Cera Deneke, Journalist

What do the regular classes do? 

The class is an elective, so it works just like any other class. You, as a cadet, have AFJROTC in one of the seven hours of your day. Instead of calling it an hour though, we call it our flight. For example, I have the class third hour, so, going by the military alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, etc), I am in C flight. In AFJROTC, we learn aerospace science and leadership education. What you learn in the class is dependent on how many years you’ve been in AFJROTC. First-year cadets learn AS-100 (aerospace science 100, basically like a level one) and second-year cadets learn AS-200. Currently,  second-year cadets are learning about the middle east. We were previously taught about Africa. On Wednesdays, when you see us wearing our uniforms, we drill. Drill refers to the orderly movement of an individual or group from one place to another. Drill is commonly used in the military. Fridays, we do PT or physical training. This is when we work on achieving our fitness goals by the end of the year. It’s similar to a regular PE class, except you have to wear a uniform.


What are some ways that AFJROTC prepares you for the future?

AFJROTC builds strong leaders, instills confidence, and overall shapes you into a model citizen. This class teaches you very important skills that will be necessary for your future such as accountability, teamwork, resilience, and discipline among other things. These are skills you will need in the future no matter your plan after high school. Leadership is a huge part of the class. Cadets in the class have the opportunity to apply for various “jobs” in the program. These jobs include Squadron Commander, Director of Support, Director of Operations, Logistics Officer, Finance Officer, Education Officer, and many others. What these cadets do depends on their job, of course, but for example, the Logistics Officer is in charge of two other cadets who, together, watch over $60,000 worth of equipment and uniforms. As the Personnel Officer, I can say that having a leadership position helps improve confidence, accountability, and adds a unique experience. I also get to be in charge of two other cadets, which is fun. 


What are some activities they do? Do they compete in any competitions?

AFJROTC is a class but also has many co-curricular activities such as marksmanship, CyberPatriot, color guard, drill team, honor guard, and awareness presentation team (APT). These are clubs that take place after school. Most of the clubs do compete in competitions. Our new marksmanship team regularly competes against other schools’ AFJROTC marksmanship teams, and last year, our CyberPatriot team even won the state championship! Activities during the actual AFJROTC class include field trips (we’ve gone to Scott Air Force base in Illinois and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama. Trust me, we go on some really cool field trips.), flying drones, and, on Wednesdays, drill. 


Are some students actually allowed to change out of their uniform on Wednesdays? As well as why are kids that aren’t intended to go forward with army/navy/etc allowed to take the course?

Yes, some students are allowed to change out of their uniforms if there is a risk that a class will do damage to the uniform. Students in PE classes are allowed to change into their PE clothes, too, of course. AFJROTC is a militarily structured program, but there is no military obligation; you can be in AFJROTC and not join any field of the military. The goal of the class is to bring up leaders and teach about responsibility, teamwork, and other various soft skills.


How does wearing the uniform affect your grade in the class?

Every Wednesday when were all dressed up, we do uniform inspections. This is when our flight commander (a student from each flight who watches over the flight) looks over our uniforms to make sure we’re all looking sharp. Is our shirt ironed? Are our shoes shined? Is our belt gleaming? Is our hair groomed properly? We’re graded depending on how well we dress. There’s even a ribbon (award) you can win for having a fantastic appearance!


Are the regulation shoes comfortable and appealing, or are they uncomfortable?

The black shoes can be a tight fit at first but the more you wear them, the more comfortable they become. 


Do you guys have fun?

Of course we do! One fun thing we do out of school is the annual AFJROTC Field Day. On this day (usually towards the end of the first semester), all of the flights come together and compete against each other for the Outstanding Flight trophy. We compete by doing drone flying, races, and team-building activities such as the four-legged race or escorting a blindfolded cadet through an obstacle course. 


Is it an honor to be a part of it?

It is! I’ve always had immense respect for the military and being in AFJROTC is like a way to say thank you. It is amazing to see how much of an impact you can make by being in this class. We do community service and there’s really something satisfying about helping the community, especially when a veteran talks to you. 


Would I be able to join next semester?

Yep! Just talk to your counselor about signing up.


Does AFJROTC Last the entire 4 years of high school or does it switch to ROTC at some point of time?

AFJROTC lasts all four years of high school if you sign up for it each semester. ROTC is for college students.


I transferred here a year ago from a different state. I was never informed about this, I’ve only heard about it. How can I be properly informed about it?

If this FAQ doesn’t answer all your questions, you are free to talk to Colonel Goodin who is our instructor. You can also ask anyone already in AFJROTC or your counselor.