UT Air Force ROTC wins Team of the Year

Raul Rodriguez

UT’s Detachment 825 Air Force ROTC program was named Team of the Year this semester after competing against 144 university detachments and 892 high school units for the title last fall.

The award is given by the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, a commanding body above the Air Force ROTC national headquarters. To win, a unit must be exceptional at everything it does, from performance during missions to performance as a team, said Matthew Lively, a government and history senior.

Lively was Cadet Vice Wing Commander last fall. He said he credits the active duty staff and detachment’s teamwork as the main reason for winning the award.

“To put it succinctly, Team of the Year is the reward for demonstrating the best teamwork,” Lively said in an email. “(Active duty staff) give us the tools to literally run the program and affect things like reaching some of the highest GPA, fitness and military performance scores in the nation.”

Detachment 825’s mission is to train and educate leaders for the United States Air Force, said Colonel Paul Tombarge, chair of the Department of Air Force Science. After graduating, cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force with the responsibility of leading airmen.

Brittney Copp is currently the Cadet Vice Wing Commander in Detachment 825 and said her time at Air Force ROTC has taught her about being a leader.


“One thing that I’ve taken away from my time here in Air Force ROTC is the value of servant leadership and doing good for your people,” Copp, a public health senior, said in an email. “As leaders we are called to serve the people we lead, providing them all the opportunities, knowledge, and support to be the best they can be.”

Tombarge said the detachment’s dedication contributed to its achievement. However, he said winning the award wasn’t their main focus.

“While it is nice to have our team recognized at this level, we didn’t set out with winning this award as our goal,” Tombarge said in an email. “Instead, we challenged our team to set tough but achievable expectations in several areas and motivated them along the way.”

Students and staff from the Air Force ROTC recently received a trophy for their efforts.

“We are fortunate that our regional and national leadership takes the time and effort to recognize the individuals and teams across the country who excel in what they do,” Tombarge said in an email.