CHHS and Air Force ROTC: Building Leaders for Tomorrow

By: Captain Marshal Neubauer

Upon first realizing that within the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) lies the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), a program to generate officers to lead the future of American airpower, one might reasonably wonder what the two have in common. However, CHHS, SJSU, and ROTC all share many of the same goals and aspirations for students here in San Jose. SJSU’s overall mission is to educate future leaders through learning and character development. CHHS strives to advance health and well-being for all, through preparing effective practitioners, developing transformative leaders, as well as generating and translating impactful knowledge. These parallel exactly ROTC’s own mission to develop leaders of character for tomorrow’s Air Force. We are all dedicated to developing the future leaders who will influence and improve the society they live in.

Specifically, CHHS realizes its mission through building community capacity and wellness through community engagement and partnerships. ROTC values the communities that host all detachments across the nation. Here at SJSU, ROTC cadets run a chapter of a community involvement organization called Arnold Air Society. This organization is dedicated to community service, performing over 100,000 hours of community service over 100 college campuses. Across the entire Air Force, one of the responsibilities levied on all members is the need to participate in the community, engage with community organizations, and strive to improve wherever the Air Force might be. Volunteering and supporting the community helps build relationships of mutual support and respect and allows the Air Force to share unique expertise and experiences to support the community.

Beyond the missions discussed, ROTC core values also align with SJSU nicely. SJSU lists Excellence and Ethics as foundational values, which parallels with the Air Force’s own Integrity First. These values are listed first for both organizations, forming the underpinning upon which all success is built and demanding the highest standards of academic and professional behavior. The next AF core value, Excellence in All We Do, again, matches SJSU’s value to excel in teaching, research, and service. The final AF core value, Service Before Self, aligns with SJSU’s value of Engagement and Entrepreneurship, and it is embedded in everything a military officer does through a dedication to creativity and innovation. The AF Chief of Staff, General Charles Q. Brown, stated in his strategic approach document Accelerate Change or Lose, “Airmen must be multi-capable and adaptable team builders, as well as innovative and courageous problem-solvers, and demonstrate value in the diversity of thought, ingenuity, and initiative.”

The specifics of how may separate CHHS and ROTC, but we all are working toward the same goals for the same reasons, and ROTC looks forward to continuing to contribute to the college and its efforts to help all students grow and succeed.

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