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Taking Flight with ROTC

It is such a fulfilling career that she and her husband, an Air Force retiree, have created an endowment to support future cadets of MSU AFROTC Detachment 380.

Lt. Gen. Judith Fedder

Taking Flight with ROTC

After seeing her in a highly decorated Air Force uniform, it may be hard to believe that Lt. Gen. Judith Fedder, ’80, initially pursued a white-coat career in dietary research and hospital administration.

But a serendipitous moment during her freshman year at Michigan State University gave flight to a different direction.

“I happened to see a group of Army ROTC cadets run by in formation, in uniform, and it immediately seemed familiar,” recalls Fedder, who’d grown up on Army bases before her parents put down roots in Manistee.

Fedder joined MSU’s Air Force ROTC detachment—back in the days of classic Quonset huts. 

Senior year she applied for pilot training.

“When I didn't qualify because I was two inches too short I decided to ask for the career field that would get me on the flight line and closest to flight ops—aircraft maintenance.It turned out to be a very good choice and I love it,” she says.

Today, Fedder is Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support at U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

It is such a fulfilling career that she and her husband, an Air Force retiree, have created an endowment to support future cadets of MSU AFROTC Detachment 380.

She’s grateful for her officer training corps experiences. “ROTC provided leadership opportunity, a focus on physical fitness, and a sense of team accomplishment that inspired me to really stretch myself and get out of my ‘comfort zone’ as I entered active duty.”

Where can today’s young men and women go as a result of ROTC?

 “The sky’s the limit,” she says, “no pun intended. With a degree from MSU, the ROTC programs offer a military commission and incredible opportunities. The Air Force is particularly interested in engineering disciplines and, of course, those with a desire to lead, follow and serve.”

In fact, our nation depends on its bright, dedicated service men and women.

Through the Fedder Endowment for Air Force ROTC at MSU, Spartan students will benefit from additional support as they pursue their military careers.

“I am proud to be a Spartan,” she says. “My husband shares in my delight at being able to give back to the university that gave me so many opportunities. I join others who are making that possible for young men and women, who want to do something they never thought possible.”