Parting Shots from the Wing Commander
By Cadet Kileigh Rousey
Looking back on this semester stirs up a lot of emotion for me. My vision was for the POC cadets to properly train the GMC cadets and then fairly test them on their abilities. We started out the semester with “learning rotations” that presented information on many subjects necessary for field training from marching to the dining facility to how to eat (in under 10 minutes) when you finally get there. We also shook up the wing a little bit with the “bombshell”, switching cadets into different flights immediately before the “testing” phase of training. This created a level of stress that will help the cadets remember what they learned from these moments when they are actually at field training. The nervous and under prepared cadet wing that I saw at LLAB 1 exponentially improved into a clean, well organized, innovative group by LLAB 15. Quiet individuals loosened out of their shells and became leaders; while those that already lead learned how to be followers and helped others lead. I have absolute confidence that the freshmen will return as exemplary sophomores ready to take command, and the sophomores will excel at field training this summer. There were many ups and downs, but I know we all learned something along the way.
I would like to provide some advice before I leave this wing and trade in my cadet colonel ranks for butter bars. My first piece of advice, don’t be afraid of change. The ‘T’ in ROTC stands for training, so make the most of it. This is the time to make mistakes, not on active duty when lives are at stake. The thing about being human is that we have the ability to learn from our mistakes. If you’re a freshman, support change and have faith that your leaders are doing what they’re doing for a reason. For those coming back from Alabama, return with fresh ideas and improvements for the wing. I tried many new things this semester, from changes to the PT system to camping at the end of the semester. I don’t regret a bit of it because if nothing else, we learned from the successes and failures of those changes. My second piece of advice is something I yelled all semester, “BE A GOOD WINGMAN!” If there’s one thing I want to hear reported back to Detachment 207 from the officers at FT, it’s that we have a great group of wingmen. We cannot “fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace” with one single person. So check over other cadets’ uniforms, bring extra blister band aids to field training, and halt your flight in the opposite direction of the sun (especially in Alabama!). After all, we are a force and I think we’d all like to keep it that way. Thank you for all of your hard work and a memorable semester. Best of luck in all your journeys in the Air Force and I hope to cross airways with you again someday! Hooah!
- Learn more about SLU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 207