by making ourselves sharper, we’re preparing ourselves to be better leaders in the future,” he explained.
This is the goal of the Arnold Air Society, a professional honors organization supporting the U.S. Air Force composed of ROTC and Air Force Academy members, according to its website.
“(The Arnold Air Society) helps you grow as a better leader,” said Cadet Maj. Alex Dettmar, a senior computer science major from Wetumpka and the candidate training officer of the Troy squadron. “There are certain aspects of ROTC that teaches you certain things on how to be a leader, but if you go above and beyond and join the extracurricular organization of Arnold Air Society, you get better practice—you get a better application.”
The Arnold Air Society requires extra practice and drills, as well as classes and opportunities to enhance leadership capabilities, explained the cadets.
Cadet Maj. Richard Mejia, a graduate criminal justice major from Enterprise and the Troy squadron commander, said he views the Arnold Air Society as an opportunity to help cadets develop into productive and valued officers.
He further explained that part of the goal of the Troy squadron of the Arnold Air Society is to financially assist cadets attending the area and national meetings, which without assistance costs around $800.
In addition to drills and classes, the Arnold Air Society works nationally and locally to serve the communities around its squadrons while utilizing leadership skills taught in the ROTC.
This year, the national focus is raising funds and awareness of human trafficking and sexual assault. The Troy squadron will raise awareness locally, but will also contribute to the Deliver Fund, an organization dedicated to reducing human trafficking through the combination of technology and individuals with special operations or intelligence experience.
“(Human trafficking) is one of the hardest, hardest threats to maintain and eliminate,” Brumbeloe said. “And I can only imagine the families that have to deal with the repercussions of losing their daughter to an unknown ring of men who want to do harm to them. If we can help to alleviate some of that pain, then our goal is accomplished.”
Locally, the Troy squadron also works to send care packages to squadrons deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.
They said they want to “give something to those who are serving right now, make their lives just a little bit better since they’re giving up so much for us,” Mejia said.
Although this is the Troy squadron’s first active semester, it already has far-reaching goals. Mejia explained that it wants to become the area headquarters and eventually the national headquarters for the Arnold Air Society, a position that is considered a great honor.
“With the quality cadets that we’re bringing in, the caliber of excellence that we’re trying to exude, I think we can get there relatively quickly, especially considering that we’re in our first semester,” he said.