The new commander of Air Force ROTC Detachment 040 presided over the commissioning ceremony Saturday, June 22, 2019, in the Sculpture Garden at Loyola Marymount University. Lt. Col. Kari Hill welcomed 12 cadets into the Air Force officer ranks as 2nd lieutenants before a crowd of about 175 family and friends.
“I am very excited to join Detachment 040,” said Hill. “The reputation of 040 and the wonderful support infrastructure of the host school, LMU, makes this a magnet for talented, service-minded young people. We will live up to that standing and build on it.”
Detachment 040 is Hill’s second ROTC tour; she previously served at the University of Houston’s Detachment 003. Detachment 040’s leadership team is believed to be the first all-female team for AFROTC, which goes hand-in-hand with the military’s diversification efforts to increase its talent pool and widen its perspective.
The 12 commissioned lieutenants represent seven universities in the Los Angeles region. The class will provide to the Air Force’s engineering, contracting, cyber, public affairs, and force support career fields, along with four of the Lts heading off to pilot training. One Lt will be attending the prestigious Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. This training is about a year long, takes place in Texas, and includes trainees from partner nations: the UK, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Belgium. Only about 200 trainees attend each year, from all nations.
Each commissioned Lt was sworn in by a current or retired military officer of their choosing, and many had their parents or significant other pin their gold bar.
“We are very proud of our 2nd lieutenants,” said Hill. “Our mission is to develop leaders of character for tomorrow’s Air Force and this class exemplifies this and more.”
Hill’s most recent position was commander of the 433rd Operations Support Squadron, and attached combat-mission ready senior pilot at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. With the 433rd she directed the activities of intelligence oversight, aircrew life support training and equipment, combat crew communications, and resource management to ensure combat-ready forces of more than 100 aircrew flying the C-5 Super Galaxy, the world’s largest military aircraft.
Hill earned her B.S. in physics and chemistry at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, and her master’s degree in aeronautical science in operational aviation at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. She has also completed Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Aircraft Accident and Safety Board President Course.
Earlier this year, Detachment 040 won the Team of the Quarter award, winning out over 135 detachments across the nation.