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AFGSC starts ROTC immersion program

By Senior Airman Philip Bryant 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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Leadership within the U.S. Air Force is largely placed on the shoulders of officers. According to demographics, 41 percent of officers serving went through ROTC.

That has not gone unnoticed, and now, with direction from Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, the major command is reaching out to those future leaders through a new summer internship program for ROTC cadets.

In June, the major command responsible for providing strategic nuclear deterrence in support of combatant commanders, held a three-week immersion funded by Air Education Training Command. The program accepted six cadets to tour different Air Force Bases across the command, including Malmstrom, Dyess and Barksdale.

During their travels, they interacted with AFGSC leadership, experienced daily operations, toured different aircraft, experienced a small part of the mission and met the Airmen who make it all happen.

“We got a taste of what active duty is like, and that’s something they don’t give us in ROTC a whole lot,” said Cadet Taylor Liamero, a Rutgers University senior majoring in communications.

Liamero said the immersion experience made her excited for the day she joins the Air Force and puts on the rank of second lieutenant.

Maj. Michael Palmore, AFGSC A9 chief of force development operations in the professional development branch, established the program in 2018 and it’s the first time AFGSC has had a tool to introduce cadets to the mission in person.

“When I set up this program, I didn’t want it to be like any other operational experience that ROTC already offers,” Palmore said. “I thought about what I would have wanted to see or what I would have thought was cool when I was a cadet.”

This year’s cadets were from Texas A&M, University of Georgia, University of Arizona, Rutgers University, Iowa State University and Georgia Institute of Technology. Some cadets, like Nathan Agner, a Texas A&M senior majoring in aerospace engineering, had their sights set on joining AFGSC before the immersion.

 “I have always wanted to fly B1’s. That’s what initially got me interested in the program,” Agner said. “When they sent out the email, I was like, ‘Heck yes. Sign me up.’”

Unlike Agner, some of the cadets weren’t sure what they wanted to do or where they wanted to lead after ROTC. This immersion helped them.

 “I learned what my passion actually is through this program,” Liamero said. “Coming here, I wanted to do something totally different. Thanks to this internship, I have a new outlook on how I want my leadership and career to go.”