Published on May 19, 2021 by Sarah Waller  

Samford University hosted the spring commissioning ceremony for U.S. Air Force ROTC Detachment 012 on May 10 in Reid Chapel. The detachment, located on Samford’s campus, trains cadets from colleges and universities throughout the Birmingham area.

At the ceremony, six cadets were commissioned. Five were appointed second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force, and one cadet chose to cross-commission into the U.S. Navy. 

Of the six cadets, two were Samford University graduates.

  • Micah Jones ‘21 was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and he will begin his Air Force career with pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi in 2022. He hopes to earn a slot as an A-10 pilot, an aircraft with a mission to provide close air support to the brave men and women on the ground. Jones graduated from Samford’s School of Health Professions, earning a Bachelor of Science in health science.
  • Rebecca McCoy ‘21 was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and plans to pursue a career as a pilot. She earned a degree in economics from Samford’s Brock School of Business. During the fall 2020 semester, McCoy served as the cadet wing commander, successfully leading over 50 cadets while navigating a host of challenges presented by COVID-19. 

In addition to these Samford graduates, the detachment commissioned Dalton Turner, Hunter Davis and Alex Kincaid, graduates of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and William Woods, a graduate of the University of Montevallo. 

A group picture of the six cadets of Air Force ROTC detachment 012 honored at the ceremony..

As is the tradition of the commissioning ceremony, each cadet took the oath of office, and then the newly appointed second lieutenants received the official pinning of their new gold rank insignias. In addition, the second lieutenants receive the Airman’s Coin, which is a tradition dating back to World War I. 

Lieutenant Colonel Josh Payne, commander of ROTC Detachment 012, provided remarks. Speaking to the families in attendance and watching via livestream, he encouraged them to attach themselves to their lieutenant’s journey. “The Air Force did a study, and they found that while we recruit airmen, we retain families. The support they get from their families often determines the length of their service…. You contribute to their success,” he said.

Then, to the newly commissioned officers, he encouraged them to lead from the inside out. “Continue to study your profession. Stay in the books, continue to better yourself and develop your mind,” he said.

Finally, to find success as a lieutenant, Payne said, “Continue to build on what you started here…. Look for opportunities to be more effective and efficient, and resist the status quo. As you go out, be smart, be bold and be humble. And remember, leading is serving.”

Learn more about Detachment 012 at

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.