About Detachment 665
The original concept of ROTC, as established in 1862, was to provide a nucleus of Officers, well trained in military science, who could supplement the regular officer corps.
Military training has been part of the University of Cincinnati since 1917. In 1946, the Department of Aerospace Studies was started on campus, representing the newly created Air Force. The very first Arnold Air Society Chapter was established at UC just two years later in 1948. From the beginning, Aerospace Studies has been considered an integral part of the university curriculum. In 1993, Detachment 665 won its first National Award, the Project Warrior Award in conjunction with Operation Standard Bearer. 1995 was a banner year for the University of Cincinnati with Det 665 being awarded the prestigious Air Force Association award for "Best in Ohio." For the combined period 1994 through 1995, Det 665 received the Air Force's Outstanding Unit Award given to only the top 10% of all Air Force Detachments. Most recently, Det 665 received the High Flight Award for the top small AFROTC Detachment in the Northeast Region in 2005, as well as 2007 small unit category and 2009 medium unit category. Det 665's accomplishments have been featured in an article on the online local Cincinnati Community Press. This article was contributed by Stacey Breen, a cadet at Det 665. You may read this article below.
Today, Air Force ROTC has become the largest commissioning source of Air Force Officers. Beginning with this year's graduating class, all graduates from AFROTC receive regular commissions. At the same time, Officers who receive their commissions through Air Force ROTC continually find the opportunities; professional growth and personal satisfaction offered by Air Force careers that well exceeds the expectations and experiences in civilian life.
Tradition of Excellence: UC AFROTC DET 665 is best in region
Every Thursday more than 100 students walk around the University of Cincinnati’s campus in their Air Force Uniforms. These are the proud cadets of UC’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. AFROTC Detachment 665 at University of Cincinnati won the “North East Region Outstanding Det” Award, or Right of Line Award, for a medium detachment in 2009. This is nothing new for the AirCats, AFROTC at University of Cincinnati has won this award 3 times in the past 5 years.
The tradition of military training at the University of Cincinnati began in 1917. The Air Force came to campus later, after the branch’s creation in 1947. ROTC was created to provide officers to supplement the regular Air Force Officer Corps. Today, AFROTC is the largest commissioning source for the Air Force, producing quality officer candidates who serve in a broad spectrum of career fields. The University of Cincinnati AFROTC detachment grew over the years to now include cross-town cadets from Xavier University, Thomas Moore College, Mount St. Joseph, and Northern Kentucky University. AFROTC detachments are split into multiple regions across the country; the University of Cincinnati is in the North East region. In the past 4 years, Detachment 665 at UC has grown by 118%, now placing in the large detachment category. Size qualifications are: below 60 cadets is small, 60-99 is medium, and over 100 is large. Impressive recruiting and retention rates represent just one aspect of the tradition of excellence needed to win a “NE Region Outstanding Det” Award.
Aspects judged in the criteria for the award include production, education, university and public relations, cadet activities, recruiting and retention, and Arnold Air Society activities. AFROTC Det 665 at UC received the Right of Line award for best small detachment in 2005 and 2007; after growing in size the detachment received the best medium detachment for 2009. To further demonstrate a history of commitment and merit, the AFROTC Det 665 won its first National Award, the Project Warrior Award in conjunction with Operation Standard Bearer in 1993. Also, in 1995 Det 665 was awarded the prestigious Air Force Association award for “Best in Ohio.” For the combined period 1994 through 1995, Det 665 received the Air Force’s Outstanding Unit Award given to only the top 10% of all Air Force Detachments.
Contributed by Stacey Breen
Profession of Arms Center of Excellence Essays
These are PACE Setters that go out to the CAGs for every AF MAJCOM to use in shaping strategic messaging to 700,000 total force airmen.
Under the direction of Det 665 Commander LtCol Moore, these essays were authored by the cadets and cadre of Det 665.
These essays even captured the attention of Chief of Staff of the AF Gen Welsh who said “this is GREAT stuff!"
Wingman. The term has become synonymous with the person you pair up with when you head out on a Friday night – the one who won’t let you make any “bad decisions”, who has your back “no matter what”.
As Airmen, we know this definition falls well short of what we expect from a true wingman. Our heritage teaches us that pilots in WWII would fly in large groups to increase their odds of survival. Commanders would also pair bombers with fighter escorts to protect them from enemy aggressors. In Korea, fighter pilots honed the practice of flying fingertip formations, pairing an offensive lead and his wingman with a defensive element lead and his wingman that would protect their “six” and provide increased situational awareness.
Whether we fly or not the airmen we work with – our wingmen – make a difference in many ways. They increase our situational awareness, pointing out risks and improving our decision making skills. They bring additional skills and perspectives to the jobs we tackle, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. They teach what they know to others, multiplying capability and raising the team’s performance. They hold themselves to high personal standards – and confront others when they don’t measure up. Wingmen motivate others to excellence and expect it of themselves. They listen when their fellow Airmen need to talk, show and discretion with others’ trust.
A wingman isn’t a “no matter what” friend – that’s an accomplice. A wingman won’t cover for you when you mess up, but they’ll stand with you when you accept responsibility. They’re not a human safety net that follows you everywhere and stops you from making bad choices. But they’ll encourage you by example or help you improve yourself when you need to. “Wingman” isn’t a title or a job. It’s an attitude, a culture. It embraces the lessons of our heritage, lives them out – and demands the same from others.
There are over 700,000 Airmen in the total force, working shoulder-to-shoulder to get the mission done. Find a wingman. Be a wingman. Aim High, Airman.
“Do the right thing – even when no one’s looking”. We hear it all the time. But we never have to look far to find examples of people doing the opposite. Sometimes, it seems like you have to do the wrong thing just to keep up, let alone stay ahead.
The pressure to succeed, to advance, to achieve – it almost demands a certain moral flexibility. And when we see others cutting a corner, stretching the truth, or leveraging an unfair advantage, they always have a strong rationalization for their actions -- but they also know what they’re doing is wrong.
Choosing the right thing is a habit – a habit you need to keep up. So that in the heat of the moment, when others fail, making the right decision won’t even seem like a choice. Because we cannot fail. We will not fail.
That’s why integrity must come first for us. It’s the minimum price of admission, and it’s not negotiable. It manifests as ethical soundness; moral excellence; the absence of hypocrisy; the willingness to keep promises.
Without the trust engendered by integrity, you might be able to advance individually to some degree, but you will tear your team apart, sacrificing the trust of a group whose members count on each other, who risk everything for each other.
Integrity permeates everything we do (and the lack of it undermines our efforts). We can’t be selfless if we selfishly compromise our values. And can anyone be excellent if their motives are dishonest or immoral? How can we be courageous when we back away from the right decision in the face of fear?
By choosing integrity every day, we build the foundation that enables mission success. So that it’s there when we need it – when our team needs us. So that when we’re challenged by outside forces to seek an easier path, we stay on course and reach our goal with our honor still intact.
Ask yourself, how strong is my foundation? Aim High, Airmen.
Excellence. Society today throws the word around lightly. It’s become common. Bosses, public figures, even well-intentioned leaders label our projects, our efforts, our actions as “excellent”. It gets equated to simple completion, to a result, to success. But success isn’t excellence.
Excellence is a process of unremitting improvement. It is the willingness to work harder, to persevere, to innovate, and become a stronger person; not only for ourselves, but for our team, our unit, our fellow Airmen, the mission. It’s getting up every morning and giving your best in every task you face. Excellence looks for the best ways, not the easiest.
Excellence means taking risks -- tasting failure and then spitting it out and pressing on. It’s unreservedly pouring every ounce of effort into pushing yourself and your team forward. Because in our profession, you might get by on success - for a while. But eventually, the mission will require more - and in that instant, previously sufficient efforts fail.
Only those who daily strive for excellence will be ready for that moment. We must be willing to constantly push our capabilities to their limits – and then beyond them. We cannot shy away from challenges. We must constantly test and refine our skills in the crucible. This is what it takes to experience TRUE excellence. Are you ready? Aim High Airman!
Most people live lives of “quiet desperation”. They get up, go to work, come home, eat, go to sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. They make enough to pay the bills, maybe save for retirement, or take a vacation. They climb the corporate ladder just to get higher. For many, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But others won’t settle for simply living. At some point in their life, they’ve had a feeling; heard a voice. A calling. It fanned the flame of desire to do something that matters, to be part of something bigger than themselves. To live a life that matters to someone else, a life that makes a difference. Once they heard the call, there was no denying it.
As Airman, our calling is one in the same – to serve our nation with integrity and excellence. To defend our country and the principles it stands for, whether it’s in combat zones across the globe, providing humanitarian aid to those in need, or any of the missions in-between. It’s our calling that brought us all together, it is our calling that binds us together.
There is no greater motivation than the feeling that resonates in your gut. It grips us and consumes our thoughts. It is the reason a 17-year-old lied about his age so he could invade the beaches of Normandy; it is the reason an aircrew will fly undefended behind enemy lines to recover a downed pilot; it is the reason we volunteer ourselves and deploy to the most hazardous regions of the world. We are called to make a difference, to leave this world better than what we found it.
Not all of us became airmen in answer to a calling. Some of us wanted money for college. Others just needed to get out of a bad neighborhood and a dead-end lifestyle. But you’re here now. You’re one of us. You’re being called to match your talents and abilities to the needs of our Nation. To put it all “on the table” – and maybe get none of it back. If you answer, you’ll be challenged. Stretched. Refined. Driven. Are you listening? Are you ready? Aim High, Airman.
We are not without fear. It’s a natural reaction to the risks and dangers we confront every day. But often we ignore how our response to that fear defines us; subtly measuring our commitment, shaping our habits, molding our values. When we give in to our fear, we compromise, we accept limits; we place self-preservation over all else, and our values begin to crumble.
Courage faces fear, recognizes risk, and acts in spite of it. True courage is rooted in selflessness, the willingness to sacrifice to advance the greater good. It is an unremitting commitment to do what is right in the face of adverse circumstances - because the cost of inaction is intolerable. Our world is too dangerous, our freedoms too fragile for us to stand idle. The oath we took never mentioned courage — it didn’t have to—it was implied we would be, because too much is at stake.
Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency (Maya Angelou). The courage to have the integrity to own your mistakes; to sacrifice your career in a court-martial standing up for your beliefs; to push against the sound barrier in pursuit of excellence; to selflessly risk everything in a tree-top rescue mission on a moonless night, “that others may live”.
They say actions speak louder than words – this was never truer than in the Profession of Arms. Airmen mortared the bricks of our history together with their courage -- in both extraordinary and mundane circumstances. It must continue to manifest in our lives, or we will inevitably fail.
What will your actions say about you? Aim High, Airman.