Cadets Who soar at Liberty University

Cadets can soar at Liberty University’s Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFROTC) program. It is ranked as one of the top-awarded detachments in the country after an excellent performance in this summer’s field training.

Less than 1% of America’s population  serves in the Armed Forces and much less than that are serving as Air Force officers.  Liberty’s AFROTC program, known as Day Wing, is a part of Detachment 890. Over 100 cadets attend three days of physical training and two AFROTC classes a week, in addition to being full-time students. 

Over the summer, 21 students from Day Wing traveled to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for field training, a rigorous two-week leadership evaluation that would help them  become officers in the United States Air Force. At field training, the performance of cadets is ranked against their peers. Multiple elements are factored into their ranking, including how well they lead in simulated combat situations, their performance in physical fitness tests, their drill proficiency and how well they complete many leadership tests.

This year, Detachment 890 ranked in the top 20% nationwide for overall performance. They were awarded as the second most distinguished graduates out of all 145 detachments in the country. They finished in the top 10% of cadets in military drill and military drill execution.  Cadet Moriah Hersch, a junior at Liberty, ranked number one out of 375 cadets across the United States after completing field training. 

The Air Force ROTC Commissioning Ceremony is photographed during Liberty University’s 48th Commencement at the National D-Day Memorial on Friday May 14, 2021. (Photo by KJ Jugar)

“At field training, you are put with hundreds of different personalities, backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses, and then you are tested on your leadership,” Cadet Hersch said. “It taught me mental strength and discipline, and how to be a positive, motivating leader through two weeks of grind and suck. It all gives you a taste of what it is like to serve your country as an officer.” 

However, cadets do more than attend classes and field training. Cadet Brandon Alcorn, a senior in the program, participated in the US Air Force Academy jump program over the summer. After successfully completing five jumps, he was awarded the Air Force Basic Parachutist Badge or “Jump Wings,” which he will wear on his uniform throughout                    his career. 

Nine Liberty students and cadets have received rated positions, which means that they will become either pilots, combat systems officers, air battle managers or RPA  pilots. Two cadets will even be commissioned into the Space Force. 

“AFROTC has taught me how to care for others on a more personal level,” Cadet Noah Klein said, a junior in the AFROTC program. “You never know when someone else is struggling, and AFROTC fosters an environment where you need to look out for those who are around you.”

Cadet Klein encourages those who may be considering AFROTC to give it a try. 

“If you are looking to surround yourself with people and training that will challenge and encourage you to be the best you can be, then Liberty’s AFROTC program is for you,” Cadet Klein said.

Questions about Liberty’s AFROTC program can be directed to Detachment 890 cadre at 434-924-6831 or emailed to 

Falls is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion

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