Eight Troy University Air Force ROTC cadets were selected to participate in AFROTC’s “AIM High” Rated Diversity Initiative this semester.
The program, implemented by the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to stimulate interest in aviation, brought cadets from throughout the region to Maxwell Air Force Base for exposure flights with the 908thAirlift Wing. The one-day event, coordinated through Air Force Recruiting Service Detachment 1, gave the cadets a chance to experience military flight first hand.
“Talking to other officers about their experience really opened my eyes about different opportunities in the Air Force,” said first-year cadet Tatanna Johnson, a freshman from Anniston.
About 25 AFROTC detachments in the region participated in the day, which was coordinated by Detachment 017’s Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge Tech. Sgt. Victor Rosado.
“There’s a massive pilot shortage in the country – not only in the Air Force, but all over,” said Capt. Noah Warren, Det. 017’s recruiting officer. “The Air Force is doing their part to get youth involved in the air and aviation careers, and this program was a chance to take students from universities in and near Alabama, and let them experience what flight is like in the military.”
Sophomores participating from TROY were cadets Georgia Ganster, of Montgomery, Reynes Perez, of Boaz, Roland Havron, of Opelika, Clifton Long, of Phenix City, and freshmen Emily Bumgardner, of Enterprise, Micah Baughman, of Niceville, Florida, Catherine Ross, of Daphne, and Johnson.
“It was a positive experience for it being my first experience around Airmen in a large setting,” Perez said. “I learned a lot about other people’s experiences in the Air Force ROTC.”
For Ganster, who is currently in private pilot training through another Air Force initiative, she said the professional development training day was informational and helped her see the Air Force in greater detail.
“It helped open my eyes to what life in the ‘real’ Air Force is like. Many young officers gave good advice on how to succeed right out of graduation,” she said.