Words of Wisdom from C/Col Duke
Recently, I interviewed C/Col Duke and got his thoughts on a few questions. He provided us all with insight and encouragement on how to tackle this semester and ROTC. We have objectives to execute, fitness assessments to max and GLPs to complete, so let’s give it our all! With the new leadership of C/Col Duke and Wing Staff we have a lot to learn from them and are looking forward to seeing the great work they will do!
Q: In one word, how can you describe your ROTC experience?
Q: What is the biggest lesson you want to impart to the detachment?
The biggest lesson I would like to impart is the concept of failure. I want cadets to understand that failure is a necessary circumstance for growth and success. I want people to be unafraid of the unknown, to take those leaps of faith, and take all challenges head-on. (Just refer to my definition of the Spartan Airman)
Spartan Airman: a DET 045 cadet or commissioned officer that is not afraid to test the boundaries or go outside of their comfort zone. Spartan Airmen strive for the uncomfortable and attack every obstacle they encounter.
Q: What is the highest item on your bucket list?
The highest item on my bucket list is to go sky-diving and to hopefully attend Airborne or Air Assault School if commissioned into the Air Force.
Q: What is something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do?
I have always wanted to learn how to speak other languages to build more cultural relationships. Some languages that I've always wanted to learn are Arabic, Chinese, Spanish among many more!
Q: What words of encouragement would you like all cadets to remember?
To the cadets - "As you go throughout your time in ROTC and overall life I urge each and every one of you to take hold of life and make the best of it. When encountering obstacles or challenges think of ways to overcome them. Never bow down to the circumstances. Take hold of what you have and make use of it, it’s easy to make excuses but harder to take action. Keep a positive mindset, a negative mindset is contagious and can bring the entire team down in an instant. As we work to develop future Air Force officers, we must push each other to embody this in exceeding not only our own but set expectations through taking hold of every opportunity we get. No matter if you are a GMC or POC we are all still developing and working towards becoming better leaders and followers."
Q: How are you spending your Friday after PT, LLAB, and AS class? Do you nap or eat first?
During normal PMT hours and class, on Fridays, I always find myself just relaxing and interacting with my fellow cadets. Normally, we would go out to eat, work out or participate in other organizations outside of ROTC (AAS or PDU). Remember to always take care of yourself and don't just become an ROTC robot!
Q: If you could change one small thing about the world, what would that be?
One thing that I would change about the world is the concept of happiness. Like I said before people tend to let the circumstances or situation grab hold of them, trending towards a negative outlook. No matter the situation, to benefit not only yourself but those around you it is important to be happy and find positivity in everything.
Job Selection for Commissioning Cadets Crossword
- C/Germenis’s AFSC
- C/Pham’s AFSC
- C/Manandic’s AFSC
- C/Carlson’s AFSC
- C/Balanga’s and C/Pugeda’s AFSC
Congratulations to all of our soon-to-be Second Lieutenants! DET 045 is incredibly proud of you!
How Cadets Spent their Winter Break
The last year of social distancing has brought many challenges, especially when it comes to recreation and travel. However, that didn’t stop our cadets from spending their Winter Break on quality time with their families, improving themselves, and staying healthy. In the face of COVID, cadets managed to alter their plans and change their approach to the vacation, there
by being able to accomplish the penultimate goal of any good vacation: having fun.
The latent social distancing of snowsports makes it a prime quarantine-compromised vacationing activity. C/Maj Cui was one cadet who took advantage of this fact, spending his time skiing and snowboarding the many slopes of Lake Tahoe.
“It made it more challenging to breathe being high up at around 9,000 feet with masks,” said C/Cui, of a unique challenge he found on the slopes. “But it was enjoyable nonetheless, as it is easy to stay socially distanced from other skiers and snowboarders.”
Wearing a mask while in public was one of many healthy decisions made by C/Cui this Winter Break: in addition to spending lots of time in the open air and celebrating Christmas and New Years in small groups, he also decided to become Vegan.
“It brings me back to thinking of one of our Core Values of Excellence in All We Do with being in the best health I can. I encourage cadets to try out a plant based diet as it provides a lot of energy, endurance, and stamina versus eating a lot of animal products for physical health whether it is strength training, running, or biking.”
FTP Cadet C/Selvamani had a different approach to quarantine vacation: in lieu of vacationing, he stayed busy working toward his goal of being an Air Force pilot. Early in the break, he earned his Private Pilot License, finishing off a multi-month journey of ground school, learning flights, and check rides. In true aerophile fashion, he also began working at an aviation fuel company.
When not gracing the skies, C/Selvamani stayed indoors, spending his time on his newly-bought Nintendo Switch.
Of course, no Winter Break is complete without New Year’s resolution. Like C/Cui, C/Selvamani chose a health-adjacent mandate for the upcoming year.
“My New Year’s resolution is to get swole,” said C/Selvamani. “I would have this with or without COVID [existing].”
Start of Virtual LLABs
Cadets kicked off the first few weeks of LLAB virtually to comply with COVID-19 protocol. Det 045 has adapted Virtual LLAB from the Fall 2020 semester to make the experience even more engaging than before. Cadets are provided with a learning environment to grow and improve themselves as Spartan Airmen despite the current circumstances.
Beginning with LLAB 1, Cadets were addressed by Cadre and C/Col Duke on the Spring semester's standards and expectations. Additionally, they were briefed on dress and appearance as well as the PT procedures for the semester.
During the second week of LLAB, cadets were refreshed on the updated chain of command and grade structure. Furthermore, they were briefed on customs and courtesies of the United States Air Force. Week 2 ended with cadets being organized into mentorship groups based on their goals and major, providing them with an opportunity to learn and take advice from those who were in their place at one point in their ROTC journey.
Lastly, LLAB 3 held many unique learning opportunities for the whole detachment. Starting
off with the active shooter brief given by US Air Force Technical Sergeant Coleman.
This brief preached the correct protocol on what to do in an active shooter situation.
Cadets applied their learned knowledge to different scenarios given by the speaker
to prepare them for real life circumstances. Cadets were also briefed on Self-Aid
Buddy care. After receiving this brief, they were familiar with essential life support
and saving techniques to help wounded personnel survive in combat situations. Week
3 LLAB ended off with drill practice. Here cadets ran through the basic commands and
motions through the virtual drill simulator to prepare them for the upcoming weeks
of LLAB that will be in person. This exercise proved to be especially beneficial for
the new 150s that had just joined the Det 045 family.
The Baseline Fitness Assessment took place during the first week of February. As usual the assessment required cadets to maximize their strength and perform the most push ups and sit ups within a minute, followed by the mile and a half run which often feels significantly more than that!
This BFA was quite unique considering the partially virtual environment. Zoom, Strava, and e-signatures seem to be the new normal for Det 045. This demonstrates the adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity that we have as a detachment, driven by the warrior spirit of our cadets.
The execution of the virtual BFA was smooth and clear thanks to the detailed instructions of C/1st Lt Kan. His thorough email provided a step by step guide for cadets to follow, making the process an effortless task.
The great effort that was put into the first BFA of 2021 by members of the detachment was outstanding, but we must keep preparing ourselves. Remember it is all about progress not perfection.