Family tradition
Brigadier Gen. Steve DePalmer, deputy director, Joint Interagency Task Force South, U.S. Southern Command, and his daughter, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Devin DePalmer, stand outside of the Officer Training School building Aug. 6. The general surprised his daughter by attending her graduation from AFROTC field training and presenting her with a Prop and Wings pin signifying entry into the professional officer course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook)
AFROTC cadet carries on Prop and Wings tradition



by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook
Air University Public Affairs


8/15/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Some parents dream that one day their children will follow in their footsteps. For Brig. Gen. Steve DePalmer, U.S. Southern Command, Joint Interagency Task Force South deputy director, that dream became a reality.

The F-15 Eagle pilot surprised his daughter, Devin, a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, by joining her class during their graduation run and presenting her the Prop and Wings pin in a ceremony here Aug. 6.

Cadets in the AFROTC are awarded the insignia after completing field training and entering into ROTC's Professional Officer Course.

"When I got to greet him it was the coolest feeling in the world," she said. "I'll remember that for the rest of my life."

Cadet DePalmer explained that every night, during the month-long course, cadets completed entries to questions posed by instructors in a journal.

"One night the question was what did we miss the most," she said. "Some people put music, some put fast food, but the thing I missed the most was dad's advice. He has always been such a great mentor."

Although she said the course was mentally and physically challenging, she took her father's mentorship with her and viewed each obstacle as a learning experience.

"The field training was amazing," said the cadet. "It was something I have never done before. I've learned so much. I've found that my leadership style is more like his than I thought."

Cadet DePalmer is the third generation of her family to serve in the Air Force, and according to her father, it is very inspirational sharing the military experience with his daughter.

"Presenting the wings to my daughter was a surreal experience," said the general, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1985. "I'm very proud. When I received my Prop and Wings, I never realized that in the future I might give them to my daughter."