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Military parade honors cadets

May 8, 2014

All photos by Co

 

 

IAN EDWARDS
Staff Reporter

 

Louisiana Tech’s chapter of the United States Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps recently held its annual Military Parade.

However, there were no floats and candy to be found at this parade. Instead, the cadets of the AFROTC were judged on everything they have learned in the course of a year.

Lieutenant Colonel Devin Kudlas, professor of aerospace studies and judge of the event, said the cadets treat the parade as a final exam.

KUDLAS

KUDLAS

“The entire cadet wing of our program puts on a formal demonstration of their military discipline, precision and bearings,” Kudlas said. “As an active-duty officer, the department head and the professor of aerospace studies, I am also the reviewing officer and I assess their performance in these categories.”

 

Kudlas said the program is not as selective as many people may believe.
“There’s a misconception that you have to have gone through the Junior ROTC program in high school; however, fewer than 30 percent of our cadets did, and we have 40 cadets total,” he said.

 

“There are a few G.P.A. and physical fitness benchmarks to meet, but it can be done. This program is essentially a career training program to become a commissioned officer in the U.S. military.”

Kudlas said he was proud of the program and the men and women produced.
“At the upcoming graduation, I will commission four of my seniors in our program, and they will essentially receive the ability to become leaders in our armed forces,” Kudlas said. “It’s a lot different than just talking to the guy down at the recruiting station.”

 

Of course, the event was not all tests. The cadets were all rewarded and recognized for outstanding performance in academics and physical fitness.
New leadership positions were also assumed. Cadet Kyle Williams was appointed to the position of Wing Commander, and has become the student in charge of leadership of the cadet wing for the next year.

 

Williams said the responsibility was big, but he is ready.

 

“It’s a pretty big feeling that sort of sits on your shoulders,” he said. “It will be time-consuming, especially since I’m working over the summer too, but hopefully it will be for the best and I can improve the detachment as a whole.”
Kudlas said the program as a whole was a worthwhile endeavor.

 

“I wasn’t a Tech alumnus, but I went through the Senior R.O.T.C. program when I was in college,” he said. “I can testify to the worth of the program. There is literally a job as an officer in the U.S. military waiting for you upon your graduation.”

 

Email comments to ije001@latech.edu.

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