Mission: "Develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community"
Goals: Instill values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.
Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) can track its heritage to a program founded in 1903 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by Army Lt. Edgar R. Steevers. Lieutenant Steevers was assigned as an inspector-instructor of the organized military of Wyoming. During his assignment, he envisioned a noncompulsory cadet corps comprised of high school students. His program was aimed toward making better citizens.
The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized a junior course for non-college military schools, high schools and other non-preparatory schools. The Army implemented JROTC in 1916. Public Law 88-647, commonly known as the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964, directed the secretaries of each military service to establish and maintain JROTC units for their respective services. The first Air Force JROTC programs were opened in 1966.
“(The) purpose of Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps [is] to instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.” (10 USC Sec 2031)
Air Force JROTC (AFJROTC) is a continuing success story. From a modest beginning of 20 units in 1966, AFJROTC has grown to 869 units throughout the world, with 118,800 cadets. The AFJROTC program positively influences our country by helping one student at a time. Comprised solely of active duty Air Force retirees, the AFJROTC instructor force is helping to form tomorrow’s nation by educating proud and patriotic cadets—tomorrow’s leaders.
Air Force JROTC provides leadership training and an aerospace science program for high school students. Secondary school students who enroll in the AFJROTC program are offered a wide variety of curricular and extra-curricular activities. The program explores the historical and scientific aspects of aerospace technology and teaches high school students self-reliance, self-discipline, and other characteristics found in good leaders. The AFJROTC program is open to 9th-12th grade students who are citizens of the United States. The program is not a recruiting tool for military services, and those students who participate in AFJROTC do not incur any obligation to the Air Force.
The objectives of Air Force Junior ROTC are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill a sense of responsibility; develop character and self-discipline through education and instruction in air and space fundamentals and the Air Force's core values of "Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence In All We Do".
All AFJROTC instructors are retired Air Force commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The instructors maintain Air Force standards and are trained through the AFJROTC Academic Instructor Course. They are full-time faculty members of the participating high school and are employed by the local school board to teach AFJROTC classes. There are more than 1,910 instructors serving in the 870 units around the world.
Aerospace science comprises 40 percent of the curriculum, leadership education 40 percent, and health and wellness for life training 20 percent. All students who successfully complete AFJROTC classes are granted credit towards graduation. Classroom study includes the heritage of flight, principles of aircraft flight and navigation, human requirements for flight, development of aerospace power, aerospace vehicles, rocketry, space and technology programs, and the aerospace industry. Students are also introduced to military customs and courtesies, citizenship in the United States, first aid, wellness, health and fitness, basic drill and ceremonies, effective communications, management, human relations, and life after high school. All uniforms and curriculum materials are provided by the Air Force.
To reinforce what is learned in the classroom, cadets participate in many outside activities such as field trips to military bases, aerospace facilities and industries, museums, civilian airports and other areas related to aerospace education.
Cadets also participate in parades, leadership laboratory activities, civilian air rifle marksmanship programs, drill team competitions, color and honor guards, military balls, and honorary academic groups. Many AFJROTC units complement the curriculum through the cooperation and resources of organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Civil Air Patrol, and the National Endowment for Financial Education.
Community service is a major part of the cadet experience and helps instill a sense of civic pride and citizenship. Projects range from working with national organizations like the March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy, the National Red Ribbon Campaign, and Special Olympics to participating in local community projects such as Veteran's Day Pass and Review, Homecoming Parades, canned food drives, and cleaning and refurbishing city parks. In the school year 2012-2013, JROTC cadets performed more than 1.56 million hours of community service.
Scholarships and Other Benefits:
AFJROTC cadets who choose to continue their education may receive special consideration for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships. Many of these scholarships will pay for two, three, or four years of tuition, books, and fees at numerous universities and colleges and allow cadets to pursue studies in various technical and non-technical majors.
Cadets completing two years of AFJROTC and who continue ROTC in college may waive one term of the AFROTC program. Students completing three years in AFJROTC may receive credit for a full year of college level AFROTC.
In addition, cadets electing to enter the military immediately after graduating from high school are eligible to enlist in the services at one to two pay grades higher than other enlistees. Students completing three years in AFJROTC are eligible to enter the Air Force two pay grades higher than other enlistees and are automatically enrolled into the Community College of the Air Force to receive college credit toward their associate college degree.
Aim High March On