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Several Air Force cadets selected for competitive training

Several cadets in South Dakota State University’s Air Force ROTC program have competed for selective training and program opportunities. 

Two freshman cadets were selected to become Project GO scholars. Project GO is an initiative from the Department of Defense that offers fully-funded programs in language skills, overseas study and cross-cultural experiences to ROTC cadets of all branches. 

Cadet Emily Helgeson, a student from Dakota State University who attends Air Force ROTC at SDSU, will attend a two-month Arabic course this summer at the University of North Georgia. Cadet Jonah Hansen is already a Project GO scholar studying the Korean language in an online program this semester. He was also selected to attend a hybrid program this summer that will send him to the Republic of Korea to continue his studies.

Cadet Jaden Petersen was selected to attend Tactical Air Control Party Officer (TACPO) Phase Two assessment in February. Out of 30 applicants, only 13 were able to to complete the physically grueling and mentally demanding course. He not only completed the assessment despite a 57% wash-out rate, but was one of only two to be selected by the Special Warfare personnel to become a TACPO. 

Cadet Carson Max was selected for a Health Professions Scholarship Program award to attend medical school. After graduating and commissioning this May, Cadet Max will enter active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. His first job will be to attend medical school at the University of South Dakota this fall on a full scholarship from the US Air Force.

The successes of the SDSU Air Force cadets continues. 

“Despite a very competitive field this year, all five of Detachment 780’s eligible cadets were selected for an Enrollment Allocation to attend Field Training this summer, which also means the Air Force plans to commission them when they finish their degrees in 2025,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Erin Tedesco, Commander of SDSU’s Air Force ROTC. “And further, thanks to the Air Force’s new Charles McGee Leadership Award, when they return from field training, in addition to a monthly stipend, all of them will be eligible for a full tuition scholarship for their remaining two years of college.”

“We are incredibly proud of all the cadets at Detachment 780,” Lt Col Tedesco continued. “Their successes in so many exciting and competitive programs this year are not just a result of their talent and hard work, but also the support, camaraderie and mentorship they provide each other. Our cadets are developing leadership skills that will serve them far beyond their military careers.”



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