The Arnold Air Society (AAS), in collaboration with the Air Force ROTC, is a dynamic student organization committed to advancing national defense education, fostering professional development and actively engaging in community service. At Michigan Technological University, there are currently 22 active members. On a broader scale, the AAS extends its reach nationwide, with a membership of over 2,000 students from 115 universities across 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. This organization operates under the guidance of student leaders, broken up into operational units to include local squadron commanders, 11 regional staff and a national staff, who collectively steer its activities and initiatives throughout the academic year.
In early April 2023, nine MTU students were elected to assume nationwide leadership roles as the national staff of the AAS. This outstanding achievement began with months of preparation, culminating in the development of a vision and strategic goals for the organization. They then presented these to an audience of hundreds of cadets at the 2023 National Conclave in Las Vegas. The conclave recognized the Michigan Tech cadets’ efforts and chose them to be this year’s national leaders of the organization. As leaders, they shoulder responsibilities that encompass overseeing training programs and service hour tracking, managing awards and scholarships, and leveraging their computer coding expertise to streamline registration data for over 2,000 cadets.
In September, our MTU cadets, serving as national staff, had a valuable experience attending the Air and Space Forces Association National Convention in National Harbor, Maryland. During the event, they collaborated with representatives from 11 different universities to strategize for the upcoming year. Moreover, they had the privilege of attending keynote addresses delivered by prominent military and industry leaders, such as the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and the chief of space operations, Gen. B. Chance Saltzman. They also engaged in small-group Q&A sessions with many high-ranking military and civilian officials.
From this valuable experience, these cadets were able to bring back their experiences and actively seek out new avenues for enhancing opportunities in their organization. They have initiated dialogues with industry leaders to expand the availability of technical internships for AAS cadets nationwide. Furthermore, their creative endeavors in the realm of social media aim to spotlight the organization’s remarkable service initiatives in local communities while igniting the enthusiasm in new student members to serve.
The 2023-24 Michigan Tech AAS National Staff Roster:
- Kyle DeNeef (mechanical engineering), national commander
- Eliya Huebner (biochemistry), national vice commander
- Carinn Tryon (mechanical engineering), national director of operations
- Jack Dedrick (computer science), national director of information management
- Brandon Collins (mechanical engineering), national director of support
- Sam Russ (computer science), national director of financial management
- Catherine Prince (mechanical engineering), national director of training
- Cody Scholz (civil engineering), national director of public affairs
- Jonathan Willis (physics), national director of joint relations
By Ben Zuniga, Air Force ROTC, Arnold Air Society Advisor.