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VCSO inspires next generation of Guardians at Virginia Tech

  • Published
  • By Cadet Jack Holske, AFROTC Det. 857
BLACKSBURG, Va. – More than 150 cadets arrived at Virginia Tech’s Goodwin Hall January 20-22, 2023, for Detachment 857’s Space Training and Readiness Squadron (STARS) Align event focused on professional development. Cadets traveled from 27 detachments, each with their own background and experience in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
STARS Align was organized by cadets from Detachment 875 to build connections between future Guardians and Airmen. Simultaneously, the team aimed to promote greater understanding of the U.S. Space Force mission and its role within the U.S. Armed Forces.
The event included a formal address by Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson. Thompson became the first VCSO when the Space Force was created in December 2019. In his speech, Thompson emphasized the evolution and future of the Space Force, as well as the importance of being able to rapidly improve upon our technology and strategies.
Thompson illustrated the U.S. Air Force’s storied history of effective strategic bombing and the service’s ability to adapt in real time to effectively neutralize threats before adversaries could inflict further harm. Thompson said the Space Force needs to foster the same adaptability and resiliency as it works to develop its capabilities and protect critical assets such as GPS and communication satellites.
Similarly, U.S. Space Force Col. Corey Ramsby, AFROTC Commander, discussed the future of training for cadets aiming to commission into the Space Force or Air Force.
Ramsby said cadets in the near future may observe a significantly different field training environment than those of previous years. Current ideas include integrating the roles and responsibilities of various career fields to ensure cadets are exposed to a diversity of skillsets during their training. 
Ramsby also noted AFROTC is placing a greater emphasis on the education and training of its cadre in order to grow an empowered and innovative next generation of Guardians and Airmen who are prepared to lead the future of the Space Force and Air Force.
Following the keynote remarks, cadets were able to speak to several newly commissioned Space Force officers such as U.S. Space Force 2nd Lt. Grace Hall, a former cadet at Virginia Tech’s Detachment 875, who currently serves as a student within the Air Force Institute of Technology Civilian Institute Program.
“The STARS Align Space Training Weekend was an awesome opportunity for these cadets to better appreciate the importance of space to our national defense, the threats our nation faces in the space domain, and the amazing things being done in research and operations to counter those threats,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Greg Lowe, Detachment 875 commander. “No matter what their future holds, these cadets will leave with a great appreciation for the capabilities our Space Force brings to the joint fight.”

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