We’ve all no doubt heard of Navy Seals, Army Rangers and Delta Force. Did you know the Air Force has a Special Operations Unit that works side-by-side with these other highly trained tactical squads?
One of CSU’s own ROTC students is attempting to become an Air Liaison Officer, also known as ALO.
Daniel Walker, 27, has served over six years active duty in the Air Force. He’s now a full-time student, a junior majoring in history.
He found CSU online last year while stationed at an air base in Germany. He was intrigued by the school’s 2-year program. After making one call, he was told he could enroll and showed up in Charleston in July with just a suitcase and started classes the next month.
Walker wasted no time. Taking 19 hours apparently didn’t keep him busy enough, so he started researching the ALO program.
Meanwhile, ROTC commander, Lt. Col. Alexandria Watson, took notice. “Cadet Walker is an excellent candidate for this program because he is committed and enthusiastic about the opportunity,” Watson said.
Walker spent a week in Camp Bulls, Texas, in early January undergoing ALO Aptitude Assessment. He joined 40 other candidates; nine were selected. The Air Force puts the candidates through intense physical, mental and technical training. Although Walker wasn’t selected in this round, he has been invited back to participate again.
The week-long training was highly competitive and stressful, but Walker remains undaunted. “Right now, I’m the best I’ll ever be,” says Walker.
If he’s selected, he’ll not advance to the next stage until he graduates. The other candidates are from other ROTC programs, the Air Force Academy and the enlisted ranks. Is he concerned his age works against him? Just the opposite. “I think my wisdom helps after more than six years of active duty and now a college education.”
If he’s not selected? No worries, says Walker, “I’ll humbly accept whatever the Air Force asks of me.”
Meanwhile, Watson is happy Walker is part of CSU’s program. Watson said, “He’s demonstrated leadership and followership abilities, academic success and intense physical fitness.”
From a distance, Walker looks like any other student walking around the Reflection Pond on his way to class. Every time a jet or a C-17 flies over campus, though, from nearby Joint Base Charleston, this one-day officer smiles and looks forward to the moment he can further serve his country.