Detachment 860 Cadre
Commander, Professor of Aerospace Studies
Lt Col Smith
Lt Col Steven J. Smith is the Commander of Air Force ROTC Detachment 860 and Professor of Aerospace Studies at Utah State University. In these roles, he is responsible for all aspects of recruiting, training, and commissioning future leaders for the United States Air Force.
Lt Col Smith began his military service as an enlisted counterintelligence special agent and Japanese linguist in the Utah Army National Guard from 1990-1997. He received his commission as an Air Force officer in 1999 after graduating from Brigham Young University with a major in Asian Studies and minors in Aerospace Studies and Chinese Language and Literature. Following graduation from the Intelligence Officer Basic Course, Lt Col Smith went on to serve in a variety of assignments at the squadron, wing, and MAJCOM levels. He later earned an MA in International Politics with an emphasis on Chinese politics and diplomacy while studying as an Olmsted Scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. After serving as a Regional Affairs Strategist (RAS) at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Lt Col Smith was a resident student at Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) and then at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). Prior to his current assignment, Lt Col Smith earned a PhD in International Studies from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He has three wartime deployments.
Maj Brian Yoder
Major Brian Yoder is the Operations Officer for Detachment 860 and leads classroom instruction for the AS 200 level classes. He received his commission in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Brigham Young University in 2006. Major Yoder holds a BA in Asian Studies and an MA in Intelligence Studies. A prior Navy enlisted Chinese and Russian cryptologic linguist, he is a career intelligence officer with assignments in unit-level intelligence operations, airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Air Operations Centers (AOC), Combatant Command joint staff, and national-level intelligence agencies. Prior to his current assignment Major Yoder was the Assistant Director of Operations at the 505th Test Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where he led training, testing and tactics development for the AOC enterprise, leading over 700 joint and coalition warfighters annually in advanced readiness training through RED FLAG and other exercises to integrate multi-domain command and control in major combat operations.
Operations Flight Commander
Major Damon Smith
Major Damon Smith is Det 860's Operation Flight Commander, responsible for academic instruction of the AS 300 level classes. He received his commission as an Air Force officer in 2001 after graduating from Utah State University with a major in Liberal Arts and minor in Hungarian and History. Major Smith served first as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Combat Crew Commander followed by Operational and Acquisitions assignments with the United States Air Forces' Global Positioning System (GPS) Enterprise, while earning an MA in Emergency and Disaster Management. After graduating from the Naval Postgraduate School with an MA in National Security Studies), Major Smith served as a Regional Affairs Strategist (RAS), developing bilateral Nuclear Weapon Incident response plans with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies.
Capt Jessica Olson
Captain Jessica Olson is Det 860's Recruiting Flight Commander, responsible for recruitment and academic instruction of all incoming Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) cadets at Utah State University. A graduate of Utah State University, Capt Olson earned her commission through the USU AFROTC program and entered the Air Force as an Intelligence Officer in May 2010. While on Active Duty, she worked as a Mission Operations Commander at Distributed Ground Station 1 (Langley AFB, VA). In 2014 Capt Olson left Active Duty service and joined the Utah Air National Guard, providing Intelligence Support to the 151st Air Refueling Wing and its KC-135 mission. In addition to her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts, Capt Olson has been working toward a second degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics at Utah State University.
NCOIC Personnel Management
TSgt Raymond Bennett
TSgt Raymond Bennett is responsible for overseeing personnel processes and documentation for the DET 860 cadets pursuing careers as officers in the United States Air Force. TSgt Bennett has been NCOIC of Personnel at AFROTC Det 860, Utah State University, since July 2018. TSgt Bennett mentors cadets with leadership and advising by example. Prior to his current assignment TSgt Bennett was assigned to the 78 Force Support Squadron at Robins AFB.
NCOIC Knowledge Operations Management
SSgt Elizabeth Roach
SSgt Elizabeth Roach has been the NCOIC of Knowledge Operations Management at AFROTC Det 860, Utah State University since November, 2018. She is responsible for all administrative processes and documentation for roughly 140 cadets seeking to become officers in the United States Air Force. SSgt Roach also mentors cadets through each year of the AFROTC program, providing guidance and counseling to students and exemplifying the high standards of the Air Force non-commissioned officers. She has nine years of experience as a Knowledge Operations Airman and has supported 2 Groups and 3 squadrons at Dyess AFB.
Kim Garrity is the administrative assistant for the Department of Aerospace Studies at Utah State University. Kim joined the department in the spring of 2018. Her broad duties include overseeing the university departmental budget, providing technical support, and assisting the AFROTC cadre with a variety of administrative support and scheduling. Her main focus is on helping the students have a positive experience while attending USU and participating in the AFROTC program. Her favorite part of the job is supporting the students as they work towards achieving their educational and military goals.