August 22, 2007

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

New Commander Over AFROTC

VALDOSTA - Lieutenant Colonel Alan Elledge took command of Air Force ROTC detachment 172 at Valdosta State University on July 5 and is now leading a new semester of cadets, who are ready to learn both academic and leadership skills.
A Flight Test Engineer by trade, Lt. Col. Elledge will use his 18 years experience in the U.S. Air Force to lead, teach and train future officers attending VSU. His main goals for this new assignment include:

• Producing high quality cadets and officers to make the Air Force stronger, while positively reflecting VSU and the city of Valdosta;

• Continuing the strong partnership with Moody Air Force Base, which sets Det. 172 apart from other detachments by giving cadets a true look at the Air Force before official commitment and the opportunity to bond with active duty personnel and learn individual roles;

• Growing the detachment in terms of the total number of qualified cadets and minority involvement;

• Supplying the Air Force with lieutenants possessing critical degrees such as nursing, math, computer science, computer information systems, chemistry, physics and critical foreign languages.

Lt. Col. Elledge is joined by a new unit admissions officer, Captain Tim Bazzle, who comes to Valdosta with 10 years prior enlisted service in the U.S. Navy and six years experience in the U.S. Air Force specializing in manpower and organization. As Bazzle takes over recruitment duties, Capt. Paul McArtor will assume the role of Commandant of Cadets.

Together, they will train an already successful group of young men and women. Last year, 12 cadets captured coveted scholarships, based on both academic and physical merit, and Cadet Robert Meeks was chosen as one of six national recipients of the Order of Daedalians Colonel Charles W. Getchell Memorial Scholarship. In addition, Cadet Christopher Benson was chosen as the Air Force Association’s Georgia AFROTC Cadet of the Year, making last year the third consecutive win for Det. 172. This summer, Det. 172 sent 14 cadets to AFROTC annual Field Training to compete against cadets from 144 detachments representing over 1,000 schools nationwide. All 14 graduated, with Cadet Jeromy McElwaney earning recognition as a “Distinguished Graduate.”

“These state and national awards are just a few of many honors bestowed upon our cadets that show Det. 172 not only competes with detachments from across the country, but also outperforms the competition,” Capt. McArtor said.

With new leaders and qualified, hardworking cadets, VSU’s Det. 172 will continue to represent Valdosta State University as it trains offers to protect the nation. For more information about the ROTC program, contact Tim Bazzle at (229) 333-5954.

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