When the Korean War prompted the Air Force to expand its officer training program, the University of North Texas was chosen as the new site of AFROTC Detachment 835, which opened on September 21, 1951. The program was a college department offering courses in world political geography, air base administration and logistics, flight operations, and lab to teach drill and ceremonies. Approximately 500 cadets entered the program that fall under the command of Lt Col D. B. Orr, Professor of Aerospace Studies.
Detachment 835 has built many organizations around the structure of the corps to enhance the efficiency and overall mission of the corps. The Sabres, which formed in 1951, in a precision drill team and is the oldest organization in the detachment. The Sabres fulfill their special drill function through performance in parades, marching contests, and official ceremonial functions. The Sabres have earned many awards and is a well-respected drill unit in the state.
The Roger Ramey Club was founded in 1953 to raise money and sponsor cadet activities. The Club was named after Lt General Roger Ramey, a former North Texas student who was the most decorated hero of World War I from Denton. The funding that Roger Ramey receives goes towards many expenses incurred in the running of the detachment as well as the formal dining-outs and military balls.
In the Spring of 1953 the Royal N. Baker Squadron of the Arnold Air Society was formed. The squadron was named after Lt General Royal N. Baker, a former North Texas student, World War pilot, and Korean War ace. Arnold Air Society, a service organization within ROTC, promotes professionalism within the corps and is heavily involved in public service. The Arnold Air Society is extremely proud to have the signature of Eddie Rickenbacker, famous World War I ace, on the charter of the Royal N. Baker Squadron.
In 1953 the detachment named 15 "Coed Sponsors" as the ROTC sweethearts. In 1955, Angel Flight was formed as the women's auxiliary to AFROTC and in 1958 the organization was nationally affiliated. Angel Flight originally drilled with the cadets, but has since become a support organization for ROTC. Angel Flight assists in activities ranging from fundraising to official social functions. Angel Flight is extremely proud of their former member, Phyllis George, who was crowned Miss American in 1971.
Our detachment has had its share of setbacks. Detachment 835 has been in danger of closing several times in its history. Low membership in the corps and the university's lack of an engineering school has many times endangered the existence of the corps. The most threatening instance came in 1988 when defense cuts caused the Air Force to choose North Texas as 1 of 30 ROTC detachments to close. However, second thoughts by the Air Force, lobbying by Texas Senators and University Officials, and strong spirit and determination by the cadets and staff allowed the detachment to receive excellent ratings that year. The effort convinced the Air Force to allow Detachment 835 to remain open.
On Sunday, May 11, 1969, North Texas AFROTC faced its darkest hour. During high tensions over the Vietnam conflict and draft, unknown arsonists set fire to the ROTC equipment supply room, burning uniforms, Sabre's equipment, and other ROTC equipment. The total damage to the building and equipment was estimated at $27,000. After the fire, ROTC was moved from the men’s building, where it was originally housed, to Kendall Hall, where it remained until moving to Athletics 1 in 2005, where it remains today.
Even through bad times, the cadets at Detachment 835 have been able to shine with outstanding achievements. In 1955, the cadet newspaper, "Out of the Blue'', was awarded best cadet paper in the nation by General Deitchelman, Air Force ROTC Commanding General. In 1971, the first women were allowed in ROTC and in 1974 Janis Witt was the first woman commissioned for North Texas. In 1987, the Detachment won the Superior Award, given to the top 15% of 150 Detachments based on outstanding recruiting and quality of officer candidates. Finally, in 1989, just one year after the proposed closing, the Detachment showed its true warrior spirit by ranking 8th in the nation in cadet quality and achievement, and received a rating of Excellent from the Inspector General.
For 65 years Detachment 835 has instilled in its cadets the Warrior Spirit and Air Force Officer qualities of professionalism, leadership, honor, integrity, loyalty, commitment, enthusiasm, and selflessness. The University of North Texas Detachment 835 is proud of its contribution in providing quality cadets to become future officers and leaders.