[Left to right] Shane Criqui and Christian Casey, U.S. Air Force ROTC cadets, recite the second article of the Code of Conduct to Cadet Anna Baughan during a “Career Day” leadership laboratory at Kansas State University Feb. 7, 2013, Manhattan, Kan. More than 20 company grade officers from McConnell AFB attended the event and provided mentorship to cadets. They discussed topics ranging from McConnell’s mission, duty assignments and day-to-day life in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/2nd Lt. Jessica Brown)
Second Lt. Ben Shafer, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron deputy chief programs flight commander, briefs Kansas State University ROTC cadets during a mentoring session at Feb. 7, 2013, Manhattan, Kan. Shafer was one many company grade officers who briefed more than 60 cadets about the Air Force and their specific duty assignments. (U.S. Air Force Photo/2nd Lt. Jessica Brown)
by 2nd Lt. Jessica Brown
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
2/14/2013 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- McConnell's Company Grade Officer Council visited U.S. Air Force ROTC Detachment 270 for a cadet career day, Feb. 7, 2013.
More than 20 McConnell AFB CGOs visited the detachment at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., to mentor the cadets and discuss career fields within the Air Force. CGOs from career fields including civil engineering, contracting, finance and intelligence were guest speakers.
"Having the CGOC available to mentor my cadets was a huge benefit to our detachment," said Capt. Mallory Conlon, KSU ROTC operations flight commander. "The fact that these officers took time out of their day to help educate these young adults made the cadets feel important."
McConnell AFB CGOs have attended career day for several years. This was the first year that an even distribution of officer career fields was represented. Traditionally, the cadet corps is visited only by pilots and operators.
The eclectic background that McConnell AFB CGOs brought with them to the detachment this year offered cadets an opportunity to learn more about the different job series within the Air Force, said 1st Lt. Ty Brackin, 22nd Operation Support Squadron intelligence operations officer in charge.
"We were able to provide the younger cadets with first-hand experience," said Brackin. "We showed what other career fields can bring to the fight and the operational and support roles the Air Force has to offer."
During the two-hour session, cadets rotated freely between officers while Conlon and the other detachment cadre encouraged the students to step outside their comfort zones and speak with officers to from different career fields.
"Most of these young adults have only ever dealt with their instructors," said Conlon. "There's only so much that we know about other career fields."
The officers answered questions such as, "What was your first day on active duty like?" "What is the biggest difference between being a cadet and an officer?" and "How can I get a pilot slot?"
Through this mentor session, McConnell AFB CGOs did more than just answer questions; they educated the next generation of potential Air Force leaders.
"We talked with the cadets about issues that young officers are faced with," said Brackin. "We explained that it's all about perspective and that hard work pays off. I feel like we absolutely left a positive impression on these young adults."
Among other volunteer opportunities, McConnell AFB CGOs regularly mentor students in high school Junior ROTC.
For more information about officer training programs, contact the local Air Force recruiting office at (316) 686-6831.