Citizenship, leadership, character and community service – these are the core tenets of high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs, or JROTC. Those values are at the heart of the JROTC Cadet Creed that emphasizes working to better the lives of the cadet’s family, the school community and our country.
For students like Ahtumn Rains and Nancy Dorado, the Air Force JROTC, also known as AFJROTC, couldn’t be a more perfect choice to build their leadership skills.
“Ever since freshman year, my squadron colleagues has always made me feel like I belong, and they challenge me every day to become a better person and leader,” said Rains.
AFJROTC programs teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork and self-discipline.
APS serves over 200 students through two AFJROTC squadrons at Aurora Central and Gateway high schools. While there are no obligations to enlist in the military, some students pursue higher education with the intent of joining the reserves or going to a military academy.
Students choose AFJROTC as an elective, and the classes are taught by retired Air Force commissioned and noncommissioned officers.
“One of the main objectives of the JROTC program is to clear the path for life after high school,” said Col. Dana “Pete” Nielsen, AFJROTC instructor at Aurora Central. All of the students participate in extracurricular activities and community service.
“We are taught essential life skills,” said Dorado. “For example, right now we are learning how to do our taxes and how to buy a car.”
We salute all APS cadets as they develop the knowledge, skills and character necessary to shape successful futures.