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ASU’s Air Force ROTC detachment named best large detachment in nation

Group of Air Force ROTC members posing on a large staircase.

Arizona State University's Air Force ROTC Detachment 025 earned the Right of Line Award for the best large ROTC detachment, a national recognition presented annually by the U.S. Air Force ROTC. Photo courtesy Air Force ROTC Detachment 025

February 15, 2024

Arizona State University’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Detachment 025 has been recognized with several annual national honors, showcasing its commitment to sustained excellence.

In January, Detachment 025 earned the Right of Line Award, which is awarded to the best large detachment out of 145 Air Force ROTC detachments nationwide. Additionally, two staff members received recognition for their dedication to training future officers.

The Right of Line Award is among the highest honors. It is based on evaluations of cadet performance, community service, officer production, recruiting and scholarships and awarded by the United States Air Force ROTC.

“It’s a great feeling that the enterprise recognizes that Detachment 025 is doing a lot of good things down here,” Cmdr. Lt. Col. D. Shane Richardson said. “These awards are not only a reflection of the sustained excellence of our cadre and cadets, but also our amazing partnership with Arizona State.”

Cadet Joel Wacloff, a junior studying aerospace engineering, joined the Air Force ROTC at ASU after high school to help create a path for his future. He serves as a cadet recruiting officer with Detachment 025.

“I owe a lot of my success to the first mentors I met in my freshman year,” Wacloff said. “They helped me grow and understand that we are military-driven, but there’s also an aspect of where you got to take care of your people.”

AirForceROTC instructors
Operations Officer Major Wrendy Rayhill (left) and Training Officer Techincal Sergeant Tyler Boudreau received annual honors for their dedication to training future officers. Photo courtesy Air Force ROTC Detachment 025

Operations Officer Maj. Wrendy Rayhill and Training Officer Technical Sgt. Tyler Boudreau were recognized with the Education Officer of the Year and ROTC Enlisted Instructor of the Year awards, respectively. 

Rayhill joined the detachment in August 2022, first as an education officer, before assuming her current role as the detachment’s operations officer, overseeing cadet operations recruiting and educating over 150 cadets. She is also an assistant professor of aerospace studies, instructing on national security, leadership responsibilities and commission preparation.

“Even though it is my name on the award, it would not have been possible without all the work our staff and detachment put in to make it happen,” Rayhill said. “We educate and train future officers, and I’m glad this recognition showcases what we already know about this group.”

Boudreau is responsible for professional development, training, leadership and mentorship to prepare officers for combat. He facilitates several real-world experiences for the cadets, including an immersion experience trip to Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, learning from a special operations group.

“I strive to be the best not only for myself but also my peers and cadets,” he said. “I love being part of Detachment 025 and ASU. I’m passionate about teaching mission sets and operational tasks, techniques, practices and learning more about the lives and aspirations of our cadets.”

While staff members and training officers provide guidance, the detachment's success rests on the commitment and desire of the cadets and cadre members.

“They all buy into the mission,” Richardson said. “We are all on the same page of where we want this detachment to be, and the cadets buy in and share that sentiment.”

“These men and women are choosing to answer our nation's call,” Rayhill said. “They are stepping up when it’s become increasingly difficult to recruit and working to tackle future challenges and be prepared when future conflicts arise.”

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