Air Force ROTC News

By Cadet Kyle Bassett ’21

The cadets have stayed busy since the spring semester ended, as Air Force ROTC Detachment 875 continues to strive for success at all levels and prepare cadets for their Air Force futures.

This summer, 56 cadets attended field training at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where they were evaluated on their leadership abilities. Upon their successful completion of training, they transitioned into upper-class cadet roles with Detachment 875. Eleven cadets were recognized at the end of their training: Nine earned cadet training assistant recommendations, and two were selected as distinguished graduates in the nationwide training.

Cadets from Detachment 875 joined cadets from other detachments at field training this summer.
Cadets from Detachment 875 joined cadets from other detachments at field training this summer.

Under the leadership of the wing commander, Cadet Noah White ’19, cadets have been tasked with holding each another accountable for self-improvement with goals of attaining a wing Physical Fitness Assessment average of 96 or higher, as well as an academic goal of a grade point average of 3.3 for the semester.

 “In order to lead a life of excellence in all that we do, it is important for everyone to know their purpose and to know their reason for getting up in the morning. With their purposes in mind, the wing is striving to produce the best second lieutenants for the United States Air Force,” White said in explaining his vision and goals for the term.

At the start of the fall semester, 41 cadets were sworn in with the Oath of Enlistment as they committed formally to service to the Air Force after graduation. Thirty-three cadets received Air Force ROTC scholarships to pursue journeys of continued academic excellence in a variety of majors such as engineering, meteorology, and national security studies.

We are excited to welcome our newest members of the Detachment 875 family as they assumed their roles in helping support our growing detachment. We welcome Col. Eric Dorminey ’90 as our new detachment commander and senior instructor, as well as Capt. Jacob Drinkard as the instructor for the sophomore cadets.

To kick off the year, the annual wing picnic was held at Blacksburg Municipal Park. Field training success was celebrated, and another cadet was contracted on scholarship. It was a great day for returning cadets to reconnect and for the newest cadets to be welcomed into the unit. 

Cadets pose for a picture after arriving in Ohio for the Air Force Marathon.
Cadets pose for a picture after arriving in Ohio for the Air Force Marathon.

On Sept. 11, the detachment held the annual 9/11 workout at Lane Stadium in memory of the innocent lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Each cadet aimed to climb a total of 2,996 steps in remembrance of those who died as a result of the attacks 17 years ago.

After the workout, Dorminey reminded cadets to always be aware of the leadership path they are undertaking as they carry about their day-to-day activities, a movement toward refining themselves as future leaders across the globe, and that they will be in charge of ensuring our country’s freedom.

On Sept. 13, 35 cadets traveled to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, to compete in the Air Force 10K, half marathon, and marathon. Cadet Andrew Bonavita ’21 led the way and  finished the marathon in 3 hours 32 minutes, taking first place in his age group. Numerous other cadets set personal records in time and distance ran.

Once a year, Detachment 875 honors a leader from Virginia Tech’s alumni for contributions to the field of aviation. In September, cadets welcomed back Maj. Gen. John McMullen VT’85, who served 31 years in the Air Force, as he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Air Force Wall of Fame.

As we continue to train, all cadets are staying busy as they strive to do their best at each and every challenge ahead. 

Cadets Michael Bopp ’20, Tyler Pakish ’21, Dominic Angelo ’20, and Vincent Stevens ’21 at the Welcome Back Picnic in August.
Cadets Michael Bopp ’20, Tyler Pakish ’21, Dominic Angelo ’20, and Vincent Stevens ’21 at the Welcome Back Picnic in August.

Nominations sought for the Aviation Wall of Fame

The Aviation Wall of Fame is an annual event honoring a Virginia Tech alumnus who has made significant contributions to the field of aviation. The Robert Femoyer Service Squadron selects one awardee each year.

Make your nomination at af.vt.edu.

Cadets with the 2018 Air Force Wall of Fame honoree, Maj Gen John McMullen VT’85
Cadets with the 2018 Air Force Wall of Fame honoree, Maj Gen John McMullen VT’85, at the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport.