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United States Air Force 590th Cadet Wing

#1 small detachment in the Air Force for 2012-2013, #1 small detachment for the southeast region for 2012-2013, 2013-2014 (back-to-back) and 2016-2017.

Det 590 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (aka Blue Heaven) invites you to take control of your future, do something amazing and join the ranks of the men and women of the United States Air Force.

To develop leaders of character for tomorrow’s Air Force and Space Force.

– Air Force ROTC Mission Statement

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Welcome to Detachment 590

Our exceptional cadets, coupled with the superior instruction and guidance from our cadre, earned Detachment 590 recognition as the best small detachment in the country by winning the 2013 “Right of Line” Award. In 2014, Detachment 590 also won – for the second year in a row – “High Flight” honors as the Southeast Region’s best small detachment. More recently, the detachment was awarded this once again for the 2016-17 academic year. These awards are presented annually to the Air Force ROTC detachment which best excels in the areas of “Training, Education, Recruiting and Retention, University and Public Relations, and Cadet Activities.” Our cadet wing will continue to plan exciting events that develop leadership skills and create an environment that welcomes and encourages diversity while building camaraderie and lasting friendships. Come and join our team!

Air Force ROTC is divided into two courses of study (the General Military Course, and the Professional Officer Course) and a Field Training experience. The full program will take more than 480 hours over four years of college (including one summer for Field Training). Leadership development is emphasized throughout the program. Additional, off site training opportunities are also available.

The General Military course of study is for first-year and sophomore students. The Professional Officer course of study is for juniors and seniors.

Note – It is possible to complete a three-year program if you did not begin as a first-year student. Contact our Recruiting Officer for more information at (919) 962-2074 or

Meet Our Cadre

Lt Col Brie H. Vihlen, Commander, Professor of Aerospace Studies


Maj Matthew A. Spinks, Operations Officer, Instructor


Capt Juan A. Rodriguez, Education and Recruitment Officer, Instructor


TSgt Sierra Pickett, NCOIC Administration

SSgt Delroy Maronie, Enlisted Instructor




Why you should call Det 590 your home away from home

Lunch at Pope Army Airfield for Fall Leadership Development Exercise

Cadets posing with Ramses after the UNC Army ROTC 9/11 Memorial Stadium Run

Det 590 at Duke University with the CSAF, General Charles Q. Brown, Jr.,where General Brown gave a presentation on Great Power Competition, and Q & A with participants from Duke, N.C. State, and UNC Chapel Hill

Det 590’s newest commissioned 2d Lieutenant, presented with her commissioning orders by Det 590 commander, Lt Col Brie H. Vihlen

Small Cadet Wing

Det 590 is considered a “Small Detachment” by AFROTC which means you really get to know your fellow cadets and get direct mentorship from Cadre. The training is unparalleled. It’s also a great way to get more involved, more quickly. For example, freshman routinely hold formal positions in the Cadet Wing meaning you will be empowered to impact your unit from the start. Furthermore, you will having many more opportunities in Color Guard, Arnold Air Society, and for trips across the US! You can’t find those opportunities anywhere else.

Convenient Location

Det 590 is located in the Naval Armory, right in the middle of campus. It is easy for students to get to and from the detachment and class. You will find cadets in the lounge all throughout the day, working on homework, or just hanging out! It is a great place to get to know your wingmen.

Morning Physical Training

Det 590 values your time as a college student. Our PT sessions are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (0600-0700) to ensure no class conflicts. Many cadets enjoy the early wakeup and energetic start to their days. PT sessions are meticulously planned by a designated cadet and consist of engaging exercises, morale-boosting activities, and healthy competition. Workouts are individualized enough to challenge cadets at any fitness level.

New Cadet Orientation Program (NCOP)

Before each fall semester, we hold our annual New Cadet Orientation Program (NCOP) to acclimate new cadets to Air Force ROTC. This voluntary program is designed so students can focus on the basics of Air Force ROTC while building a sense of teamwork and camaraderie with their classmates – all before they have to worry about keeping up with college studies. Graduates of NCOP frequently say that it cemented in their minds that Air Force ROTC was right for them.

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