Air Force ROTC Det 015 History
Air Force ROTC was established in 1946 at 78 colleges and universities including Tuskegee Institute. The ROTC program continues the previously established program of training military leaders. During World War II, the Army Air Corps contracted with Tuskegee Institute to conduct primary Pilot Training for African-Americans.
Moton Field, the selected site, was the only training site in the nation where African-Americans could train to become military pilots. The 992 African-American aviators trained at Moton Field were later organized into four squadrons designated under the 332nd Fighter Group. The Group became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen distinguished themselves, during WWII, when they destroyed 409 enemy aircrafts and sunk a German destroyer. They flew more than 1,500 missions and over 15,000 sorties. Most notably, they flew over 200 bomber escort missions and lost only a small number of bomber aircraft to enemy fighters.
These brave African-American airmen earned 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, Legions of Merit, Silver Stars, Purple Hearts, the Croix de Guerre, and The Red Star of WWII and achieved greater accomplishments. Although they did not receive the recognition they deserved in terms of promotion, many went on to live very distinguished civilian lives as doctors, lawyers, politicians, and educators. The leader of these Tuskegee Airmen, late Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. retired in 1970 as a Lieutenant General. President William J. Clinton promoted him to four-star General on January 14, 1999.
This Air Force ROTC detachment has continued to be a major source of minority leadership as evidenced by the achievements of some of its graduates. Most notably, the late General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. was our Nation's first African American four-star General.
The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is an educational program designed to provide college students an opportunity to become commissioned officers in the United States Air Force while completing their college degree programs.