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Junior ROTC expands, seeks retirees to teach at new units

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- Airmen planning to retire within the next couple of years and Airmen who have retired within the past five years may want to look to Junior ROTC before storing their uniforms, said Jo Alice Talley. She is the Air Force Junior ROTC instructor management chief.

Air Force Junior ROTC will add 201 units by fall 2007, creating a need for an additional 402 aerospace science instructors to teach in high-school classrooms worldwide, Ms. Talley said.

“The mission of the (Junior ROTC) program is to build better citizens for America,” she said. “Many instructors find their relationships with the students, schools and communities the most satisfying aspect of the job.”

In early 2005, 50 Air Force Junior ROTC units will open and will need at least 100 new instructors for the 2005 to 2006 school year. In early 2006 and 2007, another 75 and 76 units, respectively, will open.

People from all career fields are needed, said Col. H.B. McCarraher III, Air Force Junior ROTC director.

“It doesn't matter what background the person had in the Air Force,” he said. “The leadership skills, customs and courtesies, academic background and professional military education are all excellent preparations for becoming a leader (and) role model in the Air Force Junior ROTC classroom.”

The Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, recently added Air Force Junior ROTC teaching opportunities to the transition assistance program’s mandatory pre-retirement counseling to get the word out to people scheduled to retire.

Teaching in the Junior ROTC program is a satisfying experience, said retired Maj. Barbara Marshall-Coleman, the senior aerospace science instructor at a high school in Montgomery, Ala. The major said she especially enjoys preparing sophomores for their junior and senior years.

“Having students come to visit years later as officers and (noncommissioned officers) tells me that we are having a positive effect on the students we teach,” Major Marshall-Coleman said.

Senior Master Sgt. Jodell Dunlap, who is beginning her second month as an assistant aerospace instructor, said she enjoys watching students advance in the program.

“They are very different from (how) they were (at the beginning of the school year),” she said. “Junior ROTC gives them a secure place to have the freedom to learn and grow.”

Air Force officers or enlisted Airmen who retired from active duty within the past five years or less, and those who have at least 20 years of service may apply, Ms. Talley said. Active-duty Airmen may apply when they are within six months of their retirement date. In some instances, the five-year date of retirement can be waived up to 10 years. Waiver consideration is based on the program needs and applicant qualifications.

Instructors wear the Air Force uniform and are expected to maintain appearance standards. In addition, they receive, as a minimum, a salary equal to the difference between their retired pay and their active-duty pay and allowances.

For more information, call the Air Force Junior ROTC division toll free at (866) 235-7682, ext. 35275 or 35300. The DSN number is 493-5275 or 5300.

Perspective applicants can also write: HQ AFOATS/JRI, 551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6106; or visit their Web site at www.afoats.af.mil and then select the AFJROTC link. (Courtesy of Air Education and Training News Service)

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