12 Air Force ROTC cadets selected for flight positions

Originally published on February 12, 2012 in the Kentucky Kernel

By Luke Fegenbush

Twelve UK ROTC cadets received rated slots in the Air Force.

The Cadets were honored on Friday in an impromptu awards ceremony at Buell Armory. This ceremony started as a surprise because the results came back a week earlier than expected.

Receiving a rated slot in the Air Force means that a cadet has been selected for training in a position involving frequent flight. A limited number of these slots are given to applicants based on their grades, test scores and physical fitness.

“A lot of people, when they go into the Air Force, want to fly,” said Maj. Jesse Hedge, ROTC Operations Officer. “But it’s really hard to be selected to fly.”

Applicants who receive a slot are then sorted into one of four groups — Pilot, Combat Systems Officer, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Air Battle Manager. All but two cadets received their first choice.

Considering that the national average for acceptance can be something like 40 percent, UK had an extremely high acceptance rating as a whole, Hedge said.

The whole wing of AFROTC cadets was gathered in the Buell Armory building without being given a reason.
They awaited their commander, standing in neat lines facing straight forward and with hands clasped behind their backs. After being brought to attention, they only relaxed when they heard “at ease.”

After the 12 cadets had each received their assignments and the flight suits that they would use in their future as Air Force pilots, they rejoined their colleagues and were dismissed to celebrate their accomplishments. This involved laughter, congratulations and blasting “Highway to the Dangerzone” from one of the rooms of the Buell Armory.

“Everybody who got the assignment has been working their whole life for something like this,” said Cadet Christopher Corley, a communications Junior.

The commanders recognized what an accomplishment this was for the cadets.

“It was a very big day as most of them have been waiting 3 years,” said Greg Franklin, commander of the UK Air Force ROTC detachment. “They don’t take any but the very best and the fact that they took so many means that they saw great potential in a lot of cadets.”

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