U.S. Air Force Senior Leader Visits SJSU’s Air Force ROTC Program

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.

Vice Mayor, Gabe Camarillo and SJSU AFROTC

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.”

Gabe speaking

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.

Gabe Camarillo and Rose Herrera met with University Officials after the visit with AFROTC Cadets.

Brigadier General Visits Aerospace Studies ROTC Cadets

United States Air Force Brigadier General Roy-Alan Agustin

United States Air Force Brigadier General Roy-Alan Agustin

Brigadier General (Brig. Gen.) Roy-Alan Agustin of the United States Air Force came to San José State University (SJSU) to speak with the cadets of Aerospace Studies Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) about his experience with the Air Force.

Brig. Gen. Agustin is the Director of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He is a civil engineer graduate of Santa Clara University and earned his commission through the ROTC program at SJSU. Click here to read more about Brig. Gen. Agustin.

The general’s session began with a commissioning oath to former cadet and now 2nd Lieutenant (2nd Lt.) Stephen Rose who was then pinned with the bars of Lieutenant Rank by his parents.

Brig. Gen. Agustin commissioning 2nd Lt. Rose during the general's visit to speak with ROTC cadets.

Brig. Gen. Agustin commissioning 2nd Lt. Rose during the general’s visit to speak with ROTC cadets.

2nd Lt. Stephen Rose gets his bars of Lieutenant Rank by his parents after being sworn in by Brig. Gen. Agustin.

2nd Lt. Stephen Rose gets his bars of Lieutenant Rank by his parents after being sworn in by Brig. Gen. Agustin.

Brig. Gen. Agustin attributed the many examples of his success in the Air Force from cadet to one star general to the education he received as a college student and the skills gained while in SJSU ROTC program. He said that ROTC built a foundation which prepared him to be ready when asked to take command. “I was ready for it. You don’t want to be asked and not ready for it. Confidence is needed and ROTC training will prepare you,” said Brig. Gen. Agustin.

SJSU ROTC cadets listen to Brig. Gen. Agustin during his visit to SJSU.

SJSU ROTC cadets listen to Brig. Gen. Agustin during his visit to SJSU.

Brig. Gen. Agustin gave advice to the cadets about building their character, confidence and leadership while going through ROTC training. He said that being a collaborative leader and wanting to make a difference helps bring a team together. Staying humble, optimistic and practicing empathy to know what his airmen crew are going through helps creates a stable work environment that oftentimes can be stressful.

The general’s session was followed by a military traditional form of recognition called challenge coins. These coins are given in recognition of hard work and excellence an individual has displayed. Brig. Gen. Agustin presented each awardee with a coin.

2nd Lt. Tessa Land received recognition for increasing cadet recruits throughout Northern California and increasing the amount of high school scholarship program numbers.

Cadet Nathan Simon received recognition for maintaining a 4.0 GPA as an engineering student at Stanford University.

Cadet John Kenney received recognition for high academic achievements while leading the precision drill team and exemplifying service before self by organizing, leading and attending ROTC events on his own personal time.

Cadet Jordan Garza received recognition as a leader and mentor exceeding the standard as a cadet wing commander and professional role model.

Brig. Gen. Agustin was humbled to be back at SJSU after many years. He expressed his gratitude to SJSU Interim President Sue Martin and College of Applied Sciences and Arts Dean Mary Schutten for taking their time to attend his brief visit. Both Interim President Martin and Dean Schutten were just as pleased to meet Brig. Gen. Agustin as it is very rare that a general visits a campus to speak with cadets.

From left to right: Dean Mary Schutten, Brig. Gen. Agustin, and Interim President Sue Martin.

From left to right: Dean Mary Schutten, Brig. Gen. Agustin, and Interim President Sue Martin.

The general’s visit ended with cadets marching towards the flag pole to conduct “Retreat” where they stand in formation and salute as the flag is lowered.