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Source: Alexander Copeland, acope@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Thursday, March 18, 2010

K-STATE AIR FORCE ROTC STUDENTS SELECTED FOR RATED AVIATION DUTY IN THE U.S. AIR FORCE

MANHATTAN -- Nine cadets with Kansas State University's Air Force ROTC Detachment 270 have been selected for rated aviation duty in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation.

Students will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force and serve as either pilots or combat systems operators, previously known as a flight navigators. The cadets selected for rated positions will attend flight school after graduation from K-State and be enlisted for active duty. Following graduation from flight school, they will serve in the Air Force.

K-State's Alexander Copeland, senior in economics, St. Peters, Mo., and recipient of a pilot position, said that being selected for rated aviation duty as a second lieutenant does not guarantee students a flying position in the Air Force. However, he said if students succeed in Air Force ROTC training, their commission as a second lieutenant will mean that they will serve with higher duty expectations than most of the other armed forces.

"You have a lot of responsibility when you get your job assignment, and it's day one," Copeland said. "You aren't expected to know everything, but you are expected to be able to perform when you get your job."

In order to be selected for rated aviation duty candidates had to take a series of both physical and aptitude tests, as well as be individually ranked amongst their peers and rated by their Air Force ROTC commanders. They also had to submit a letter to active duty K-State cadre members stating their interests in the program. All of this information was then submitted to the Air Force ROTC headquarters of the U.S. Air Force where students competed nationally against other candidates.

Copeland said during his time as a cadet in the Air Force ROTC, K-State has had a high selection rate for rated aviation duty, which he says is a sign of the program's success.

"We are always told that academics come first because without the degree, you don't commission as a second lieutenant, and without that commission, you aren't going to get a flying slot in the Air Force," Copeland said. "I know that we have some very intelligent, competent and capable cadets in our program, so I think that what we have been doing and what we continue to do has a lot in part to do with us getting such high selection rates."

In addition to Copeland, K-State Air Force ROTC Detachment 270 cadets selected for rated aviation duty as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force include:

Wade Scribner, junior in biology, Andover, combat systems operator; Andrew Wessel, senior in finance, Auburn, combat systems operator; Benjamin Jewell, senior in mechanical engineering, Derby, pilot; Chris Hansen, senior in construction science and management, pilot, and Ashley Mayes, junior in social sciences, combat systems operator, both from Leavenworth; Katherine Maier, senior in apparel marketing, Ottawa, pilot; and Mark Caywood, junior in history, Sterling, pilot.

From out of state: Thomas Mannion, senior in psychology and professional pilot, Waretown, N.J., pilot.