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This item originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Cadet Wing Commander Drew Bailey, a senior forestry major, relinquished his command of the Air Force ROTC, Detachment 305 to new Cadet Wing Commander Aaron Chen, a senior electrical engineering major, yesterday.

The change of command lasts 15 weeks, not including the summer session, and the ceremony takes place in the winter and spring.

"Formal change of command is a time-honored tradition that military units have observed throughout the ages," Major James Tucker, Unit Admissions Officer for Detachment 305 and an assistant professor of aerospace studies, said.

"Traditions are very important. They maintain continuity within the division."

Chen was chosen for this position based on his performance within the wing, his leadership capabilities and his merit.

As a commander, Chen will learn how to delegate responsibilities among the wing.

"I have experience in leadership and a different vision for the corps and different goals," Chen said.

Each commanding term is different due to the projects done.

This term Chen will be in charge of two commissioning ceremonies, Dining Out and the Awards Ceremony.

Chen's new responsibilities will also range from current projects to recruiting for next year.

Chen will be in charge of three group commanders: operations group, maintenance group and supply group.

Tucker said the tradition of passing on command, or the change of command, was originally held by kings and captains of companies for the men to see who they served and who their leader was.

Even though the ceremony is now carried out differently than in the past, it still holds an important place in establishing who is in command.

The change of command is symbolized by the passing of an American flag.

Once Chen was presented with the flag, he stood in front of everyone, which symbolized that he is the new wing commander.

Tucker said this position will give Chen an opportunity to learn leadership and assign responsibilities as well as make him a more well-rounded officer.

It also teaches the cadet the chain of command and how to effectively use resources available to him.

Bailey said, "Being wing commander has taught me how to deal with people and motivate them, to push them to excel at what they do."

Chen was honored in the change of command ceremony, which took place at 3:30 p.m. yesterday in Davison Hall, Room 113.

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