By Tracie Skaggs

Beginning this August, Carl Junction High School will embark on an exciting new journey as it welcomes over 50 students to its inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC program. Led by Major Scott Norman and Captain Courtney Bailey, this four-year program aims to provide students with a unique high school experience, instilling values of leadership, discipline and service. The AFJROTC program at Carl Junction High School promises to offer an array of enriching opportunities, from classroom instruction to field trips, social events and community service initiatives.

Building the Foundation:
In its first year, the AFJROTC course will focus on leadership, providing students with a comprehensive introduction to the history, organization, mission, traditions, goals and objectives of the Air Force and the JROTC program. Major Norman and Captain Bailey have taken on the crucial task of establishing and nurturing this program, which aims to go beyond traditional classroom activities. By creating a strong foundation through this introductory year, the AFJROTC program at Carl Junction High School will pave the way for future classes, evolving into a four-year curriculum.

Comprehensive High School Experience:
At Carl Junction High School, the AFJROTC program aims to offer a holistic high school experience that will prepare students academically and equip them with valuable life skills. Alongside regular coursework, students will participate in aerospace science, leadership education, drill and ceremonies, and health and wellness activities. These diverse components of the program will contribute to the students’ personal growth, self-discipline and ability to work collaboratively as a team.

Field Trips and Social Events:
To enhance the learning experience, the AFJROTC program will feature exciting field trips that expose students to real-world applications of the knowledge they acquire in the classroom. These trips may include visits to Air Force bases, aviation museums and other relevant destinations, providing students with firsthand exposure to the military and aerospace industries. Additionally, social events will be organized to foster camaraderie among the participants, allowing them to form lasting bonds with their fellow cadets.

Community Service Opportunities:
The AFJROTC program places a strong emphasis on community service, encouraging students to give back and make a positive impact. Through various service projects and initiatives, participants will have the chance to actively engage with their local community, promoting civic responsibility and developing a sense of empathy and compassion. These community service experiences will further enhance their leadership skills while instilling in them a lifelong commitment to service.

Physical Education and Graduation Requirements:
One noteworthy aspect of the AFJROTC program at Carl Junction High School is its unique contribution to the physical education requirements for graduation. By completing two years of JROTC curriculum, students can fulfill their physical education obligations while simultaneously benefiting from the program’s comprehensive offerings. This aspect of the program provides students with flexibility in their academic schedules, enabling them to explore other areas of interest or take on additional coursework aligned with their career goals.

The introduction of the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Carl Junction High School marks an exciting opportunity for students seeking a comprehensive high school experience that goes beyond traditional academics. The program aims to instill leadership skills, a sense of discipline and a commitment to service. Through engaging classroom activities, field trips, social events and community service opportunities, students will acquire invaluable skills that will serve them well in high school, college, their future careers and life as responsible and engaged citizens. The AFJROTC program at Carl Junction High School sets a new standard for holistic education, empowering students to reach new heights and positively impact the world around them.