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JROTC kicks off inaugural year

Members+of+the+JROTC+made+heir+first+public+appearance+when+the+group+displayed+at+the+first+home+football+game+against+Hastings.+
Members of the JROTC made heir first public appearance when the group displayed at the first home football game against Hastings.

Members of the JROTC made heir first public appearance when the group displayed at the first home football game against Hastings.

Andrew Eccles

Andrew Eccles

Members of the JROTC made heir first public appearance when the group displayed at the first home football game against Hastings.

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Just down the halls from your new auxiliary gym is a new program at SHS called the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Fresh off the plate they learn different skills and gain the knowledge of Aerospace, Basic Facial Movement, and the close and opening rankings.

Other extracurricular they can do through JROTC is the color guard after school, the raider’s team, and the drill team (not the dancing ones). 30 to 40 students participate in the extracurricular after school; there are also competitions in Omaha for the drills team.

This is a brand new program at SHS but took a long time to get it endorsed into the school. “It wasn’t easy at all getting this program into the school” Mr. Halley said. “It took years, Since 2014 SHS had looked at other schools and loved the program, We met with Colonel Pete and showed him the area we had to work with He loved it and he got the process going a little faster, October 2016 SHS got approved we were able to hire Sargent William Runk in January of 2017”

Sargent Runk had joined our staff and immediately started getting the JROTC program onto its feet. Sargent Runk was introduced at the R&R assembly in 2017 by Mr. Halley and from there was starting to help grow the program.

All JROTC instructors have to go a standard training from home base in Alabama. They get to see the curriculum for the year and learn about teaching the students that curriculum

JROTC has 130 students enrolled and is hoping to grow its program. JROTC needs 10% of the student body to be enrolled to keep it going.

This program is regulated by the U.S Air Force everything from curriculum and how the classes are taught is all by the book from the Air Force. Each year JROTC gets new curriculum plans, every year is different. Once you take it as a freshman and you keep going to your senior year you won’t learn the same thing each year.

There are some guidelines that you must follow once you step foot into the classroom. Number 1 rule that Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Johnson holds dearly is Respect. Respect is a big part of the JROTC program inside and out of the classrooms.

The Curriculum is divided into different parts such as 40% Aerospace science, 40% Leadership education, and 20% Health and Wellness which does include some physical work such as the Basic Facial Movements.

Sargent Runk and Colonel Johnson refer to classes as Flights and the decision on which flight you are in depend on your rank, grade, and experience. In class the desk shows what position you are in. For example you can be a lieutenant on the left hand side desk.

“After high school I plan on going on into the army” Xenia Longoria said “ Most definitely join, it’s not boot camp, it’s so fun and it’s my favorite class period of the day” Longoria said about the program.

“I think other students will look at us as we are trying to be part of the air force but really its building character” Longoria said about wearing uniforms.

When joining the program you have to keep clean, cut your hair above the ear, can’t have any piercings except for a stud in the earlobe, keep shaved for the men and hair tied up for the girls. The Uniforms that JROTC wears are navy blue pants, a light blue shirt, and black shoes.

At the start of class you hear “Attention!” from Sargent Runk or Colonel Johnson, that’s how they start to take role and another task you do at the start of class is recite the Pledge of Allegiance. You will also walk in straight lines, at the front is the highest rank and in the back are the lowest.

The JROTC class is very hands on so expect to be up and around in the auxiliary gym and also in the classroom. Another difference between JROTC and you regular education class is that instead of having one teacher you have 2 instructors Sargent Runk and Colonel Johnson.

Developing citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community is the JROTC mission statement. They want to make sure that students interested know that this isn’t a recruiting mechanism, if you join you have no obligation to join the military someday.

“They just want to teach ways of self-discipline and and if the students decide if they want to join the military someday that’s their choice, it’s not a true recruiting program” Holley said regarding the question is it a way to recruit students.

“Sergeant does talk about recruitment but not that often” Longoria said. If interested you can talk to Colonel Johnson or Sargent Runk about recruitment but it is also touched on in class.

Discipline is handled the same way as in other classroom nothing is any different if a student steps out of line they are immediately taken down to the administration.

With JROTC there are scholarship opportunities such as a special consideration for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship. Many of those scholarships 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.

If you plan on taking your experience in JROTC to the actual Air Force you will have your 1st airmanship.  When doing this you can get a head start in the air force.

“I’d like to see it continue to grow and get more kids involved. I want kids to acquire leadership. I’m patriotic and I care for my country, I’m excited to see the color guard and it’ll develop a lot of skills you can use in life after high school.” Halley said.

The JROTC program push positive to the students about the Air Force like any other program would. Such as if a coach thinks that one of his players is good enough to play college ball, just like that JROTC does encourage the higher students to join the military if interested.

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JROTC kicks off inaugural year