Happy 75th birthday, Baylor Air Force ROTC!
Fueled by the post-war boom, 1947 was a busy year at Baylor. Kokernot Hall was completed, portions of the Union Building (now known as the SUB or Bill Daniel Student Center) opened, the Graduate School was established and began awarding degrees, and President Harry Truman visited campus to receive an honorary degree.
It was also an important year in our nation’s history, as Truman enacted legislation that created the United States Air Force as a separate military service, breaking ranks from the U.S. Army. Mere months after that birthday — on July 1, 1948 — Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) was formed at Baylor, making our Detachment 810 one of the oldest in the nation.
Since 1948, Baylor Air Force ROTC has been training students for service to our nation’s Air Force. More than 1,530 commissioned officers have joined the military service ranks in the past 75 years, providing leadership and service around the world. Recently, Baylor has also begun commissioning officers into the United States Space Force following the establishment of the newest military service branch.
The Baylor Air and Space Force ROTC recently celebrated this 75th anniversary on campus with a formal military Dining Out. Alumni from every decade of the program’s existence and from around the country returned to join with students, staff and friends to commemorate this milestone. Among the attendees was Captain Floyd Brantley (BBA ’50), a Navy World War II veteran and a retired Air Force officer. He joined President Linda Livingstone and the First Gent, along with the national commander of Air and Space Force ROTC, Colonel Corey Ramsby, for the festivities. Baylor’s own Colonel Amanda Werkheiser (BA ’00) served as the keynote speaker.
“A lot has changed in 20 years — at Baylor, in the world, and in the Air Force — and that is not surprising,” said Werkheiser. “However, the most important things have stayed the same, and that’s how we build leaders of character.”
Over the years, Baylor AFROTC has been honored as the nation’s best large detachment and has received multiple recognitions as the top detachment in the Southwest. It has also been known for producing strong Air Force leaders such as Major General Joel Carey (BA ’92), Baylor’s 2023 Alumnus of the Year, from stellar cadets like senior Kaitlyn Vana, Baylor’s 2023 Truman Scholar. The newest class of Air and Space Force officers will pin on their gold second lieutenant bars next month at a commissioning ceremony following commencement.
Sic ’em, Baylor AFROTC!