Military Parade Concludes Another Outstanding Year for AFROTC

PROVO, Utah – Jul 25, 2019 – For over three decades, Air Force Detachment 855 has held an annual military parade, featuring an impressive assembly of cadets marching in strict military formation. Detachment 855 is comprised of BYU and UVU cadets and is a satellite of the Air Force itself. The long-standing tradition continued this spring as one hundred sixty cadets drilled across the Richards Building Fields at BYU. 

The cadets formed into a wing of groups, squadrons, and flights to march for a viewing party, comprised of the current and upcoming cadet commanders and cadre, who determined their drill proficiency and state of readiness. "The cadets’ movements were sharp and exact,” says Erin Ricks, program manager of the Department of Aerospace Studies at BYU Marriott. “This isn’t just a parade—the whole program is designed to prepare these men and women to commission as officers in the U.S. Air Force."

The cadets’ performance attests to their extensive preparation throughout the school year and in the early-morning practices leading up to the parade. “We would get called out for little things, like not keeping our eyes locked straight ahead,” says Jacob Andrus, a recent physiology and developmental biology graduate who commissioned as an officer this year. “Being so particular can seem silly, but when you start putting those principles in practice, it makes a lot of sense. We learn to keep focused on our area no matter what’s happening around us, which is crucial for a career in the military.”

The parade celebrated the accomplishments of the school year, recognized the cadets who will commission as officers and enter into active duty, and conducted a change of command ceremony for cadet leadership. “You could see the cadets’ commitment, which made me think of all the sacrifices they will make to protect our country’s freedom,” says Ricks.

The change of command ceremony was especially significant this year as Andrus, of San Antonio, Texas, who served as Detachment 855’s wing commander, relinquished the position to Sydney Clark, who is now the second female wing commander in the last decade in the BYU AFROTC program.

“I am honored for the opportunity to grow as a leader and work with other cadets to create training and learning opportunities at Detachment 855,” says Clark, an exercise science senior from Rapid City, South Dakota.

The wing commander plays an important role in the military parade, as the detachment’s every movement is dictated by his or her command. Next year, parade attendees can look forward to the cadets moving in impressive unison under Clark’s leadership. “It’s awe-inspiring to watch,” Ricks says. “We can all appreciate the caliber of these cadets who will go on to serve our country.”

Recently commissioned Air Force officer Jacob Andrus
Recently commissioned Air Force officer Jacob Andrus. Photo courtesy of BYU photo.
Detachment 855's new wing commander Sydney Clark
Detachment 855's new wing commander Sydney Clark. Photo courtesy of BYU photo.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Erika Magaoay