Team 550- Forging Warrior Leaders

Detachment 550 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was established in 1949, only 2 years after the Army Air Corps officially became its own military branch, the United States Air Force. The detachment, under the command of Major Edward M. Rex, organized around 97 cadets. Air Force ROTC was the last of the three branches to be represented on campus, but by 1950 the total number of cadets in the wing had increased to 264. In order to meet the demands of a rapidly growing detachment, the cadre grew to 7 officers and 6 enlisted airmen. In 1952, a marching band of 30 AFROTC cadets was formed, complementing the existing Drum-and-Bugle Corps. Since its earlier days, Detachment 550 has fluctuated in numbers according to the need and support for military members and organizations.

The Detachment Newsletter

Initially title “The Prop Wash”, the detachment newsletter changed its name to “Flight Lines” in 1952 and was combined into a joint newsletter titled “On Review” in 1953 due to spending budget cuts. The newsletter came to be called “The Eagle’s Eye” through the 80’s and 90’s and eventually settled on the title, “The Navigator.” ¬†As of 2011 the “Navigator” was officially changed to it’s current name, the “Fly-By.”