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Air Force ROTC commander takes cadets to Korea

Although TDYs for military service members are not rare, the New Mexico State University Air Force ROTC commander can take pride in the fact that his latest assignment is a unique one.


Lt. Col. Steve Groll will serve as the AFROTC coordinator escorting a small group of cadets to Kunsan Air Base in Korea beginning June 1. The three-week trip is part of a retention program called Operation Air Force (Ops AF) designed to encourage students to stay in the ROTC program and continue on with their service in the Air Force.

"I'll be taking nine cadets from different detachments across the country, five of whom are scholarship winners," Groll said. While no NMSU AFROTC cadets will join him on this trip, one cadet will be going to Indonesia for a total immersion program.

The Ops AF program gives cadets the opportunity to experience, firsthand, everything an operational Air Force base has to offer. According to the U.S. Air Force ROTC, cadets are immersed into the Air Force way of life on an Air Force base through the use of tours, by receiving hands-on experience and by shadowing Air Force personnel in a variety of career fields. Ops AF locations include stateside and overseas Air Force bases.

"My responsibility is to act as a liaison between the cadets and the active duty installation," Groll said. "I'll be working closely with the program officer."

Groll said this experience is a great opportunity for cadets to get a realistic view of a temporary duty assignment as well as Air Force life in general. Kunsan Air Base is on the western border approximately 120 miles south of Seoul.

For more information on the Air Force ROTC program at NMSU, contact Steve Groll at (575) 646-2136.