Lt. Col. Dizzy Murphy has been named commander of the Air Force ROTC Detachment 538 at Rochester Institute of Technology. He began service this fall and leads a team of six military science faculty and adjuncts, and 75 cadets enrolled in the program.
Murphy’s most recent assignment was as the inspector general of the 100th Refueling Wing, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall in the United Kingdom. He served there for three years.
“I’ve always enjoyed the college environment, had fun in college, and now being able to train the next generation, it really solidifies what I have learned, because my career has not been a cookie cutter career,” said Murphy, who brings experience in space and missile systems and a background in training and communications. He has held multiple squadron operations responsibilities around the world.
Murphy said he knew at 11 years old that he wanted to be in the Air Force, and possibly be an astronaut. Although he was unable to join at such a young age, the Air Force recruiter he met with was encouraging. He joined the civil air patrol in grade school and an ROTC unit while an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University. Twenty years and several national and international commands later, Murphy has come full circle to an ROTC program to help prepare the next generation of Air Force leaders.
“As I’ll tell everybody in this detachment, you are a student first and a cadet second,” he said. “You can be the greatest leader the Air Force has ever seen, but if you don’t get a degree, I cannot commission you, it’s as simple as that. The most important thing is study, do well in college because it is an experience of a lifetime and not everybody gets that. But, our goals are to turn our ROTC students into leaders, to teach them responsibility and good core values.”
Being in the Air Force has meant being part of an integrated team for Murphy, who said, “You are part of something bigger than yourself, part of a noble cause, and you are defending the people you love. With that said, there is also that thrill of the action, and the fact that you are going to exotic places, doing great things. All that combined made for a pretty intriguing career.”
During his career, Murphy served several years at Yokota Air Force Base in Japan as an exercises, training and joint operations officer. In 2009, he became chief of the ICBM Command, Control and Communication Operations, Air Force Global Strike Command, at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. He would hold several other command positions—deputy director of staff, Air Force Global Strike Command, and chief, Inspector General Plans Branch, Air Force Global Strike Command, also at Barksdale.
Murphy has also been awarded numerous service and operations medals including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, as well as the Combat Readiness, Nuclear Deterrence Operations and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals.
“I’ve been blessed to have a family, to have people that have seen fit to put me in the position I am in today and throughout my career,” Murphy said. “Now I am in the twilight of my career, so I am trying to give back, helping out the next generation.”