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The Afterburner



The Afterburner


In 1958, the Queens College chapter of the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps replaced its original newsletter with the more energetically titled "Afterburner". (Selections - full volume available from Queens College Archives)


United States--Air Force ROTC
Queens College (New York, N.Y.)
Fort Totten (N.Y.)


Queens College (New York, N.Y.). Air Force ROTC




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)




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Queens College (New York, N.Y.)



Queens College AFROTC
Vol. I - Nr. 1
November 1958

Queens College Air Force ROTC cadets are shown in full force marching up Fifth Avenue on October 12, 1958, in the Columbus Day Parade. Led by Cadet Captain Robert Graf, the cadet corps marched from 44th Street and Eighth Avenue up to 82nd Street and First Avenue.

Page 2



The "AFTERBURNER" is published by the AF ROTC Corps of Cadets, Queens College of the City of New York

PAS... Lt. Colonel Orange W. Hall
Faculty Advisors...Capt. Robert W. Von Werne
... MSgt Kenneth F. Templeman
Editor-in-Chief...Cadet 1st Lieut. Robert Zucker


Cadets A. Alayon, T. Donnellan, J. Thyen, J. Myer, H. Springer, F. Young, G. Gierak, M. Schuman.

In 1589, Christopher Marlowe, an Elizabethan dramatist, wrote The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. It was a tragic play because Doctor Faustus made a deal with the devil, selling him his soul for twenty-four years of power on the earth. It was fun while it lasted, but in the end the poor victim went where all victims who play with the devil go. Unfortunately, in the minds of many civilians, AF ROTC plays a role similar to Marlowe's play. A young innocent male enters college. Immediately he is set upon by Air Force personnel who try to interest him in the service. Many times, the first thing that enters this student's head is that by joining ROTC he is exempt from the draft for four years. Here is where the analogical parallel comes in. For four years of additional freedom he is signing with the devil, promising that after this period he will spend five in the service as a flyer. Of course this fate is quite happier than poor old Doctor Faustus, even though various critics of the ROTC would argue it.
The problem not only lies in the ignorance and complacency of a large amount of civilians, but also with some cadets. Why did you take AF ROTC? "Because," comes the replies, "I get out of the draft, an officer makes good money, I save on clothes, it gives me a feeling of power, and my girlfriend thinks I look good in blue." When a civilian hears these answers he naturally does not think highly of the program and thus appears the "deal-with-the-devil" outlook.
The vast majority of the public fails to realize that ROTC is one of the most selective officer programs in the service. The attrition rate is tremendous, often higher than ninety percent.
- Continued on Page 5.

By George G. Gierak

"If you had a chance to join the AF ROTC again, would you? Why?"

Recently, this question was put forth to several cadets in order to get a general idea of what the majority of the cadets would do if given such an opportunity. The results of this poll were very interesting although not surprising. The cadets who were interviewed said that they would join again if given the opportunity. Each cadet has his own reasons why he would join again.
Lower freshman, John Chimienti gave these reasons for why he would join again. "Although I've only been a member of the AF ROTC lower course for a short time, I've found nothing wrong with it and would join again. It teaches respect for authority, self-control, and other good traits which will prove helpful in civilian life and further military training."
Fred Young (upper freshman 10) had this to say. "Yes. The military training, the development of character and the opportunity to lead makes the AF ROTC an all-encompassing program."
One cadet who chose to remain anonymous said: "I would join AF ROTC again because I realize that it has instilled into me in only a short time, discipline and leadership capabilities."
Another cadet also choosing to stay anonymous gave his reasons for why he would join AF ROTC again on the academic phase of AF ROTC. He said: "Yes. The opportunities of the AF ROTC are vast. Not only is a person introducted to military life but also is acquainted with the space age and the defense of this country."
Dan Keane (lower sophmore 10) said: "Yes. I am more determined to receive a commission in the Air Force. Also, I have enjoyed the company of the other cadets."
The following answer was given by Jay Wolpert, a lower freshman. "Yes. I feel it is an immeasurable aid to neatness, discipline, and good citizenship."
A third cadet who decided to remain anonymous gave this answer: "Yes. I intend to pursue a military career."
Although the cadets interviewed gave many and varied reasons, it appears that from the answers given, the cadets of this squadron would join the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps again, if given such an opportunity.

Page 3

Cadet Kenneth Chien

Born in China on June 1, 1939, Kenneth Chen began a life that is very interesting and promising. At present, Ken is a freshman enrolled in the Air Force ROTC at this college. He is pursuing the pre-engineering course (the C.C.N.Y. Plan) and also hopes to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Coming from a family that is famous in science (his grandfather is an engineer), famous in military experience (his father was a Major General, Chief of Supply, Maintenance and Logistics (G-4) in the Chinese Nationalist Army under Chiang-Kai-Chek but due to a severe case of high blood pressure died at the peak of his career) and also famous in international work (his mother is an employee of the United Nations), Ken has a background not easily accessible to a young man his age.
While a boy in China, he had occasion to see the Flying Tigers' detachment located near his home. After World War II, Ken had the misfortune of seeing the Communist Party stage riots, propaganda rallies and demonstrations against the Chinese government. Reluctantly, the Chien family moved from Nanking, China to Taipai, the capital of Formose. Mrs. Chien worked for the U.N. in New York City, so it was not unexpected that Ken and his two sisters would eventually join their mother. Even though Ken had lived in China for sixteen and a half years, he readily adapted himself to a new country with new customs and language. His varied activities include: member of the U.N. tennis club, interest in American folksongs, a member of the ROTC Rifle Team, an Arnold Air Society pledge and a liking for girls. This "Happy Cadet" is noted for bowling like a fish, wanting to become an international playboy and a love of flying. Ken is also a very close friend of Joe Smile. On the serious side, Ken feels as the people on Formosa do, that they will return someday to the mainland and restore a legitimate government.
By Cadet Frederick Young

Once again the highlight of the semester's social activity is approaching. However, this year the Military Ball promises to be an extra special event. For the first time at the Queens College Military Ball a dinner will be included with the dance. Also for the first time the Ball will take place on a U.S. military post.
The Ball will be held at the Fort Totten Officer's Club on the 12th of December, which is a Friday. The dress, as always, is formal. All cadets will be required to wear a plain white shirt with a black, square and bow tie with his uniform. All cadets will present their dates with a corsage.
The cadre headed by Lt. Colonel Orange W. Hall will attend the Ball. There will be a number of distinguished and honored guests including President Stoke, Dean Spitz, Mr. Palmeri, and Mr. Schwartz. The corps and its guests will dance to the music of the John Badget Band.
The Fall 1958 Military Ball is sure to provide a gratifying experience to all who attend. It will have a special meaning for the corps, as it will provide more experience and training in military social events and promote espirit de corps.
By Michael E. Schuman

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)


Queens College (New York, N.Y.). Air Force ROTC, “The Afterburner,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed July 7, 2022,