Air Force ROTC students from Utah State University, the University of Utah, and Brigham Young University met in Logan on Saturday for the 10th annual Tri-Det competition.
The event combines athletic- and knowledge-based skills competitions for the schools’ detachments to compete in.
Lt. Col. Steve Smith, the commander of USU’s Air Force ROTC program and a professor of aerospace studies, said that while the universities share rivalries, the goal of Tri-Det is to foster camaraderie among future military officers.
“Here in Utah with the University of Utah, Utah State, and BYU being fairly close to each other, they got rivalries between the schools that are pretty intense in other ways. So, our cadets wanted to get together. It gives the cadets an opportunity to compete, but also to get to know who their fellow officers are going to be,” Smith said. “When they get their commissions and then they got active duty as Air Force officers, these are going to be the people they’ll be training with, fighting wars with, working with on a daily basis.”
With points awarded based on who wins individual competitions, the final tally gave BYU the slight edge in winning Tri-Det over USU. Last year, USU took home first place when the competition was held in Provo.
Quentin Morgan, lead planner for Tri-Det 2017, said that the competitions—among them, flag football, a quiz bowl, and an engineering challenge—are selected to focus on the wide range of skills Air Force officers will need.
“As an Air Force officer, they’re looking for a well-balanced person because when you sign to be an Air Force officer, you don’t know whether you’re going to be flying aircraft or leading security forces on the ground or at a desk somewhere doing acquisitions,” Morgan said. “We feel with that mix of athletics and knowledge-type activities, it’s a good basis for us to compete on.”