AFROTC prepares for expansion in Houston
The UH Air Force ROTC has achieved a lot since its inauguration since fall 2003. Established Sept. 17, the Houston Corps of Cadets has brought together ROTC programs from 17 different schools and universities across Houston.
Sluggish enrollment caused an initial deficit in mmbership, but enrollment doubled from the spring semester through the fall semester of 2007. Now, this 265 member corps is the second-largest in Texas, and is expected to be the largest by 2014, according to its Web site.
The program is dedicated to preparing cadets with the leadership and commitment skills necessary for entering the United States Air Force. There are three and four year programs in which students take courses much like any other degree plan, learning about the history of the Air Force, management principles, and national defense policies.
Upon completing the ROTC programs and receiving a degree, cadets are commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. These dedicated cadets will then serve a minimum of a four-year commitment on active duty. As commanding officer, Colonel Philip A. Bossert, explained cadets are being trained to go to war.
"Our nation is at war and we need all the quality young people to defend it and to continue taking the fight directly to the enemy," Bossert said.
This program is not for everyone, but second-year cadet Timothy Salinas said he is more than happy with the program as well as his future after graduation.
"There is a lot to choose from and I will be happy with anything they give me," Salinas said.
Salinas is on a full-ride scholarship for all "school expenses", and is deciding on one of the Air Force’s many fields.
The University was chosen as the base of operations for both the Air Force and Army ROTCs and is host to many of the various events and services associated with the program.
Some of these events and programs include an annual blood drive and the Cadets Assisting Students in Education (CASE) reading program, as well as a majority of military research. The University’s Division of Research hosted two Department of Defense Research Conferences last year.
"Clearly UH has many impressive academic and research programs that can?help our country in the global war on terror, a war which will last many years," Bossert said.
Along with these achievements the UH Air Force ROTC also boasts the third-most active flying program in the nation with 144 units, and is the only ROTC program to offer internships with NASA’s astronaut office. For more information, visit www.class.uh.edu/rotc/airforce.