Wenatchee High School officials have received approval from the United States Airforce to offer an Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program starting in August 2022. The program offering is the first of its kind in the Wenatchee Valley. The Wenatchee School District and WHS started the AFJROTC program application process 18 months ago, a process that typically takes up to three years to complete.
Available to Wenatchee School District students in grades 9-12, the AFJROTC program will provide high school students with a new opportunity to earn core and elective credits when it begins at the start of the 22-23 school year. The program is designed to educate and train cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill personal responsibility, character, and self-discipline. The program achieves this through classroom education in air and space fundamentals and hands-on learning opportunities in a number of fun and challenging extra-curricular activities. AFJROTC is not a USAF accessions program and cadets are never under any obligation to join the military.
“Not only are we excited about the in-class learning for our students,'' said Wenatchee High School Principal, Eric Anderson upon learning of their acceptance, “but we’re also excited about the leadership and character development aspects along with the service-learning opportunities that are embedded into the program.”
AFJROTC is the newest addition to the growing course and program offerings through the high school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) department. CTE currently offers a menu of career-connected learning opportunities for students in areas such as engineering, health occupations, agribusiness, and manufacturing.
Jake Bucholz, Wenatchee School District CTE director, is eager to begin the partnership with the AFJROTC and expand new and different high-quality career development offerings to students. “We believe we put together a compelling application that showed WHS and the Wenatchee community were the right fit for this,” he said. Bucholz believes the officers that evaluated WHS’s application quickly recognized the alignment between the shared values of our community and school district and the values of the Air Force. The 18-month application process included a site visit by Air Force personnel to the high school and surrounding community as well as meetings with district and high school administration.
The new AFJROTC program also illuminates the District’s new strategic plan priorities of opportunities and partnerships and the future-ready outcome of involvement in real-world relevant learning.
The District is currently recruiting two AFJROTC instructors to lead the program and work with high school staff to create awareness of the program among students and families. Complete position descriptions and applications are available on the district’s website wenatcheeschools.org
More information about the AFJROTC is available at airuniversity.af.edu/Holm-Center/AFJROTC
About the Airforce Junior ROTC
AFJROTC provides citizenship training and an aerospace science program for high school students. Secondary school students who enroll in the AFJROTC program are offered a wide variety of curricular and co-curricular activities. The program explores the historic and scientific aspects of aerospace technology and teaches high school students self-reliance, self-discipline, and other leadership characteristics. Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) concepts are also an important part of this world-class program. The AFJROTC program is open to 9th-12th grade students who are citizens of the United States. By Title 10 USC, the program is a citizenship program and not chartered as a recruiting program for the military services and those students who participate in AFJROTC do not incur any obligation to the Air Force.
AFJROTC objectives are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill a sense of responsibility, develop character, leadership, and self-discipline through education and instruction in air and space fundamentals and the Air Force’s core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.