April 2013

  • It's What You Make of It

    April 30, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet Caullen Caldwell

    So these last few months you’ve been hearing “Field Training” is hard… we’ve done our best to beat that into you and if you don’t believe it by now, you’re going to be in for a shock. Field Training is hard, and you can’t go into Field Training with the attitude that this is a joke, lest you are in for a rude awakening and would be a poor representation of the Cadets our Det puts out. But, on the concept of attitudes there is something to be said. While you should take this seriously, after all you are going to become an Air Force Officer; you can’t go into Field Training with an uptight, locked-on-all-the-time, scared attitude…

    Well I guess you can, because I did, and I can honestly say to you that because I had that attitude going into Field Training, the attitude that I just wanted to survive Field Training and get it over with, it made my first weeks of Field Training hell. No! Please, don’t be that person. Your Field Training experience directly correlates to your attitude. If there is anything that I can get across to you at all, it is this: relax, take a breath, and enjoy the small things.

    I went through the first weeks of Field Training completely locked on, and it sucked. I was that guy that bit my cheek till I bled to keep from breaking bearing in the hallway when somebody did something stupid and looking back, I was the only person who wasn’t breaking bearing at those times. The thing is, in those cases, you’re CTA and FTO can’t punish everyone for laughing, especially if they can’t contain themselves either.

    I know, shocker, right? Who would have ever thought their CTA or FTO was going to have a sense of humor? You’ve probably had it in your head that they are going to be these hardcore fierce people who never break bearing, and I assure you they will try, but they won’t succeed. Your CTAs will break bearing. Your FTOs will break bearing. And if you do, it’s not the end of the world.

    My Squadron got to where we knew how to break our CTAs and FTOs bearing and we did things to test their bearing. Nothing bad happened and I’ve got a lot of great stories because of it. As I’m sure everyone else who’s been there does.

    There are times, and you’ll understand what I mean better once you’re at Field Training, when it is okay to laugh, where it’ll be okay to break bearing, and when it’ll be okay to act in certain ways.  What I’m getting at, is enjoy the little things, those are the moments you remember when you’ve come home from Field Training.

    See, it took more than half of Field Training for my roommates to get this across to me. I had the attitude that I was there to be trained, not to have fun, and I made it where nothing was fun. But once my roommates got me to loosen up I had a blast. I only wish I could do Field Training over again starting out with the attitude I left with. It would have been a completely different experience for me. I knew this come TD 28 and I knew that I had ruined my Field Training experience for myself. Maybe I’m just a masochist, but I would do it all over again if I had the chance (with the same people).

    It is what you make of it. It can be the most fun you’ve ever had in your life. Or it can suck worse than anything you ever have done or want to do, EVER. The thing is, that is entirely up to YOU.

    But not only did I make it suck for myself but I know I brought down the collective attitude of my Flight and Squadron when my subconscious attitude judged them for taking part in the silly-stupid things that people do to get by at Field Training. And that is one of my biggest regrets. I remember the morning of TD 28 being sad that I was leaving knowing I could have had a better experience, granted I was sick. (BTW if you get stuck under an AC unit at JFTC, use your towel to re-direct the airflow away from you, I found out this trick only too late!)

    Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. Take Field Training seriously but have fun at the same time. Perform well, but when you’re not being evaluated have some fun!!

    dscn2236

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • Cadre Ceremony

    April 21, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet Feysel Abdulkaf

    What we had was a moment to celebrate the momentous occasion that each cadet wishes to have in their life time. To honor the cadre’s service to their country, with a few gifts here and there and of course the Colonel knowing his people got them wonderful gifts as well. However, the occasion wasn’t meant for physical objects, because that doesn’t encompass their sacrifices to their country.  Through the years the strangers in the offices became close friends and trusted allies to each of us, and most of all valuable mentors. Through the years these supermen and superwomen have become human to us. Not that they’re vulnerable, but that the blood that courses through their veins is like ours. That we can each connect to them through service of country. In each class we saw a bond grow; through each class we say a common understanding of serving ones nation. Each of them has served in ways I wish to someday serve my country. I cannot put in words the humility I felt through the ceremony, the honor I felt each time I heard TSgt. Shain yelling through the crowds about their years of outstanding service to country, to air force, and to us.

    Good luck wherever life takes you!

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • Opportunities are for Everyone

    April 16, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet David Laforge

    One thing people may consider when they join AFROTC is their previous military background, or lack thereof. Having no formal interaction with the military prior to ROTC may deter some potential cadets. Likewise, prior enlisted people may be apprehensive about going through a training environment again.

    From my time in AFROTC, I can certainly say that people of every experience level can and do attain success in the program. In fact, many outstanding cadets I’ve trained with have had no military affiliations whatsoever. Coming into the program, they said they basically had no idea what the military was about. They were the first ones in their family to put on a uniform, and are now successful leaders. I’ve seen prior enlisted people, even some with combat experience, become very well-adept in ROTC as well.

    I myself come from an Air Force family. I’ve been a military dependent my whole life and I’ve lived on bases across the world, finally settling to start college in Fall 2009 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Wisconsin. I joined AFROTC Detachment 930, hosted at Marquette University. “Wisconsin is not a hotbed of military activity!” our colonel joked with us in the first week, as many cadets there, freshmen through seniors, were among the first ones in their families to associate with the military. He then indicated the importance that although our future is up to us, our stepping up to the line to put on the uniform already spoke much about our character.

    As the semester gained momentum and classes, Leadership Laboratory, and Physical Training were in full swing, us new cadets were amazed at how authentically the upperclassmen embodied the military ideal from two or three years of training, and most of them were from a civilian background. As my class progressed through training, we all realized that our success as leaders is up to us and how we help and mentor each other, no matter where we came from.

    I had transferred to AFROTC Detachment 207 in Fall 2010, now attending SIU Edwardsville. With Scott Air Force Base nearby, it follows that there are more military dependents, prior enlisted, and JROTC-types at Detachment 207. And, there are people who haven’t had those opportunities, and again, they become successful too.

    The same rules apply here as they did in Wisconsin: the important thing is for those who do have experience to share their knowledge with those who do not. This way, everyone ends up at the same advantage. At Field Training, two prior enlisted cadets were in my flight of 28 cadets. They had no qualms about being back in a training environment. They used their experience to mentor and aide the rest of us, and all 28 of us were successful in the end.

    Those milestones in AFROTC like being successful in aerospace class, getting your Prop and Wings at the end of Field Training, and finally commissioning, are definitely shared opportunities that are open to people of all backgrounds.

    img5247

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • What I'm looking forward to on Active Duty...

    April 9, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet Kevin Abington

    Although they may be similar, our reasons for joining AFROTC and career expectations are personal and different.  While my reasons for pursuing an Air Force commission are still the same, my career expectations recently changed quite tremendously.  I was born color deficient and grew up learning that my opportunities and abilities in life would be a bit limited (there’s a reason I’m not an art major).  Although my interest in the military developed after I had accepted that, I was still disappointed when I was told I could never be aircrew.  That being said, I was in overjoyed when TSgt Quitalig explained that my eyes didn’t disqualify me from becoming an Air Battle Manager (13BX).  You should’ve seen my excitement when Lt Col Dyke called me about being selected for it!

    In the short term, I’m really excited for the 9 month Undergraduate ABM Training at Tyndall AFB, FL.  If I get the airframe I’d prefer, the E-3 Sentry AWACS, I’ll be looking forward to potential OCONUS assignments in Alaska, Japan, and Germany.  Having grown up in the latter country, I always wanted to go back some day; therefore, I’m really hoping for an assignment at Geilenkirchen NATO AB, which houses NATO AWACS.  On a more serious note, I also look forward to the fast paced operations they carry out, as ABMs are involved with managing combat on the ground and in the air.  They deal with sensitive information necessary for the successful operations of our air and ground units, and guide them throughout their missions.  There’s a lot of responsibilities in this career field, but I can’t wait for it. AIRPOWER!!!

    image002

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • To the Guard!

    April 5, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet Steven Bauer

    Parks Guard Rifle drill team took to the skies this past month to Los Angeles for their annual attendance at the Southern California Invitational Drill Meet. This meet, hosted by det 060, included JROTC and ROTC color guard, 4-man, 16-man, and inspection teams from as far away as Alaska and Maine. All were competing for first, second, and third place trophies this year with more competition than ever before.

    Parks Guard took their 4-man team consisting of Cadet Potje, Cadet Piezcynski, Cadet Bauer, William Washington and alternate Marleigh Voigtman. This 4-man team was scheduled to compete against twelve other senior teams ranging from a small air force detachment in Oregon, all the way to the Naval and Air Force academy teams. Parks Guard was scheduled to perform early in the morning, meaning that the sun would be directly in their faces for their routine. Luckily, no rifles were dropped and the routine went perfectly. With a few hours to kill until all the other teams had performed, Parks Guard retired to the hotel to recuperate and relax at the pool while anxiously waiting to attend the closing ceremony.

    Once back at the drill meet, the names were called off of the top three teams. To many people’s surprise, neither the Naval nor Air Force academy were on there and to Parks Guard’s surprise neither were they. Even though the Guard didn’t come home with a trophy, they came home knowing they had a solid routine and made memories that will last a lifetime. A special shout-out to Tom Essenpreis (a Parks Guard Alumni and prior commander) for helping out the guard this past weekend and offering a professional tour of Los Angeles. Hopefully the Guard’s trip to Villanova in April will bring home a trophy but until then we will continue to strive for perfection, excellence, and esprit de corps.

    For those interested, here is the link to the routine:parksguard

    http://youtu.be/pWKCj1CBwPc?sc

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • Preparation...Confidence...

    April 2, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet Alex Cox

    I never like to feel rushed when I am preparing for something. Whether it’s a test, a speech, or a race, I like to go in knowing that there is nothing more I could have done to ensure my best effort. While I think it is easy to see the benefits of this approach, it is not always so easy to implement. There have been more than a few times that I did not put in the preparation that I needed or did not start preparing early enough. Sometimes, I could recover and perform well nonetheless, and sometimes I could not.

    No matter how gifted you think you are, Field Training is a situation where you cannot succeed if you do not prepare. Preparation cannot start the day before, the week before, or even the month before. There are now two months left before Field Training. The AS200s have already covered most of the knowledge in the Field Training Manual. I believe any of them could head to Field Training right now and perform adequately. Yet our goal should never be to perform only adequately. To excel at Field Training requires something more…

    Confidence.

    Confidence is difficult to master, and it requires practice. Do not limit your preparation for Field Training to book knowledge alone. Work on building a confident mindset starting right now. Believe in yourself and the training you have had. Walk with your shoulders back and head up, as appearance says much about your competence. Practice rolling with defeats and setbacks, as you will encounter many of them. If you are unsure of a course of action, do not let indecision dominate. And most of all, be confident in your preparation. Carrying yourself with confidence will serve you well not only at Field Training, but in every other aspect of life upon your return.

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • Being in Air Force ROTC has made me realize...

    April 2, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    By Cadet Brian Potje

    From when you are in grade school you are asked what you want to be when you grow up. Most will shout out the answer of a fireman or an astronaut or doctor, but how many will shout out that they want to be an Air Force Officer? As I remember none (at least from my grade school). Even going into high school your vision of your future changes, but as far as I remember becoming part of the Air Force was never even a thought for me. Though now that I am in ROTC all those dreams that you have had when you were younger are now a possibility. Not only could you be that one dream that you had when you were younger, but you can add in the prestige of serving in the military of one of the respected services.

    Some look at it in the vision of once you graduate from college you will get a job and that will pretty much be it. You will work at that job, possibly start a family and then work until you retire. For me that just wasn’t enough. We have been told, almost bred, since we were young that we are always working for a goal in the future. I have lived my life by a simple quote that on old coach used to tell me every time before I went into the game, “If you are only giving just a 100% then you are not giving it all that you got, you always have that 110% to give.”  I can’t just give up that hard work and perseverance once I just simply graduate from college.  Joining Air Force ROTC has made me realize that there is always a new goal. Whether that be, making the new rank, or now having another reason to push me towards my master’s degree. There are some with a English major that can go to working in a nuclear facility in just a few months, then from there move on to be in charge of over a hundred people.  All cadets going through ROTC have already accepted the challenge to go beyond the simple: go to classes then graduate. We have all had a professor tell us that for a certain class we need to give up all extracurricular otherwise we will fail this class, and we have proved them wrong. ROTC is not a hobby; it’s not an extracurricular. The Air Force has become a way of life that I couldn’t even imagine losing.

    So if you are ever wondering if being in Air Force ROTC could offer you what you want or if it will give you enough satisfaction for the future then you are thinking wrong. This program will allow you to pursue anything you want to do, you just have to be willing to put in the amount of time and work to succeed.

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment