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AFROTC announces top ROTC detachments

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Col. John M. McCain, AFROTC Commander, presented the Right of Line Awards during the 2009 AFROTC Commanders Conference held in Montgomery Alabama. This year's winners were Det 35, Fresno State University in the small size category, Det 150, University of Florida and Det 842, University of Texas-San Antonio in the medium and large categories.

Detachment 35, Fresno State University bested 51 other detachments to capture the small-size unit category. This year's success marked the detachment's second consecutive Right of Line Award. Of the 144 detachments nationwide, 52 fall in the small size category, 53 compete in the medium category, and 39 fall into the large category. The award is presented to 3 detachments, one in each category based on training, education, recruiting and overall performance.

"Being named the top small detachment in the nation after last year's recognition as the top mid-sized detachment in the nation is like winning the welterweight belt while still wearing the middleweight belt and shows that Fresno State AFROTC cadets continue to excel in their preparation to become the future leaders of the United States Air Force," said Lt. Col. John Lussi, commander, Detachment 35. "I couldn't be prouder of this detachment and I thank the university and its students for their fantastic support to the detachment for more than 61 years of service with Fresno State."

The University of Florida detachment was selected as the winner in the medium category. Col. Hubert D. "Griff" Griffin, said leadership, teamwork and the strong relationship between AFROTC and the UF and Gainesville community as the major reasons for the unit's success. The detachment also won first-place in the individual category and second-place in the team category at this year's National Drill Competition.

University of Texas at San Antonio won the award in the large category. The detachment's cadet enrollment has grown steadily from 142 to 226 cadets. Most of the 59-percent growth came under the leadership of Col. Lisa Firmin, who took command in 2006. "We are excited about the growth in our program and more importantly developing quality leaders for the Air Force," said Firmin. "Our ability to compete and outshine our colleagues is due to the leadership of our staff and the willingness of our cadets to be the best." In 2009, UTSA ranked first of the Southwest Region's 36 detachments and tied for second with Purdue University of all 144 ROTC detachments in production of second lieutenants.