75 Years of San José State Air Force ROTC

By Benjamin Goirigolzarri

For 75 years, San José State University, the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) and its Department of Aerospace Studies, and the United States Air Force have worked in close partnership to develop leaders of character who are equipped to lead our nation’s military. The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at San José State University was established shortly after the inception of the U.S. Air Force in 1947 and has since seen its graduates lead across the private and public sector. Through the College of Health and Human Sciences’ unwavering support and rigorous curriculum, Detachment 045 has produced Air Force Senior Leaders, Air Force Wing Commanders, leaders in academia and industry, and U.S. Representatives committed to serving American interests both domestic and abroad.

On Thursday, May 4, San José State University’s President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson joined Air Force Senior Leaders to celebrate 75 years of committed partnership. The event featured remarks from SJSU’s President, Moffett Field’s 129th Rescue Wing Vice Wing Commander, Colonel Jeremy Guenet, Air Force ROTC Commander, Colonel Corey Ramsby, and Detachment 045’s Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Sullivan. The event also included former Detachment 045 Commander, Lt Col (Retired) Kirk Brown, whose father was the very first Commander in 1947. They collectively highlighted the countless benefits shared by SJSU, CHHS, AFROTC, and the local community even in the honest light of historical challenges. Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan echoed this with, “Our student population is small, but they are mighty, and will become immediate ambassadors carrying the values they learn at SJSU and Air Force ROTC across the world.”

Detachment 045 graduates will immediately tackle increasingly complex and demanding challenges that the world poses to its leaders. SJSU, CHHS, and its AFROTC program continue to prepare future leaders with the requisite critical-thinking skills, leadership experience and preparation, and the core values needed to navigate wicked problems and to ethically and morally command our nation’s military. The success of the AFROTC program extends beyond retention rates, graduation rates, or the impressive titles held by countless Det 045 graduates. It is measured by producing leaders of character whose “Spartan Airmen core values are so essential to who they are that they overflow into every interaction, changing our community and world for the better.”

Toward the end of the evening, AFROTC cadets and their families gathered alongside SJSU and CHHS leadership, Air Force Leadership, and the community leaders in attendance for a photo. The stage light lit up their faces, as if to recognize the illustrious lives of Det 045’s graduates and announce the promise of greatness among the attendees. Even after 75 years, the relationship between Air Force ROTC, the College of Health and Human Sciences, and San José State University continues to grow, galvanized by their shared commitment to integrity, service, and excellence. Here’s to 75 more years.

“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” – Thucydides

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