By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
Cleveland High School will soon be getting something no other school in this immediate area has — a U.S. Air Force JROTC chapter. “This is something I am really excited to see,” said Dr. …
Cleveland High School will soon be getting something no other school in this immediate area has — a U.S. Air Force JROTC chapter.
“This is something I am really excited to see,” said Dr. Russell Dyer, director of Cleveland City Schools. “This is something we have been anticipating for a long time.”
In 2014, the Cleveland Board of Education voted to allow CHS to pursue getting a JROTC chapter. This past December, the U.S. Air Force notified the school system CHS had been approved. Dyer noted this program is "in really high demand," which is why the approval took so long
The Air Force JROTC — Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps — is a program for high school students offered on school campuses. The Air Force describes it as “a citizenship training program that is designed to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill personal responsibility, character and self-discipline.”
JROTC students take part in a variety of activities related to gaining knowledge of the military and aerospace science. Students moving through the ranks of it also take part in extracurricular activities designed to help teach students leadership skills, promote community service and more.
“It’s not just about getting out and doing drills,” Dyer said. “It’s going to be very advanced instruction with great educational value.”
Though students will learn about career opportunities in the military, they will not be required to enlist. Dyer said he expects this program will have the double-benefit of helping students explore their career possibilities while also gaining valuable knowledge.
Air Force JROTC classes are taught by current or retired Air Force personnel. Dyer said he has already interviewed a few people for this new teaching position at CHS. He said “wonderful” applicants from as far away as California were vying for the chance to teach in Cleveland.
This new teacher will begin work July 1 to begin preparing the new program, which will begin when students return to school this fall. Recruitment for the new program, which will be open to students in all high school grades, will begin in August.
CHS will not be the first school in this area to have a military JROTC program. However, it will be the first to have one affiliated with the Air Force. Bradley Central High School currently has an Army JROTC program.
For more information on the Air Force program and what it will eventually offer to students at CHS, visit www.afjrotc.com.
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