air force logo


Detachment 505, located on the NMSU campus, hosts cadets from both NMSU and UTEP. Established on October 2nd, 1946, nearly an entire year before the Air Force became a separate service, we are one of the oldest AFROTC detachments in the country.

We have a rich history here in Las Cruces. Lieutenant Colonel David W. Wallace, a highly-decorated WWII fighter pilot, was our very first commander and is the namesake for our chapter’s professional service organization, Arnold Air Society.

We’ve had many great officers earn their commissions from Det 505, including Lieutenant General Leo Marquez, Major General Tommy Crawford, Brigadier General William Hudson, and Colonel Larry Pickett, a founding father of the legendary Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association — “The River Rats”.

River Rats

All students are welcome to try our program, no matter what bachelor’s degree they’re pursuing. Ultimately, AFROTC leads to you becoming an Air Force officer (2nd Lieutenant) the same day you graduate from college and a world of opportunities.

But let’s get something straight and made clear – although AFROTC has exponential benefits upon graduation, to include a commission as an officer in the Air Force, leading anywhere from 30-100 Airmen as a new college graduate, a lucrative salary, and a very respected profession, you should be joining for the right reasons…

Think about it long and hard, and if you are up for the challenge. Do not use AFROTC simply as a way to “pay for college” or because you are in need of scholarships. This is not about what the Air Force can do for you, but what you can do for the
Air Force. We want young men and women motivated and dedicated to be Air Force officers FIRST, and after demonstrating high aptitude in academics, fitness, and character, then the rewards will come. You should be joining because you have a desire to serve your country in the most honorable way possible, not because you need money to pay for college. If you are still up for the challenge, then we look forward to meeting you and transforming you into the best officer you can be!

Current as of 03 May 16


AFROTC DET 505 – Flashback