Air Force ROTC Detachment 520 History
The first Cornellian to be granted a Commission was Frank A. Barton, Class of 1891. Colonel Barton served a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army and twice served as the Cornell Professor of Military Science and Tactics. He so greatly influenced the military training at Cornell that in 1940 the New York State Armory and Drill Hall was renamed Barton Hall in his honor.
Cornell graduates have served with distinction in every major conflict since the Spanish-American War. Of special note, Cornell commissioned more officers in World War I, and inducted more officers and service members in World War II, than any other single institution. Additionally, a group of Cornell volunteers became the first U.S. unit in combat under fire in the First World War.
In 1947, as part of the establishment of a separate United States Air Force, Army ROTC founded the Air Sciences and Tactics Division. In 1950, the Army Air Sciences and Tactics Division formally transitioned into Air Force ROTC Detachment 520 under the command of Air Force Colonel George T. Crowell.
Today’s cadets and midshipmen carry on the proud tradition of leadership and excellence that was established by their predecessors, and are an integral part of fulfilling founder Ezra Cornell's dream of "an institution where any person can get instruction in any study."
Join Our Program
Air Force ROTC Detachment 520
Air Force ROTC is more than just a class. It is an opportunity to learn and practice leadership light years ahead of your peers. It is an opportunity to discover what the Air Force has to offer and set yourself on a path to become an officer.
Who is eligible?
Enrolled at Cornell University or one of our cross-town university partners
United States citizen (or applicant)
In good physical condition
Of good moral character
The World's Best Leadership Class
What opportunities are out there for you?
The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is one of three ways to become a commissioned officer. ROTC produces the largest number of commissioned officers for the United States Air Force.
Air Force ROTC Detachment 520 is a college program located at Cornell University and offers opportunities and scholarships to Cornell University, Cayuga County Community College, Broome Community College, Binghamton University, SUNY Cortland, Elmira College, Ithaca College, Wells College, and Tompkins-Cortland Community College students.