UNM Air Force ROTC Commander Set to Retire
April 4, 2022 - Dorene DiNaro
Lt Col William M. Beauter has served in the United States Air Force for the past 34 years. During his Air Force career, he has deployed six times to diverse countries, and had eleven different assignments in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and INHERENT RESOLVE.
Beauter will close out his Air Force career as the commander for the UNM Air Force ROTC unit where he has served for the past 3 years. “After spending more than three decades on military bases, I love the environment on the campus,” Beauter says. “It’s nice to take a walk around the campus and see young people enjoying themselves, and it’s refreshing to be able to let my guard down and enjoy the beautiful weather we have here in Albuquerque.”
During his tenure at UNM, Beauter has enjoyed a sense of fulfillment working with the cadets and watching them transition from college freshmen to Second Lieutenants in the Air Force. “I’m amazed how patriotic, intelligent, mature, and motivated they are at such a young age,” he says. “I’ve been very impressed with all of them and it is inspiring to see them become young professionals and the future leaders of our service.”
Over the past 3 years, Beauter has fostered a more collaborative environment with the cadre, and drastically changed the way the unit educates cadets regarding training, scholarships, and job opportunities. “We spend a lot of time explaining the standards and eligibility requirements and make a commitment to the cadets that we will nominate them once they become qualified,” he says. “It has improved the transparency of these programs and motivated our cadets to complete the work necessary to qualify.”
Beauter says he is proud to have been a part of a solid program that teaches teamwork, followership, and leadership, and hopes that the new facility will draw more student recruits. “I speak to every student that leaves the AFROTC program, and over 95% of them tell me that they have learned skills that have made them more mature, professional leaders,” he says. “If we can get more students to enroll in our program, I know that most will decide to stay.”
His hope is that future cadets go on active duty knowing that they have an important mission to protect our nation as members of the profession of arms, but they can be compassionate and empathetic leaders. “In order for the Air Force to attract and retain the best, not only do we need to train, educate and objectively promote them, we need to take care of them and their families,” he says.