U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Patla is the new commander for the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 157 on Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus in Florida — one of the largest AFROTC programs in the country and a top pilot-producing detachment for the U.S. Air Force.

Palta served in the Air Force for 24 years where he provided aviation and solar storm forecasts and protected satellite systems from possible cyberattacks. The aviation and space forecasts from his squadrons aided four-star generals and admirals in their decision-making processes when dealing with air strikes or ground and air operations.

Palta hopes to teach students at the AFROTC how the science of meteorology works with Air Force operations as part of every planning process, and is focused on instilling what he learned from his service — responsibility, accountability, professionalism and leadership.

Professor and Dean of Embry-Riddle’s College of Arts and Sciences, Karen Gaines, Ph.D, says, “He is a fantastic mentor and an excellent role model with a Ph.D., showing our students the breadth and opportunities the military has to offer for those who wish to serve.”

The program includes about 380 cadets from Embry–Riddle, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State College, the University of Central Florida-Daytona Beach Campus and Stetson University, which joined the detachment this semester.