Offutt supports UNL AFROTC cadet leadership training

  • Published
  • By L. Cunningham
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Jonathan Ruiz, 55th Wing director of staff, recently gave a lecture to Air Force ROTC cadets at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Maj. Jeffrey Mattheis, AFROTC Detachment 465 recruiting officer, contacted the 55th Wing to provide a lecture on the history of the Air Force.

“We are always looking for ways to increase opportunities for our cadets to interact with active-duty officers. Our goal is to enhance their leadership training with every available resource,” said Mattheis. “Fortunately, Offutt is within an hour of AFROTC Detachment 465 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.”

The 55th Wing Public Affairs office and DSO help field inquiries from the public. With the wing historian position currently in the process of being filled, there was an apparent need for a guest lecturer.   

“I saw this tasking come across my desk,” said Ruiz. “There was an obvious need, and I have a background in history, and being from Papillion, those three coalesced into what I thought was a great opportunity. So I volunteered to provide the lecture.”

The presentation covered Air Force history from its conception through 1947, when the Air Force became an independent service.

“The lecture really opened my eyes to the number of hard-working individuals that labored to establish the Air Force today. I had never before thought about the trailblazers who taught themselves how to fly planes and created a new branch of military,” said Cadet Kodi Timanus, AFROTC first year cadet.

The lecture included insight into the 55th Wing, its aircraft and worldwide mission.

“We learned how Offutt Air Force Base is connected to other bases around the globe, where people are always working to have a successful mission” said Timanus.

 According to Mattheis, the support they are receiving from the wing is phenomenal and is producing the best second lieutenants in the Department of the Air Force.

“We’re giving the cadets a different perspective from their typical cadre,” said Ruiz. “With a little bit of the back story on why the Air Force is so special, and why we should be proud to serve.”