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N.C. A&T Air Force ROTC Cadet Selected to Join U.S. Space Force

By Jamie Crockett / 04/22/2020 College of Science and Technology

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 22, 2020) – David Vermillion, a graduating physics student and Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) cadet at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has been selected to join the U.S. Space Force (USSF), a newly-established branch of the Armed Forces. The military service is responsible for organizing, training and equipping forces as a means to protect U.S. and allied interests in space.

“I want to serve my nation through a full career of military service in the aerospace region,” said Vermillion. “The field has many new opportunities to develop standard operating procedures and ways to evaluate space systems and that excites me as I move forward.” 

Cadet Vermillion HeadshotGrowing up, Vermillion’s family moved to several states across the country and finally settled in North Carolina, home of the Wright brothers’ famous first flight. With a strong desire to learn and explore, he dual-enrolled at Guilford Technical Community College while continuing his homeschool education as a high school student.

At 15, Vermillion decided to join the Air Force and participated in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, ranking at a level only 3 percent of cadets achieve nationwide. 

“Cadet Vermillion came to North Carolina A&T on an Air Force ROTC High School Scholarship program, which means he had an early desire to serve,” said Lt. Col. Gary Alexander, commander of Detachment 605. “Throughout Cadet Vermillion’s time with our detachment, he has been a persistent presence for ROTC involvement, worked hard on his academic classes, and devoted an enormous amount of energy to making himself and his peers better.”

During his four years in AFROTC, Vermillion held nine positions, which has helped him deepen his understanding of leadership and management. He has expanded his network across the nation, connecting with other cadets, current and retired generals as well as a retired astronaut.  

“North Carolina A&T has built such a strong reputation for producing quality graduates, and I’ve learned a lot during my time here,” said Vermillion. “It’s also pretty cool that the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair studied physics on this campus before he became a NASA astronaut.” 

Vermillion hopes to carry on that legacy as he prepares to transition to space operations, which was his first choice during the application process. While his specific role in the USSF is yet to be determined, he will first participate in the virtual commissioning ceremony for Detachment 605 at the end of the semester.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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