Air Force honoree picks TROY’s Detachment 17 for pathway to commission

TROY's Det. 17 offers a path to commissioning as an officer in the United States Air Force.

TROY's Det. 17 offers a path to commissioning as an officer in the United States Air Force.

When Zolbayar Erdenechimeg got tapped for the Air Force’s highly competitive Professional Officer Course Early Release Program, he knew TROY was the place for him.

“I chose Troy University for the proud history and support for the military members all over the world,” he said. “It just shows how TROY is very supportive and the appreciation they show for those who have served and are serving in the military.”

AFROTC Cadet Air Force ROTC Cadet Zolbayar Erdenechimeg.
AFROTC Cadet Air Force ROTC Cadet Zolbayar Erdenechimeg was selected Diet Therapy Airmen of the Year at the Air Force level as a senior airman before being selected for the Professional Officer Course Early Release Program.

As a senior airman, “Cadet E” as he’s known in Troy University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 17, had been enlisted for almost five years and was a diet therapy technician. With two years of community college under his belt, Erdenechimeg was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base and qualified for the program that allows airmen to separate from active duty, attend AFROTC for their junior and senior years and then graduate and commission as a second lieutenant.

He took the oath of office from Lt. Col. Stephen Cox, the detachment commander, just before the start of the fall semester.

“I joined the military to defend our nation and have a sense of duty. Military service is a time-honored way to serve others first,” he said. “My motivation is to continue my higher education for my BA as I pursue a commission in the United States Air Force. The current leadership within the Air Force and the Space Force is really my motivation for me to be the best cadet and officer I can be.”

Erdenechimeg is majoring in criminal justice in order to “help those in need, protect the greater good and serve the people above all else.”

That will serve him well as an Air Force officer, Cox said.

“He’s been extremely active in the Corps since his arrival and is making a positive impact on the entire detachment,” he said.

For Erdenechimeg, becoming an officer is about service and sacrifice.

“To me, being an officer means that one must be a great follower. Being an enlisted Airman has had a positive impact on that belief. What makes a great officer is how he or she uses their experiences to shape future leaders,” he said.

“I want to be a servant leader, someone who looks to the needs of the people and asks how they can help them solve problems and promote personal development,” he added.

For more information about the Air Force and ROTC, contact Detachment 17 via email at goairforce@troy.eduor find them on the web at