Tag Archives: AFROTC Detachment 790

TSU honors military service men and women with Veterans Day program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –  Tennessee State University honored the retired men and women of our nation’s armed forces during its annual Veterans Day celebration. The program featured TSU cadets, students, and guest speaker Chief Operating Officer and retired Lt. General Jason Evans.  The event was held in Poag Auditorium. Evans encouraged people to never forget and always honor those who fought for us.

AFROTC Det. 790 performing the ceremonial act of presenting and displaying the national flag, also known as, “posting the colors.

“As we recognize those that have served our nation with honor and distinction, veterans have earned our undying gratitude,” said Lt. General Evans. “As a nation we must ensure that we never forget the services and sacrifices of our veterans.”

Cadet Madison Taylor shared how proud he was to be a part of the program and to see TSU celebrating veterans.

“I think the University observing this day was amazing,” Taylor said.

“It goes to show that veterans do have support and appreciation out there for their services and commitment. We united as a community and honored those who have defended our freedoms.”

Tribute Speaker, Retired Lt. General Jason Evans

Taylor’s fellow cadet, Deja Story, agreed with him on the significant of the observance. Story, a mathematical science major, expressed her gratitude toward veterans and also what it meant to her for TSU to observe Veterans Day annually and in this manner.

“This makes me feel proud that I go to this university and that the day is being observed because sometimes veterans are overlooked in everyday life. This was our chance to give thanks to those who have selflessly aided to the defense and well-being of our nation.”

Tennessee State University is a “Certified Vets Campus.” This designation means that the University provides support services especially for veterans in an effort to ease their transition from military service to college life.

TSU Welcomes first African American Female crew member of Air Force One                 

By Angel Higgins

Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell visited the TSU as a part of an Academic Lecture Series

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University had the pleasure of welcoming Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell as guest speaker for the “Dreams In Flight” Academic Workshop. Sergeant Joell is the first African American female to serve as a permanent Presidential crew member aboard Air Force One. Her visit to campus was a part of the John Merritt Classic 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Guest speaker Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell speaks at the Dreams In Flight Workshop at TSU.

Students were able to ask Sergeant Joell questions about her time in the Air Force and being a part of Air Force One, in addition to what it was like to serve 4 presidents. This included former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

ROTC Cadet Jaiden Walker said his big takeaway from the workshop was to always be prepared for new opportunities planned or unplanned.

 “Sergeant Joell inspired me to stay prepared because it is always opportunities that we never really thought of,” said Walker, a junior majoring in political science and mass communications.   

“As long as you stay prepared, whatever opportunities do come your way, you can take advantage of them.”

The trailblazing presidential flight crew member said she hopes that the workshop inspired students to never give up and keep chasing their dreams and goals in life.

“I hope I made a difference in at least one person’s life. It was important to me to try to inspire and make a difference.” She is working on a book called, ‘Dreams in Flight’ that tells the whole story of how her career started and what she is doing now.

From left to right, guest speaker Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell, Dr. Melton, Dr. Smith and Lt. Col Cash, posing with a statue replica and picture of Air Force One and a signed photo from former President Barack Obama.

Sergeant Joell grew up in Bermuda and always dreamed of leaving the small island to see the world. She made that dream come true by joining the US Air Force when she was 22 years old. While leaving Bermuda she encountered a flight attendant boarding Air Force One and had another dream she wanted to fulfill, being a flight attendant aboard the same aircraft one day.

“I got inspired by a flight attendant when I was leaving Bermuda, and I loved her compassion towards me. She made me want to fulfill that dream.”

From that point on, Sergeant Joell started to pave a pathway to be a flight attendant aboard Air Force One. Over the span of 2 years and countless documents submitted, she finally got the call she had been waiting for, a call to see if she was a good fit by doing a test flight.

“The Chief flight attendant told me he wanted to see if I could work well and play well with the other crew members.” According to her recommendation, she passed with “flying colors” and was hired.

After 28 years and 12 days of service, Sergeant Joell decided it was time to retire. Since then, she has been a guest speaker among other things to try and inspire others to never give up and achieve their dreams.

Junior ROTC Cadet, TSU student Jaiden Walker, a Political Science and Mass Communications major, sings the Alma Mater during the Academic Workshop.

TSU ROTC Commander Lt Col Stephen Cash said the event was ideal for his cadets to see how planning and following your goals can lead to success.

“We immediately thought this was something that would be helpful for the student body and especially our University 1000, first-year students. For them to hear on how to establish then chase and achieve their goals.”

Dr. Johnnie Smith, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, added that she was excited that TSU would get the opportunity to hear from such a dynamic individual with an amazing life story, to showcase the TSU ROTC program at the same time.

 “We are excited to have Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell. This is a great day for TSU, having a woman who has not only served our country but who has served under four sitting Presidents of the United States of America. TSU has one of the best Air Force ROTC programs and I think it’s a quiet kept secret that I plan on unlocking.”

Academic Affairs hosted the workshop and is looking forward to making this event a part of future John Merritt Classic celebrations.

AFROTC Detachment 790 to have open house/orientation on Aug. 7 and 9

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 790 is having an open house and student orientation this month to showcase its program that was founded by two of the original famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Tennessee State University officials and members of AFROTC Detachment 790 participate in a swearing-in ceremony under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The event will be August 7 and 9 at 12 p.m. in Kean Hall (Room 106).

In 1951, the United States Air Force established a Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment at the university under the instruction of two of the first Tuskegee Airmen, Col. Howard Baugh and Lt. Col. Hannibal Cox.

Years later, the Detachment moved its operations from the Hale Field House to the north end of the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. A predominant feature in front of the entrance to the AFROTC unit is the USAF T-38 Talon static display, flown by Gen. Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton, the highest ranking officer to graduate from the Detachment. The four-star general was also the first African-American selected to fly in the world-famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

“There’s a long history of Detachment 790 commissioning black officers, specifically black pilots,” says Capt. Tim Amos, assistant professor of aerospace studies, and the Detachment’s recruiting and education officer.

TSU President Glenda Glover takes the control at the flight simulation deck, with Cadets Katelyn Thompson, left, and Jerry Kibet, and Maj. Michael Gordon watching. Dr. Glover cut the ribbon to officially open the simulation room. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Earlier this year, the Detachment received a new state-of-the-art flight simulator. AFROTC officials say the simulator, which has the latest flight software, will help cadets prepare for the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), a computerized psychomotor, special ability and multi-tasking test battery, as well as the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

“The flight simulator is an important part of enhancing Detachment 790’s training program to meet Air Force goals,” said Maj. Michael Gordon, assistant professor of aerospace studies and Detachment Operations Officer. “This will introduce cadets to flight training and inspire them to pursue aviation careers in the Air Force.”

Lt. Monica Cooper, a Gold Bar Recruiter who recently joined the Detachment, says her main objective is to reach out to high school students, particularly minorities.

“My goal is … to get awareness out there to high school students that Air Force ROTC is an opportunity to pursue officership, and also to pursue the ideal career opportunities,” says Cooper.

To learn more about Detachment 790, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/afrotc/join.aspx.

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.