UTSA Air Force ROTC recognized as best in nation

AFROTC

UTSA AFROTC Detachment 842

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(Dec. 17, 2009)--The University of Texas at San Antonio's Air Force Detachment 842 recently was awarded the AFROTC Right of Line Award, the most prestigious award for AFROTC detachments. The award recognizes the UTSA detachment as the best overall large unit in the nation.

UTSA competed against some of the largest detachments in the country including Texas A&M, Purdue, Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Washington and The Ohio State University. Competitions also were held for smaller detachments.

Award criteria included production numbers (actual output of second lieutenants), education, recruiting and retention, university and public relations, cadet activities and Arnold Air Society activities. The award covered a timeframe from 2007 to 2009.

In the last decade, UTSA's Detachment 842 cadet enrollment has grown steadily from 142 to 226 cadets. Most of the 59-percent growth came under the leadership of Col. Lisa Firmin, who took command in 2006.

"We are excited about the growth in our program and more importantly developing quality leaders for the Air Force," said Firmin. "Our ability to compete and outshine our colleagues is due to the leadership of our staff and the willingness of our cadets to be the best."

As members of Air Force ROTC, cadets are required to adhere to a highly structured program with the sole purpose of training for and qualifying to become officers in the U.S. Air Force.

In 2009, UTSA was ranked first in the southwest region of 36 detachments for producing the most second lieutenants for the Air Force. At the national level, with 144 detachments, UTSA was ranked second along with Purdue University and just behind Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach. UTSA is the largest Air Force AFROTC Hispanic-serving institution among the six designated in the country.

UTSA's culturally diverse ROTC population surpasses the Air Force's historic demographics of the active-duty officer corps with the cadet corps comprised of 25 percent female, 32 percent Hispanic, 13 percent African-American and 11 percent Asian students.

UTSA is ranked sixth in the nation and second in the state. Texas A&M boasts the largest detachment in Texas with 325 cadets, 30 commissioned last year. By comparison, UTSA has a corps of 226 cadets with 36 commissioned last year. UTSA also is tops in the number of field training slots awarded with 36, compared to Texas A&M, which had 32.

This fall, more than 100 new cadets joined Detachment 842. Regardless of size or detachment, the Air Force ROTC's mission remains simple and definitive: Develop quality leaders for the Air Force.

For more information visit the Detachment 842 Web site.