Embry-Riddle's Air Force ROTC Named Best in Southeast

AFROTC trainees running around a track
The Air Force ROTC at Embry-Riddle was recently named the No. 1 program of its kind in the Southeastern United States. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/David Massey)

For the second consecutive year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 157 has been named the No. 1 detachment in the Southeastern United States by the organization’s Southeast Region Headquarters, located at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

Being selected for the Right of Line (Large Detachment) Award, from a pool of 38 eligible universities, also placed Embry-Riddle’s program among the top four detachments in the nation out of 145 total programs.

The patch for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 157

“We are the second-largest Air Force ROTC program in the nation, with just over 525 cadets, and we routinely commission the largest number of cadets into the Air Force and Space Force while graduating the largest number of rated officers — meaning pilots, navigators, drone operations and others,” said Col. Alan Dayton, commander of Detachment 157. “This accolade is a direct reflection of the caliber of students who enter Embry-Riddle and become cadet leaders.”

In describing “Soaring Eagle” cadets, Dayton often uses the phrase “iron sharpens iron,” meaning that cadets are inspired by exceptional peers.

“Our cadets get the opportunity to learn from and compete against some of the best in the nation on a daily basis,” he said. “Due to our size and the diversity of our cadet wing, our cadets get the benefit of learning how to lead large teams and refine their skills through more repetitions.”

The competitive nature of the program also drives upperclassmen to apply for premier developmental programs, such as internships with Department of Defense agencies, and the close proximity to Daytona Beach’s airfield exposes cadets to multiple aircraft types and operational aircrews.

“Our cadets espouse a culture built on P.R.I.D.E, defined as Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Duty and Excellence,” Dayton added. “From our freshman to senior-year cadets, they work to embody these traits and elevate others on campus or in the community.”

Although the detachment’s large size can pose challenges, it is also often the source of the program’s strength, Dayton said.

“Over the past five decades, the detachment has attracted phenomenal talent,” he continued. “The combination of the elite STEM degrees offered at Embry-Riddle, coupled with the passion and easy access to aviation, has created a tremendous opportunity for cadets.”

Learn more about Embry-Riddle’s ROTC programs online.

Posted In: Institutional News