The heads of Colorado State University’s Army and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs have issued guidance to cadets that there is no formal requirement to salute Cadet officers outside their respective programs.
Russell Pinkston, cadet 1st lieutenant and public affairs officer, said in a written statement to the Collegian that Lieutenant Colonel Channing Moose and Colonel Jenny Picket told their cadets the lack of formal hierarchy between the two ROTC programs makes it unnecessary to salute non-commissioned officers outside of their own branches.
The guidance was new to Dakota Koolmees, a third-year Army ROTC cadet.
“When I first started, we were saluting the Air Force cadets. As of recently, that has changed,” Koolmees said.
Some have said that the relationship between the two campus programs has not been affected.
“…We are all still cadets, and we still work together, and we’re still going to function together, and we still have the respect for officers,” Koolmees said, adding that he has not noticed a problem develop between the two groups as a result of the clarification in policy.
Ryan Kemmerlin, Air Force captain and CSU assistant professor of aerospace studies and the unit admissions officer for the branch’s ROTC, said that the newly issued guidance was simple, uncontroversial and normal.
The bond that the two programs have on campus, Kemmerlin said, has been and continues to be positive and mutually beneficial.
Cadets of both branches have trained together in military exercises on and off campus.
“As a way of continuing to develop our cadets,” said Pinkston, “this past weekend 130 CSU and UNC Army ROTC Cadets went to Jack’s Valley, Air Force Academy to participate in our Fall Field Training Exercise, out largest training exercise of the semester.”
Pinkston said that Air Force cadets served a vital role in the training by acting as the oppositional force.
“It’s fun, because it’s good training for them because they get to see a lot more about field tactics and what we do, and they get to experience what the enemy is experiencing when they’re getting moved in on,” Kemmerlin said. “We get to talk to people that actually understand everything.”
There are approximately 156 ROTC cadets from both branches at CSU that are required to attend 6 a.m. physical training exercises and wear uniforms around campus three times a week.
Staff writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.