1980 - 1989
Air Force ROTC at Detachment 220 experienced many changes throughout
the 1980's. In the fall of 1980 there were 125 freshmen enrolled
in the program. The number of freshmen enrolled steadily increased
throughout the decade and in the fall of 1989, there were 136
freshmen enrolled in Air Force ROTC.
Detachment 220 again received the Air Force Outstanding Unit
Award. This award recognizes the meritorious service of the detachment
in the areas of recruiting, retention, training, and administration
from January 1979 to December 1980. Detachment 220 consistently
commissioned the largest number of second lieutenants in the Ohio
Valley Area even though it was not the largest detachment in the
Ohio Valley Area.
1979 - 1981
Colonel Reed L. Stone
1981 - 1984
1984 - 1988
Colonel Gerald Sherrill
1988 - 1991
Colonel Gerald H. Sherrill
From 1984 to 1988 Colonel Gerald H. Sherrill served Detachment
220 of Air Force ROTC to the utmost of his ability. Unfortunately,
in 1989 Col. Sherrill passed away. In honor of his service to
the U. S. Air Force and Detachment 220, the cadet wing dedicated
their lounge to this great man.
One major difference between the uniform of the 80's and present
day is that in the 1980's GMC cadets wore enlisted rank on their
right arm whereas today's GMC cadets wear the shoulder boards
Another difference is in the lapels of the uniform. In the 1980's
GMC cadets wore enlisted rank chevrons as opposed to the insignia
above (affectionately called "chickens").
"Can you tell the difference?"
The POC cadet rank is the only example of cadet rank that has
remained unchanged from the 1980's to today.
Not only the rank has changed since the
80's, but the overall look of the uniform has changed. Take
these pictures for example. In the 1980's the service coat
had four buttons and pockets visible to the outside viewer
whereas the present day uniform has only three buttons and
no visible pockets. The current uniforms are also a different
shade of blue.
Det 220 Events
One of the highlights for the cadets of Detachment 220 was and
still is visiting an Air Force base. This picture of the XB-70
Valkyrie was taken at a base visit to Wright Patterson AFB in
Another highlight of a cadet's training is the occasional air
show. This picture, taken from one such air show, showcases the
Canadian exhibition team, the Snowbirds, preparing to perform.
This picture shows cadets participating in an event that is still
going on today. This is PES class. PES was and still is a class
in which cadets work hard to stay in shape and better their PFT
Even though it is now held in Lambert Field house, the PFT is
still a GMC's worst nightmare. This picture shows cadets performing
dozens of agonizing sit-ups.
One event that is no longer around but was a highlight in the
1980's was ROTC Day, which gave the different ROTC branches an
opportunity to show their stuff.
The idea of Simulated Field Training was to put GMC cadets through
the rigors of camp in order to prepare them for the real thing.
Unfortunately, this event is no longer takes place.
"Dress Right Dress", a common command heard at Wing
Drill Competition. Wing Drill is a friendly competition between
flights in Detachment 220. Wing Drill winners earn honor and respect
among their AFROTC peers.
In 1981 Detachment 220 received the "Air Force Outstanding
Unit Award". This award was given to Detachment 220 for,
"exceptionally meritorious service from 1 January 1979 to
31 December 1980".
Current Events in the Eighties
In the 80's the defense budget skyrocketed as Reagan was the
first president ever to propose a trillion-dollar budget.
The AIDS Quilt
The world was introduced to the newly discovered diseases AIDS
& HIV by the publicity of a young boy from Indiana named Ryan
The Challenger Explosion
On January 28, 1986 the world watched in horror as one of America's
untouchable space shuttles exploded 73 seconds after take-off.
After a series of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations, the
Chinese government decided to crack down. Several hundred protesters
died as a demonstration was broken up by tanks.
In 1985 the most famous shipwreck of all time, the Titanic, was
discovered on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. And in 1986, with
the help of a robot called Alvin the first photos were taken of
the interior of this infamous ship.
In 1981 the Music Television network was founded. MTV was the
first station ever devoted to music videos and the promotion of
music. Michael Jackson topped both music and video charts.
Though not widely used in the 80's the internet had it's beginnings
in this decade. The Internet now allows millions of people to
access information, formerly unavailable, with the touch of a
The Ozone Layer
In the 1980's scientists made a startling discovery. They concluded
we were eating away at an invisible layer of our atmosphere, ozone
layer. Without this layer we could not survive.
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