AFROTC Change of Command Ushers in New Cadet Leadership

LEXINGTON, Va. Jan. 15, 2024 — On Thursday, Dec. 7, Detachment 880 held its 13th leadership lab. While this lab is a weekly event, the change of command ceremony is not.Cadet Abigal Soyars becomes the new detachment commander for VMI's AFROTC 

Cadet Colonel Gisel Martinez '24 of Mary Baldwin University VWIL program symbolically passed on the Detachment's guidon to Cadet Colonel Abigail Soyars '24 during the ceremony, signifying the transfer of command duties. Air Force change of command ceremonies typically involve the presentation of colors, remarks from each official party member, the passing of the guidon, singing of the Air Force song, and both outgoing and incoming commanders exchanging their first and last salute.

Reflecting on the change of command, Martinez expressed gratitude, stating, "I am so thankful for the opportunity to lead the Wing. I've learned a lot, witnessed great leadership from our cadets, and believe we've established a strong foundation for the detachment."

The new detachment commander, Soyars, is a major in Modern Languages: Arabic with a minor in French. She plans to commission as an intelligence officer on May 15, 2024. When asked about being the wing's new commander, Cadet Soyars remarked, "It is an honor and a privilege. Air Force ROTC and associated programs have significantly boosted my confidence and leadership skills from when I was a freshman to now."

Soyars outlined her goals for the next semester, emphasizing increased professionalism and preparation for AS-400s. She also expressed a desire for enhanced readiness among AS-200s or Field Training Prep (FTP) cadets, focusing on honing the skills tested upon.

Cadet Joshua Vissicchio '25
Air Force ROTC Detachment 880

VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders