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Ohio University Air Force ROTC recognized as Regional Best Small Detachment of the Year

The United States Air Force ROTC has selected Detachment 650 at Ohio University as the Best Small Detachment in the Northeast Region for the second time. Detachment 650 won the award in 2019 and again for the 2021-22 school year.

This accolade was awarded based on the high-caliber cadet training program combined with experiential learning opportunities provided with the support of University College. The Northeast Region consists of 37 small, medium, and large detachments from 14 states.

Cadet Wing Commander Brady Taylor, a senior aviation management major, praised the detachment.

“Our detachment might be smaller than a lot of other programs out there, but I think this calls for us to work harder, put in more time, and build stronger bonds within our cadet wing,” Taylor said “This award highlights those attributes. I am so proud just to be a part of it all.”

Last year the detachment commissioned 12 Second Lieutenants, the largest group in 11 years, and brought in its largest and most diverse first-year class in six years. The graduates will lead in numerous Air Force career fields including aviation, intelligence, aircraft maintenance, finance, airfield operations, and force support.

Two graduates earned full scholarships to medical school and graduate school. Several underclass cadets also earned training slots to competitive summer programs where they had opportunities to earn a private pilot license, fly gliders, and participate in a special operations orientation course. Other highlights of the 2021-22 school year included three immersive field training exercises, military-heritage events, many community service and volunteer events, an etiquette course, and growing the detachment’s social media presence, amassing over 121,000 views on Instagram.

OHIO civil engineering senior and Cadet Taylor Thole has several years of experience in the program, including serving as the Cadet Vice Wing Commander in Spring 2022.

“My time at Detachment 650 has challenged me in the best way possible,” Thole said. “It’s taught me skills such as leadership, professionalism, discipline and so many more that I would not have learned otherwise. These skills have translated to every aspect of my life including ROTC, school, and my personal life. I do not believe I would have developed as much as I did throughout college without this program. It hasn’t always been easy, but I will forever be grateful for everything this program has taught me.”

OHIO Air Force cadets know their detachment remains one of the best in the nation due to the transformative opportunities to develop character, leadership, and camaraderie.

“This small detachment means that you’re not just a number. You won’t disappear during training and the instructors all try to know us as individuals,” Flight Commander and junior mechanical engineering major Charlie Eagle said. “I am constantly given meaningful feedback from everyone around me, and every task is made important to the mission.”

Detachment 650 at Ohio University helps young leaders to become great officers in the United States Air Force and Space Force. For more information about Air Force ROTC Detachment 650, visit the Ohio University Air Force ROTC website or email

November 9, 2022
Kate Anderson