Troy University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 17 witnessed an unusual event in July – the promotion of its commanding officer.
Air Force Lt. Col. Cheryl Deloughery was promoted to colonel during a ceremony presided over by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan, Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Economic Development.
“This is great. We have got our Air Force ROTC commander and professor of aerospace studies making the next rank in record time. That speaks to the kind of excellence we see hear and that we want here — that we strive for at Troy University,” Givhan said.
“Colonel is a big deal. Somebody worked hard and was good to get colonel. She embodies the core values that we espouse in the Air Force: integrity first, service above self, excellence in all we do,” he said.
Deloughery was promoted just shy of one year after she assumed command of the detachment.
She was commissioned through ROTC Detachment of 790 at Vanderbilt University. A career civil engineer, Deloughery has served at the base-level, major command staffs that include U.S. Forces Europe and Africa and headquarters Pacific Air Forces, the Air Force Personnel Center and at the Pentagon on the Air Staff. She has deployments to Turkey and Iraq in 2003 and to Iraq in 2008.
During her year at TROY, she has increased cadet enrollments by 124 percent and the detachment’s commission rate by 367 percent. She also has been instrumental in shaping the detachment during its first year as a four-year ROTC program in many years. In addition, the program this year produced its first Distinguished Graduate in the last five years. Under her leadership, she relaunched the Arnold Air Society and established a Silver Wings Flight at the University.
“We are so fortunate at the detachment to receive the kind of support and leadership we get from the University,” she said.
Deloughery said the opportunity to serve outside a traditional posting was both humbling and eye-opening.
“The old Air Force adage ‘flexibility is key to air power’ applies a lot in this business (ROTC),” she said, admonishing cadets and recently commissioned graduates not to be afraid of failure. “Take these lessons you are learning now and you’ll carry them with you in your career.”
Over her career, Deloughery has garnered the Pacific Air Forces Major General William D. Gilbert Officer of the Year Award (2009), 1STFighter Wing Company Grade Officer of the Year Award (2003), a Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device.
“This is an officer who has potential to serve at next level and the Air Force will be well-served by having Cheryl Deloughery as a colonel,” Givhan said.
Deloughery assumes a new role as deputy commander of the Air Force Reserve Personnel Center at Robbins Air Force Base on Thursday.