Baylor's ROTC Detachment 810 Named Top Program in the Nation

November 5, 2008
News Photo 4603

by Frank Raczkiewicz

Adding another achievement to its long history as one of the nation's oldest Air Force ROTC units, Baylor University's Air Force Reserve Office Training Corps (ROTC) Detachment 810 has been named the No. 1 large detachment in the nation, beating out 144 detachments nationwide for the top spot.

"I am very proud of our detachment and we could not have achieved this without the close partnership and support we enjoy from Baylor," said Col. Danny L. Leonard, commander of Baylor's AFROTC and chair of the department of aerospace studies. "These cadets do not belong to AFROTC Detachment 810. They are Baylor's progeny who will serve in the world's best Air Force."

A panel of judges looked at seven different criteria during the competition, including production, education, recruiting and retention, university and public relations, cadet activities, Arnold Air Society activities and other notable achievements.

Col. Leonard said several accomplishments in the last two years propelled Baylor's detachment 810 to achieve the top spot. While a viable detachment produces at least 15 officers on average each year, Baylor's detachment 810 currently produces 22 new officers a year. The detachment also opened a new AFROTC Living and Learning Center, through which 39 cadets enjoy a close working relationship with junior and senior cadets. Staying engaged at Baylor also played a role.

"We have cadets who run their fraternities, cadets who serve in leadership positions in student government and the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, cadets who host high school drill meets on campus, and cadets who serve as color guard at a number of local events," Col. Leonard said. "Our program is cadet-led and cadet-centric. Each semester, they determine what events to support and the depths of that support."

Detachment 810 was formed in 1948, only 10 months after the creation of the Air Force as a separate military branch, making it one of the first ROTC programs in the nation. This year, the detachment is enjoying increased success after being named the No. 1 large detachment in the Southwest Region, among detachments with more than 100 cadets.

Detachment 810 beat out 34 other detachments for the top spot in the Southwest region. It is the second time in the last five years Baylor's AFROTC has received the recognition, however it is the first time Detachment 810 has won the top spot in the nation. Baylor's AFROTC will be awarded a trophy to be displayed in the detachment to mark the achievement.