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Arnold Air Society
Cadets from the Air Force Academy chapter of the Arnold Air Society partnered with the charity Feed My Starving Children to package specially-produced meals that are sent around the world.
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Leadership, fellowship from AAS membership

Posted 9/6/2011   Updated 9/6/2011 Email story   Print story


by David Edwards
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

9/6/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- As anyone who has been to the Air Force Academy knows, Gen. H.H. Arnold is a ubiquitous presence in the lives of cadets.

It turns out that the Academy can't get enough Hap. Although less noticeable than Arnold Hall, the Arnold Air Society has a long-standing affiliation with the Academy that enhances cadets' transformation into officers.

The society was founded in 1947 by a group of Air Force ROTC cadets in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is an honorary service organization with a high level of community outreach.

"The 'service' aspect is perhaps the foremost in the mind of many members, because of the society's continuing contributions to our campuses, our communities, and our corps," the organization's website states. But "it should always be remembered that our primary mission is to improve ourselves as future Air Force officers."

That objective meshes seamlessly with the Academy's mission to produce officers of character. And the Arnold Air Society furthers its aim by tapping into two of the three channels that supply the Air Force with officers.

"What's really unique about AAS is it allows us to work with ROTC so much," said Cadet 3rd Class Moranda Hern, the public affairs officer for the society's Falcon chapter. "We'll all be serving in the Air Force together, and a lot of times there's that disconnect. AAS bridges that gap. We all come together from our different places and focus on promoting the Air Force and serving the community."

The Falcon chapter recently completed its latest service project. Cadets partnered with the charity Feed My Starving Children to package the specially produced meals that are sent around the world.

Hern said that every year several cadet squadrons choose Feed My Starving Children as a beneficiary of their service project.

"That was really rewarding because we were able to work together as a squadron but also serve the community, which is our goal," Hern said. "Community service is the biggest part of what we do here in Falcon chapter."

In addition to its affiliation with the Academy and the network of collegiate ROTC programs, the Arnold Air Society also has formal ties with the Air Force Association. There is considerable coordination among the individual chapters, their areas/regions and the national-level parent organization.

Every year, AAS chooses a unifying service theme that guides the community outreach of local chapters. Last year's theme was math and science education, one of the Academy's specialties. This year, the focus is on fighting childhood obesity in the United States.

Hern said the Falcon chapter will use upcoming meetings to devise ways to develop the theme along the Front Range. She said the group is still brainstorming, but the cadets will undoubtedly stress recreation, sports and healthy eating habits.

And the fact that as cadets they have to practice what they preach is sure to boost the effectiveness of the message.

Besides providing benefits to others, the Arnold Air Society also offers its share of individual rewards for cadets.

Leadership qualities inculcated by the Academy are turbocharged by the AAS experience.
"AAS gives cadets a chance to lead (at a) younger (age)," Hern said. "It allows cadets to start taking on greater responsibility early. It also lets us learn more about what we'll be doing in the future. We're not only accountable to our squadron but also to our area and to national. It helps us get our feet wet."

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