CWU Air Force History

About AFROTC Detachment 895

Have you wondered about Air Force ROTC? Interested in finding about what we're all about? Here you can learn about a brief history of AFROTC Detachment 895 "Home of the Cascade Cowboys." Click on one of the links in the content navigation menu to learn more about AFROTC and see if you are eligible to join.

The Cascade Cowboys

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), Detachment 895 at Central Washington University was established in June of 1951.

Detachment 895 is one of 145 units located on colleges and universities across the nation. An additional 690 institutions maintain "crosstown" programs with the above units. Enrollment in ROTC was mandatory for all male freshmen and sophomore students during the unit's first decade, and by 1955 there were 600 cadets in the 895th Cadet Wing. The Fall quarter of 1963 marked the beginning of voluntary AFROTC at Central. Each year, the unit generally commissions 10+ second lieutenants, who serve on active duty with the Air or Space Force. The unit is one of 34 assigned to the Northwest Region of AFROTC. Within CWU, the AFROTC program is designated as the Department of Aerospace Studies in the College of Education and Professional Studies.

The mission of AFROTC Detachment 895 is to provide instruction and experience to all cadets in a diversified university environment so they can graduate with the knowledge, character, and motivation essential to become leaders in the United States Air and Space Forces.

Detachment 895 has a long history of success and has received numerous awards. The Detachment has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award. Also, Detachment 895 was the AFROTC 1991 nominee for the Air Force Verne Orr Award and was rated as one of the best AFROTC units in the country to include third overall in 1987. The cadet corps led the nation in physical fitness for four consecutive years between 1988-1992. In 1992, Detachment 895 was the Northwest Region winner of HQ AFROTC Standard Bearer Competition that evaluated knowledge and skills of unit cadets. During 2003, 2007 and 2008, the unit's Arnold Air Society was honored as the Area XI "Squadron of the Year" for it's outstanding service to the community and university with logging over 2,500 hours. Detachment 895 received the distinguished AFROTC Northwest Region Right of Line for Best Small Unit Award in 2009. Subsequently, Detachment 895 was awarded the AFROTC Northwest Region Right of Line - Medium Unit Award in 2015.

In the seventy-one year history of Detachment 895 there lies a strong tradition of service and excellence not only to the Air Force, but to the community of Central Washington University and Ellensburg as well.  Since June 1951, Detachment 895 has evolved from a required course for male students into a highly select, competitive program providing future leaders for the United States Air and Space Forces and the nation.


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Current as of:  Tuesday, 01 November 2022

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