The Department of Aerospace Studies hosted Mr. Gabe Camarillo, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Taking time out from his immensely busy schedule, Camarillo carved out time to visit the Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) program to discuss how the Air Force cares about its present and future personnel.
Rose Herrera, Vice Mayor, city of San José, joined the group to welcome Camarillo to San José State University (SJSU) and recognize the great work SJSU’s AFROTC it has accomplished. Herrera noted that SJSU’s AFROTC program provides great leadership skills and received highly effective scores during the 2015 inspection by the Air Force.
“How grateful and honored we are to have Assistant Secretary Camarillo here in San José. Thank you to all of the men and women in the Air Force for their commitment to serve,” said Herrera as she wanted to let cadets know that elected leaders care about their service.
Herrera is an Air Force veteran and the San José City Council Liaison for Veteran’s Affairs.
Camarillo talked about the issues that are relevant with future careers and how ROTC programs influences change. He focused on the talent pool coming into the Air Force and shared his ideas on how to bring in talent.
Leveraging technology and using more determined efforts through ROTC programs, promoting the range of careers in the Air Force, recognizing changing demographics, and promoting diversity. Camarillo said that diversity is a key aspect in the Air Force.
“Critical to the Air Force and its success is to maintain knowledge from diverse perspectives, experiences and cultures.”
Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Michael Pecher, Department Chair of Aerospace Studies, said that the visit from Camarillo allowed cadets to see and know that senior leaders in the Air Force care about them, the AFROTC program and the staff, academic community and local community. It gave the cadets a perspective on where things are headed in the future for recruiting, retention, and career aspects. In addition, cadets were able to voice their own thoughts on how to improve the AFROTC program.
“Resources are never unlimited, so we have to find creative ways to do what we’d like with the resources we have. This takes creativity and good ideas, to include ideas from young people of this generation, a theme that came up a couple of times during the visit,” said Lt. Col. Pecher.
It’s not often that cadets get the opportunity to meet senior leaders in the Air Force. Usually cadets attend an event outside of SJSU or at a base. However, within the last six months, SJSU has had two senior leader visits. The AFROTC program presented Camarillo with a challenge coin as a token of appreciation. Challenge coins in the military are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale.
Click here to read more about Mr. Gabe Camarillo.