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ASU Air Force ROTC Cadets Explore Career ‘Pathways’ at Keesler AFB

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Author: Timothy C. Ervin

Release Date: Apr 10, 2018

Alabama State University ROTC students gained valuable insight during visit to military base.

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Students from Alabama State University’s ROTC Det. 019 traveled to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., on April 5 to attend a two-day Pathways to Blue event. This annual event was designed to help cadets learn about different career paths and establish connections with Air Force officers in their fields.

For ASU Cadet Ja'Micha Williams-Petty, a junior forensic science major, she had a chance to learn more about the different jobs that the U.S. Air Force has to offer, some of which she wasn’t aware of before attending the “Pathways to Blue” event.

"The base visit this past weekend was very entertaining and amazing. Meeting over 60 officers in the Air Force was great,” Williams-Petty said. “There were some jobs I did not know about.  The officers I met influenced me to look into more information about their particular job."

More than 280 cadets representing 15 different colleges and universities from across the Southeast attended the event. In addition to learning about the various career fields, cadets also stayed in base lodging, received incentive flights and participated in a speed mentoring session. They also were addressed by several Air Force leaders, including Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, 2nd Air Force commander.

“If I were to ask you to buy a new car, what would you want to do,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, 2nd Air Force commander. “You would want to go to different dealerships, look at the cars and ask questions about them. This is similar to ROTC cadets coming to Pathways to Blue. We give them the time to talk to someone who does a job that they are interested in. This helps them pick the job they are best suited for and gives the Air Force the best quality future officer.”

Leahy also expressed excitement with regard to seeing who will step up and become a leader in the United States Air Force.

“We are bringing together people who are excited about what they do and watching them talk to the next generation about how great a life it is to serve our nation in the USAF,” said Leahy. “It is something that you cannot help but feel excitement for. I feel that in the past two days, we have found some of those leaders. We have found some that are going to put on the blue and that are going to follow that path and be the shield and sword of our nation. I am excited for their career and I’m excited to have them here.”

ASU Cadet Travion Hodge, a freshman criminal justice major said he felt fortunate to be a part of Pathways to Blue.

"The Pathways to Blue experience was overwhelming,” he said. “The base visit rejuvenated the reasons why I chose the AFROTC program. I cannot wait to be an officer in the United States Air Force."

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