This item originally appeared in the September 23, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ADAM P. BARR
ROTC Detachment 305 at Tech is preparing for next year's integration of Grambling ROTC cadets into their program due to the disbandment of Grambling's ROTC program.
Colonel Steven E. Wayne, Commander, Air Force ROTC, said, "Air Force ROTC is very pleased that an agreement has been reached between Grambling State and Louisiana Tech University that will maintain the opportunity for the cadets at Grambling to complete ROTC and receive a commission in the Air Force."
Ann Easterling, Air Force Officer and Accession Training School public affairs and program manager, said a 10-year study was conducted by the AFOATS of the ROTC detachment around the country on officer commissioning rates and overall production.
Easterling said through this study, AFOATS made the decision to have cross-town agreements set up for neighboring schools with ROTC to have their aerospace studies classes at one university.
These agreements will allow current cadets to remain in Air Force ROTC.
They also preserve the opportunity for interested students to join Air Force ROTC and pursue a commission in the U.S. Air Force, Wayne said.
The University of Akron in Ohio's ROTC detachment will also have a cross-town agreement with Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio, after the summer of 2005, according to Air University Public Affairs.
In 2007, an additional five universities' ROTC programs will close their doors, but none have established cross-town agreements yet said an Air University Public Affairs released statement
Increasing numbers in the cadet corps nationally, an overall 30 percent gain for the past three years have shown a 57 percent growth in only 17 percent of detachment, according to an Air Education Training Command news release.
The growth of the ROTC program nationally has raised the number of scholarships given from 6,200 in 2001 to 8,200 in 2004, according to officials, while applications by high school students have doubled this year, said an ATC news release.
Wayne said, "Each of these significant changes was accompanied by increases in the quality of our cadets."
Colonel Tom Garza, ROTC Detachment 305 commander, said "We're excited about the prospect of the merger and it should be a win-win situation.
"It should make detachment 305 stronger and maintain the opportunity for Grambling students to earn a commission in the U.S. Air Force," Garza said.
Easterling said these closures were an alignment of resources for the Air Force and will help continue the effort of producing fine officers.
Wayne said, "Over the years, all of these institutions have produced outstanding young officers who continue to serve proudly around the world in a variety of career fields."