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Department of Aerospace Studies





By C/1st Lt Thomas Person

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - On August 21, 2014, four former members of the General Military Course officially became members of the Professional Officer Course (POC). Cadets Jay Ritchie, Sheldon Grady, Brooke Walker, and Jonathan Ruddiman (pictured below in order) ran 1 ½ miles in formation with current POC cadets. The distance represents the distance cadets run during the physical fitness assessment. The route began at the 43d Force Support Squadron, traversed the Pope Army Airfield portion of Fort Bragg, and culminated at the Prop monument. Lt Col Allen Gradnigo served as senior official for the Prop and Wings ceremony during which he presented each of these leaders-in-training with a Prop and Wings pin. POC cadets wear the Prop and Wings pin on their flight cap. The pin represents successful completion of Field Training and marks another step closer to earning a commission in the world's greatest Air Force.

Prop and Wings Ceremony, Aug. 21, 2014Newest POC Cadets


26 Jun 2014 - Selected for promotion

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Staff Sergeant Kasie Spearman, Noncommission Officer in Charge of Personnel, was selected today for promotion to Technical Sergeant. Her line number is 1630 with an estimated promotion date of 1 Nov 2014.

SSgt Kasie Spearman Selected to TSgt 


24 Jun 2014 - Field Training 2014

MONTGOMERY, AL - Cadet Sheldon Grady negotiates Combatives during Field Training under Capt Alycia Lascek's supervision.

Cadet Sheldon Grady during Combatives


7 Apr 2014 - Airman of the Year

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Please help me congratulate Cadet Phillip Miller who won Airman of the Year for the 440th Airlift Wing!

9 Jan 2014 - UNCP honors the memory of Allyson Burrill in a pre-Commencement ceremony

PEMBROKE, NC - We lost one of our cadets during the summer of 2013. It was an honor for me to help UNC Pembroke and her family pay tribute to Allyson Burrill on December 7, 2013. Rest in peace, Allyson; we will miss you. See photos.

4 Nov 2013 - Pledge to pursue a lifetime of health and wellness

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Background. The maximum score for the Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) is 100. PFA scores are marshaled by gender and by age. As a 42-year-old male, I can earn maximum points for a 35-inch or smaller abdominal circumference, 44 push-ups (performed within a minute), 50 sit-ups (performed within a minute), and 9:45 or faster 1 1/2 mile run. In the Air Force, we get a "bye" if we score above an 89 percent, which allows us to take the assessment annually. Otherwise, we must take the PFA every six months.

Detachment Commander's Fitness Challenge. However, this year, a 90 would fall short of the challenge. Earlier this year, I stood up during one of the leadership laboratories and challenged any detachment cadre member, cadet, or special student to best my PFA score this year. With at least three cadets who scored above a 98 on their PFA, I had my work cut out for me, and a 90 would not suffice this morning.

PFA Eve. It took me a while to fall asleep last night due to my excitement for today. The alarm clock began to ring at 0530 this morning, and although the app increases the sound of crystal drops at a gradual tempo, I heard it immediately. After I gathered my necessities, I made my way to Fort Bragg, and thanks to SSgt Spearman, I found the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) within the Hercules Fitness Center on Fort Bragg, arriving at 0730. The helpful staff provided me with a health questionnaire and an official scorecard to complete. After doing so, I went into the main gymnasium for personal dynamic stretching. At 0800, most of us returned to the HAWC where we had our abdominal circumferences measured (31 1/2 inches). Then we watched a video that instructed us on the correct way to perform our push-ups and sit-ups.

Administration. The physical training leaders (PTL) proctored three Airmen at a time. The rest of us were instructed to face in the opposite direction. Doing so allowed the test takers to perform correct repetitions under each PTL's supervision without an additional audience. I was in the third wave of both the push-ups (45 with 15 seconds remaining) and then the sit-ups (53 in regulation), completing a few extra repetitions for good measure.

After everyone completed their push-ups and sit-ups, we headed outdoors to embrace a crisp, Fall day in Fayetteville. I jogged a lap to explore the track, getting a feel for which direction the wind was blowing and to forewarn my body it was about to get called into action. At 3, 2, 1, begin, we launched in one wave, and Katy Perry's Dark Horse (featuring Juicy J, 3:35 of play time) streamed through my ear buds.

I began in the third position but moved quickly into second place behind a young captain who completed the run in 9:32. I crossed the first lap in 1:28 and knew then that I was in for a great run. By the third lap, I was listening to Zendaya's Replay (3:29 of play time), and if you've kept up with the math, I only had time for one more song: Life by Beckah Shae (4:18 of play time).

If you haven't heard these songs, you may consider checking them out, not just for their upbeat tempos but also for their positive messages. Well, the lyrics speak to me anyway. At any rate, I crossed the finish line at 10:11 (well before Miss Beckah was through and only to learn afterwards that I was one second shy of scoring a 99.8), bringing my PFA tally to 99.5.

Conclusion. Although I began narrating this story from the beginning of the semester, the real storyline began in November 2012 because as soon as I completed my last PFA, I began to prepare for today's PFA. Since then, I logged more than 500 miles on pavement, tracks, trails, and obstacle courses. I completed who knows how many burpees, body squats, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, and anything-else-you-can-think-of-ups. I jest, but the point is this: It's the rare person who can rest for a year and then show up for the PFA and score a 99.5. Similar results take effort in the form of persistence, healthy eating, healthy drinking, moderate splurges, hard work, rest, sweat, and in some instances, blood and tears.

Today concludes this challenge, but guess what, tomorrow's challenge awaits. So get off of the couch, and commit to you by pledging a lifetime pursuit towards health and wellness.

4 Oct 2013 - UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees

Board Of Trustees

PEMBROKE, NC - Recently, four Detachment 607 cadets represented the AFROTC program during the University of North Carolina at Pembroke's Board of Trustees' dinner meeting. Both Chancellor Carter and Provost Kitts made time to contact the detachment commander directly to commend our cadets on the way they represented themselves and our detachment. Thank you, Cadets Crockwell, Smith, Ruddiman, and Ritchie for demonstrating Excellence in All We Do!

3 Oct 2013 - Pope Army Airfield Air Force Ball


FAYETTEVILLE, NC - The commander and several AFROTC Detachment 607 cadets attended the Pope Army Airfield (AAF) Air Force (AF) Ball on the evening of September 20, 2013. Pope AAF hosted the ball in an industrial hangar (Hangar 6). Although the ball committee warned everyone that the climate could change, the climate for that evening could not have been more pleasant for the open air event.

The theme for this year's Air Force Ball highlighted the reunion of the 43d Bombardment Group. As such, the AF Ball committee decorated the hangar as a dance hall with World War II (WWII) in mind. With parachutes, posters, WWII uniforms, and equipment, the décor was only enhanced by a variety of guests who dressed in the era's costume.

Social hour began at six o'clock, and the main event included traditional toasting but also featured a special POW/MIA remembrance ceremony performed by CMSgt (Ret) Hamel. As everyone enjoyed a delicious meal and beverages, we were entertained by the singing sensations known as Letters From Home: Erinn Diaz, Serah Haley and Chelsea de la Cuadra. They sang WWII era songs in 3-part harmony and tap danced choreographed pieces while interacting with the audience.

Everyone (from all the accounts I've heard) had a wonderful evening; great job to the committee!

27 Sep 2013 - Commander's Physical Fitness Challenge

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Congratulations to the following cadets who earned an EXCELLENT rating on their Physical Fitness Assessment:

Top 3 Performers!


But, did they do well enough to best the detachment commander? Stay tuned because the detachment commander will test on November 4.

18 Sep 2013 - ARSS 411 Cadets Meet Fulbright Scholar

Fulbright Scholar

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - On September 17, 2013, Mr. Fahim Rahimi introduced the cadets of ARSS 411, National Security Affairs and Preparation for Active Duty, to his native country of Afghanistan. Mr. Rahimi earned a Fulbright scholarship to spend 10 months at Fayetteville State University. He is also a Pashtu teacher and cultural expert.

Guest Lecturer, Fahim Rahimi

5 Sep 2013 - Detachment Recognition

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Detachment 607 awarded Fall 2013 Room and Board Scholarships to the following cadets:

- C/Capt Andrew Brassard
- C/3C Daquan Bethea

Military Officers Association of America awarded $1,000 scholarship to the following cadet: C/Capt Kathy Leon.

Sigma Alpha Pi, National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, admitted the following cadets:

- C/Col Jeremy Lowery
- C/Lt Col Jennifer Payton
- C/Lt Col Thomas Person
- C/Capt Kathy Leon
- C/3C Brooke Hernandez
- C/3C Ashley Smith

Pi Lambda Theta, International Honor Society and Professional Association for Educators, admitted the following person: Lt Col Allen Gradnigo.

4 Aug 2013 - Quick Fingers

By Lt Col Allen Gradnigo

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Technology allows us to remain connected to one another 24 hours a day, yet I concede that many of my communication mistakes occur when I attempt to send quick replies. Autocorrect functionality, quick fingers, and the neglect to proofread before I hit the Send button typically lead to incomplete or (worse) inaccurate content.

Do you find yourself reading your reply after you hit Send yet before the message disappears from the screen?

Do you then kick yourself when in that brief blip of time, you catch the typo that you could've caught had you spent another second in re-reading your note before you hit Send? Do you then shout "NO!" in your mind as you watch the email slip away from your grasp?

Although many of us allow ourselves to fall victim to the pressure of time, the truth is that all of us can afford to spend that extra second or two to proofread our work.

Here are three (3) quick tips to help:

  1. Slow down! Take a deep breath before you hammer away at the keyboard, especially if you're replying to something that affected you emotionally.
  2. If you haven't done so already, enable your Spell Check feature, if your software includes it. However, remember that although this step will help you catch errors in spelling, it won't preclude errors in logic.
  3. Even if your software includes the Spell Check feature, read your content in entirety at least once out loud before you hit Send. This step will help you catch the errors in logic introduced in step 2. Errors in logic occur when you typed the word correctly but used the word incorrectly. For example, typing "there house" instead of "their house" is an error in logic.

Note that step 3 will also allow you to judge your material's cadence. In time, you'll adjust your sentence structure to assist your reader with readability level.

What steps do you follow that help you avoid the plague of quick fingers?

Take a moment to share a "horror story" example of a "Send" gone awry.


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