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March 13, 2014

UAA students make cut for selective Air Force career fields

Dreams became a reality for UAA students Alexander Hone, Philip Scott and Brandon Holmquist when they received word the U.S. Air Force had selected them to enter mission critical flying career fields. The three juniors are part of Air Force ROTC Detachment 001 housed in the UAA Community & Technical College.

Approximately 16,000 students nationwide are enrolled in Air Force ROTC programs. Each year, the Air Force conducts a highly selective board choosing only the best cadets to become Air Force pilots and combat systems officers. Air Force pilots control the most advanced aircraft in the world with extraordinary skill and precision while combat systems officers are experts in a wide range of high-tech aircraft equipment and weapons.

Upon graduating from UAA, the three cadets will commission as second lieutenants in the Air Force and begin 10-to-12-hour days of demanding specialized training to make them experts in their fields.

Cadet Biographies 

Alexander Hone, Air Force ROTC
Alexander Hone
Air Force ROTC
Alexander Hone, UAA Class of '15
Alexander Hone is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Russian and history. He is one of 461 pilots selected nationwide. Hone graduated from Eagle River High School in 2007. His father, a retired Air Force officer, is currently the deputy commander for installation support on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. His mother works for the base's Child Development Center.

After joining Detachment 001, Hone’s stellar performance led to an Air Force ROTC In-College Scholarship offer during the spring 2012 semester. He is currently Detachment 001’s mission support group commander and is responsible for running two of the detachment’s four squadrons.

Regarding his education at UAA Hone said, “I have learned the importance of dedication, attention to detail and critical thinking.”

Philip Scott, Air Force ROTC
Philip Scott
Air Force ROTC
Philip Scott, UAA Class of '15
Philip Scott is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in geomatics. Scott was selected to become an Air Force pilot. He graduated from Chugiak High School in 2010. Scott will be the first Air Force officer in his family. His father works as a mechanical contractor and his mother as a nurse.

This semester Scott is Detachment 001’s training squadron commander and is responsible for the Cadet Wing’s fitness and academic programs.

“The Air Force ROTC program has taught me how to lead, manage and follow,” said Scott. “I have been given opportunities to practice leadership skills that will be used not only in the Air Force but also throughout the rest of my life. I hope to contribute a long and successful career toward the pilot field and leave a legacy of hard work, dedication and excellence.”

Brandon Holmquist, Air Force ROTC
Brandon Holmquist
Air Force ROTC
Brandon Holmquist, UAA Class of '15
Brandon Holmquist is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology with a management emphasis. Holmquist is one of only 116 combat systems officers selected nationwide. He graduated from Eagle River High School in 2011 and earned an Air Force High School Scholarship to attend UAA. While in high school he served as an Air Force JROTC cadet group commander. His father has served in the Air Force for more than 25 years and is currently an Air Force chaplain at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. His mother works in retail.

Holmquist is Detachment 001’s field training preparation officer and is responsible for preparing Air Force ROTC sophomores to attend a grueling four-week field training course this summer in Montgomery, Ala.

“Attending UAA and living on campus all three years has provided me a wonderful sense of community,” said Holmquist. “UAA promotes a more close-knit classroom environment where one cannot only learn but also form lasting relationships with other students and faculty. The education at UAA has been exceptional, and the preparation I have received from their Air Force ROTC program has made all the difference. Our small detachment size provides what other larger detachments often miss – one-on-one mentoring from both cadre and other cadets that shapes our graduates into outstanding leaders.”

Learn more about Air Force ROTC, these career fields, and other benefits of becoming an Air Force officer.