TCU Air Force ROTC cadets get a look at what their future holds


A cadet from TCU Air Force ROTC sits in the crew seat of the cockpit of a C-130J during an orientation flight. (Lance Sanders/Staff Writer)

By Lance Sanders, Staff Writer

Cadets from TCU Air Force ROTC spent Friday, Feb. 24 learning about the different careers in the Air Force from airmen assigned to the 136th Airlift Wing out of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.

Cadets from TCU Air Force ROTC load a C-130J before their orientation flight. (Lance Sanders/Staff Writer)

Cadets toured multiple stations, learning about day-to-day life in the Air Force. 

 Each station — logistics, aircraft maintenance and transportation  — showcased how different aspects of an airlift wing work together to accomplish the greater mission. 

For most cadets the highlight of the day was the orientation flight on a C-130J. The cadets sat in the crew seat of the cockpit and used a headset to talk with the pilots about how the aircraft controls and navigation work.  They got to see the world from a different angle when the back ramp was opened mid-flight. 

The back ramp of a C-130J can be opened to allow the loading and unloading of equipment. (Lance Sanders/Staff Writer)

Capt. Greg Sillivent is a C-130J pilot who has been serving in the Texas Air National Guard for eight years. 

“We wanted to give the TCU cadets a taste of what we do here in the C-130 world,” he said. “How we plan, how we brief and how we fly. There are certain things involved in the operations aspect that most people don’t ever get to see.”      

Becoming an Air Force pilot is highly competitive. Cadets are ranked on scores from physical fitness and aptitude tests, as well their GPAs.

The TCU Air Force ROTC patch worn by cadre. (Lance Sanders/Staff Writer)

Jack Comtois, a junior mechanical engineering major, hopes to become a pilot after he commissions. 

“I chose Air Force ROTC because I wanted to fly, and I figured this was the best route to do that,” Comtois said. “After experiencing what it’s like being inside the cockpit with the pilots, I knew even more that this is what I wanted to do.” 

Cadets from multiple universities attended Friday’s event. TCU is one of two universities within the Dallas-Fort Worth area that are considered a host university. Other universities, referred to as crosstown, offer ROTC as an option and partner with a host university that provides ROTC training and classes.

Cadets from TCU Air Force ROTC stand in front of a C-130J after an orientation flight. This aircraft can provide multiple capabilities including air drop, cargo transportation, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. (Lance Sanders/Staff Writer)