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July 6, 2012

Tomorrow’s leaders train at March Field

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by Jale Wesley
452 AMW public affairs student volunteer
120629-F-OO000-001
Sixteen-year-old Mari Orona, Air Force JROTC cadet leader from Rancho Verde High School, addresses a subordinate during an open-ranks inspection at March Air Reserve Base last month. The students were participating in a March ARB-sponsored, two-week Leadership school. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jale Wesley)

March Air Reserve Base hosted Rancho Verde High School’s Air Force JROTC during the cadets’ annual Leadership School here, June 18.

The two-week school brings cadets to March Field every day to tour the base, see the inner workings of Air Force Reserve missions and interact with March personnel, giving the students a working knowledge of the many job opportunities available in the Total Force Air Force.

A typical tour may take them to see maintainers, flight operations, a Fit-to-Fight session at the base gym or the March Field Air Museum, and even a trip to the Back Street Café for lunch that is geared specifically for the teens.

Rancho Verde cadets were even treated to a C-17 Globemaster III orientation flight.

“When I sat in the cockpit it motivated me to push forward with my goal to be a pilot,” said cadet Clifton Rawlings.

Students who were given the opportunity to participate were thankful for the experience.

“The tour is actually really fun and we get to do a lot of hands-on activities here that a lot of other people don’t get to experience,” said 16-year-old cadet, Mari Orona.

Other than the summer heat, most of the JROTC members seemed to enjoy the education with an Air Force twist.

“Every time I come here it’s a new experience,” said cadet Danny Mejia, a four-time veteran of the Leadership School.

Instructors Capt. Jeffrey A. Stein and Master Sgt. Ismael Fred choose approximately 40 cadets to tour the base each year based on classroom behavior and progression in the JROTC program. The experience helps students learn how to be effective leaders and prepares them for jobs after high school.

Visit http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/AFJROTC/JoinJROTC.asp to learn more about the JROTC program.




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