The UA Air Force ROTC ranked ninth in the nation academically with a 3.32 GPA, jumping 25 spots from last year when the cadets ranked 34th in the nation.

To improve the GPA of ROTC, the cadets have focused on academics over the other distractions of college. They have also created a system of study teams between older and younger cadets. The study teams pair older cadets who have taken some of the harder courses with younger cadets who are in the course, said Buster McCall, Commander Lt. Col. of the UA Air Force Detachment 030.

High rankings among other AFROTC detachments indicate an above average selection rate to attend field training and gain acceptance into the Professional Officer Corps during the junior and senior year of AFROTC for cadets. This is a serious task for cadets to accomplish in order to commission when they graduate. If they are not selected to field training, cadets may have to compete for another year--if their graduation date allows two years in Professional Officers Courses--or they must leave the program, McCall said.

The high rankings in academics will help with recruiting, McCall said.

“We recruit hard-charging professionals with a burning desire for excellence,” McCall said. “This helps show those future leaders that the Yoof A’s ThunderHawgs is the place for them to be.”

The cadets are ranked academically and physically by a system called WINGS, which pulls data from each institution’s electronic database system.

ROTC ranked 21st out of 145 AFROTC units in the nation in physical tests. Arkansas’ ROTC scored 95.6, beating last year’s score by 1.9 points.

The AFROTC plans to continue to improve their physical score by weaving CrossFit-style workouts into mandatory sessions with bonus workouts provided for cadets to complete on their own, McCall said.

“Again, success depends on individual discipline and determination to make the right choices when it comes to eating and working out,” McCall said. “ThunderHawgs have proven they have the discipline to make the hard choice and do what is required for the team.”


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