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56 FW Commander Speaks at Commissioning Ceremony

  • Published
  • By Detachment 025

Brig. Gen. Jason Rueschhoff, 56th Fighter Wing commander, was the guest speaker for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 025’s Commissioning Ceremony May 8, 2024, at Arizona State University, Arizona, where 19 new second lieutenants joined the Profession of Arms as Airmen and Guardians. Rueschhoff drove home the critical charge that officers have in taking care of the Department of the Air Force’s most important asset: the people. 

“You cannot lose sight of focusing on people and their families. Take care of people… period. Because it’s the absolute right thing to do,” said Rueschhoff,  stressing the importance of the Oath of Office they were taking. “These are not merely words; you are swearing loyalty to the Constitution and committing yourselves to the defense of our great nation and to all those to your right and left.”

Rueschhoff continued by highlighting three important lessons he learned throughout his distinguished career. 

“First, I want you to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason,” said Rueschhoff. “You will need to take risks in your career, and you will need to make informed decisions that are situationally appropriate for your mission.”

He also cautioned against fighting every battle. 

“If you fall on every sword, then when you come to one that truly matters, you will already be dead… you will have squandered your credibility,” said Rueschhoff. “If everything is a fight for you, one day, someone who works for you will have a serious problem they need your help with, but you will have expended all your ammo.”

Finally, Rueschhoff recalled a time as a young company grade officer when his focus was quite solely on getting the mission accomplished, but he was missing the mark with his teammates.  “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. As a leader, your real value is ensuring those around you succeed!”

The Detachment 025 commander, Lt. Col. D. Shane Richardson, expressed gratitude for the new lieutenants as well as the strong ties between 56th Fighter Wing and the detachment. 

“I am incredibly appreciative for the commitment these young men and women are making,” said Richardson. “And we are all thankful for the support Brig. Gen. Rueschhoff and Thunderbolt Nation continue to show for the Flying Devils as we develop leaders of character to fight and win our nation’s wars!”

2nd Lt. Armand Debray, the class’s distinguished graduate, is selected as a pilot trainee, but he will first head to the Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue his master’s degree in data analytics. He reflected on this milestone.


“Commissioning signifies the culmination of our journey as cadets, the closure of our undergraduate chapter, and our time at Arizona State,” said Debray. “It also signifies the beginning of our time as officers, and the bonds we have made will endure beyond our time here. We’re not just commissioning from any place; we’re Flying Devils, representing an exceptional university and the nation’s finest AFROTC detachment. Forks Up!”

2nd Lt. Joshua Bennion, the only officer in his class selected for the prestigious Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT), agreed. 

“Commissioning is one of the most significant events in my life,” said Bennion. “Working as an enlisted intelligence analyst and now heading to pilot training gives me a unique perspective of our operations. Pinning on these gold bars was a seven-year journey, and I am so proud to be commissioning out of the best detachment in the nation! Arizona State is an outstanding community, and I am glad to be a Flying Devil!”

Detachment 025 is the nation’s 8th largest detachment with 10 cadre members and upwards of 200 cadets. The Flying Devils were recognized as AFROTC’s Best Large Detachment in 2023.