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By Cadet Brenna E. Lowe, AFROTC Detachment 915, West Virginia University
/ Published May 11, 2020
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Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visits the Legacy Dormitory May 7, 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Goldfein met with AETC leaders to see firsthand how Basic Military Training is fighting through COVID-19 with health protection measures in place and adapting operations to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)
Photo By: Sarayuth Pinthong
(US Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)
Figure 1. COVID-19’s impact on training. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen David L. Goldfein visits the Legacy Dormitory, 7 May 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, Texas. Goldfein met with AETC leaders to see firsthand how Basic Military Training is fighting through COVID-19 with health protection measures in place and adapting operations to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. Cadets and their trainers will face similar challenges during 2020 AFROTC Field Training.
Due to West Virginia state regulation, Monongalia County has been shut down in hopes this pandemic will pass with as few casualties as possible. Schools are closed, regulated distance is mandatory in every public and private location, and toilet paper is now currency. The panic set in, causing precautionary standards to be set in place. The standard two-week quarantine is having a direct impact on the 2020 AFROTC Field Training. Cadets must self-quarantine before their MAX for two weeks prior to their two-week training. Because of this, the number of Field Training Maxes has decreased from six to three. Only 45 percent of the cadets that were selected from the POC Selection Program (PSP) Board will be completing their field training this summer; the rest have been deferred to next summer. The cadets attending field training are chosen by priority: those who are completing college in 2021, in a master’s program, and so forth. It will take years for the program to recover. Each year the service will need to reserve spots for the deferred cadets from the year prior. The competitiveness will increase, the cadet drop rate will increase, and some programs could even be dissolved due to lack of participants in the program. COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of life as we know it, including the military, and the virus will continue to do so for many years to come.
Cadet Brenna E. Lowe
Cadet Lowe is a sophomore at West Virginia University and has just completed her AS200 year at Air Force ROTC Detachment 915. She is majoring in energy land management and is uncertain of what she wants to do upon joining the United States Air Force. Her hobbies include painting, playing soccer, and continuously fixing her 1996 Mercedes C280 that has over a quarter of a million miles on it.
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