HomeNewsArticle Display

'All in' Investing in tomorrow—Air Force Junior ROTC

Air Force Junior ROTC cadets from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, celebrate after winning the Joint Service Academic Bowl Championship at the 2017 Junior ROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Championship in Washington, D.C., in June, 2017. This is the second year in a row that cadets from Scripps Ranch have won the award. (Courtesy photo)

Air Force Junior ROTC cadets from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, celebrate after winning the Joint Service Academic Bowl Championship at the 2017 Junior ROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Championship in Washington, D.C., in June, 2017. This is the second year in a row that cadets from Scripps Ranch have won the award. (Courtesy photo)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold said, “We must think in terms of tomorrow.” At Air University we do just that; tomorrow is our focus today.

Throughout America’s history we have seen numerous studies link the education of our children to national security. One such report came in 2012 from the Council on Foreign Relations. In a PBS news interview that same year, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, “Education could be (our) greatest national security challenge.” While many experts may debate Ms. Rice’s comment and that of these reports, one thing is clear: our educational system produces our next generation of parents, entrepreneurs, politicians, leaders, and warriors. Education indirectly, if not directly, impacts every aspect of our tomorrow. If you and I value the idea of our children having a better life than we do, then our commitment, time and resources need to be “all in,” supporting the next generation’s education.

As president and commander of the Air Force’s Air University, I am committed to a strong and vibrant secondary educational system that develops leaders, enriches minds and inspires service. Why is Air University committed to a strong secondary educational system? General Arnold put it best again: “… our Air Force belongs to those who come from ranks of labor, management, the farms, the stores, the professions and colleges and legislative halls … Air Power will always be the business of every American Citizen.” Simply put, our students today will become the great Americans who may choose to defend our country as Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers and Marines tomorrow. The vast majority, however, will provide health care, plant fields, transform technology, manage businesses and lead our country.

Junior ROTC is the Air Force’s largest educational program. That’s right, our largest educational program is not serving Airmen; it serves high school students in 898 schools across the nation. This is not a mistake. It’s an investment with dividends payable to the United States of America. Air University pours time and resources into your sons and daughters every day, but we want to do more. Our challenge in accomplishing more is balancing current military needs and resources with increasing support to our high school outreach programs. The best way we can do more is to capitalize on partnerships. By joining forces with like-minded organizations, our time, resources and efforts go further.

Junior ROTC is already one of the Air Force’s leading organizations participating in public-private partnerships. Junior ROTC is currently working with over 650 school districts across the nation. Teaming with local school districts has allowed our joint resources to attract and retain top-quality instructors, provide a world-class curriculum and expose 120,000 high school students to amazing leadership opportunities. In fact, we could not afford to do this on our own. If we want to do more we need a larger team. I have directed my staff to explore more ways to partner with other government agencies, elected officials, corporate America and non-profit organizations dedicated to citizenship, leadership and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities for America’s youth.

Air Force Junior ROTC operates in 49 states and 15 overseas locations, and it is an incredibly diverse student organization with 58 percent minority and 40 percent female students. In 2016, 50 percent of our programs were in low-income Title 1 schools. Our students learn and practice aerospace science, leadership and citizenship tenants. Additionally, last year they performed over 1.6 million community service hours in local communities. Partnering with Junior ROTC provides a unique opportunity to reach students across the country. Junior ROTC brings a lot to the table, and we are looking for opportunities to team with the right people and organizations to make a difference. The bottom line is this, if we want to change tomorrow, it requires we do something today. I’m all in! Are you?


Facebook Twitter
#ICYMI Yesterday, #USAF Chief of Staff @GenDaveGoldfein had the privilege of presenting the Air Force Cross to Tech… https://t.co/E1f8TBgJYn
Planning to visit the National #911PentagonMemorial? Know before you go; the memorial will close temporarily later… https://t.co/8dBsvEl1gW
RT @ActingSecAF: Op-ed | The U.S. Space Force must be independent but not insular - https://t.co/VAoFe3oXF1 https://t.co/swaIMlVVDZ
👋 Hello @CityOfDallas, #AmericasAirForce is heading your way Sept. 27. Mark your calendars and meet us there!… https://t.co/MWnoLe8aSF
RT @DeptofDefense: Can we fix it?! 👷 $106,176 is how much money the @usairforce saved, thanks to Tech. Sgt. Keith Boudreau’s innovative 3D-…
RT @WomenInAviation: USAF women pilots to provide inspiration to future female aviators https://t.co/HsQuy6RKSH #WomeninAviation #GIAD19 #F
RT @AFResearchLab: "The technologies of tomorrow will exist because of the "Basic Research" of today." Read more on how we're collaboratin…
#WatchLive today at 9:00 A.M. EDT as Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force nominee, testifies before Congr… https://t.co/7DsAHZSZRL
RT @PACAF: #PACAF photo of the Week! #Defenders from bases around the world converged on #Guam to drill in close quarters urban combat as…
An Oral History of 9/11 - Commander Anthony Barnes, "That first hour was mass confusion because there was so much e… https://t.co/cqmFnxB9LA
RT @ActingSecAF: We will #NeverForget the lives lost, both victims and first responders, or those Airmen who have sacrificed so much since…
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks @JohnBoozman & @RepGaramendi for hosting an early #USAF birthday celebration & honoring the service of our #Airmen
RT @DeptofDefense: WATCH LIVE: @POTUS Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, & Chairman @thejointstaff @USMC Gen. Joe Dunfor…
RT @AirmanMagazine: The paint job on these @48FighterWing F-15s is similar to that of the P-47 Thunderbolt, the primary aircraft used by th…
Six years ago, Lt. Col. Dan Magruder lost his friend and fellow #AirForce Veteran to suicide. Their training didn't… https://t.co/fY7sVgrriF
#ICYMI, the #F22 turned 22! Happy Birthday! https://t.co/KH4m6FnJk5
RT @Eagles: Thanks to the 177th Fighter Wing for today's amazing flyover! #AFFlyover | #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/s7EJqi1O1l
RT @AirmanMagazine: A B-2 Spirit from @Whiteman_AFB received fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker above the Norwegian Sea, Sept. 5, 2019. This e…