The Junior ROTC program began in 1911 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The originator of this idea was Army Lieutenant Edgar R. Steevers, assigned the duty of inspector-instructor of the organized military of Wyoming. The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized a junior course for non-college military schools, high schools, and other non-preparatory schools; the Army implemented Junior ROTC in 1916. Public Law 88-647, commonly known as the Reserve Officer Training Corps Vitalization Act of 1964, directed the secretaries of each military service to establish and maintain Junior ROTC units at public and private secondary schools which apply for and are eligible according to the regulations established by each secretary. Such schools must provide a course of military instruction not less than 3 years in length as prescribed by the military department concerned.
With a modest beginning of 20 units in 1966 Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) has grown to 880 high schools throughout the world, including units located in the Department of Defense Schools in Europe, the Pacific and Puerto Rico. Junior ROTC enrollment worldwide includes over 125,000 cadets. Only boys were allowed as cadets in 1966, but Public Law 93-165 amended the requirement that a Junior ROTC unit have a minimum number of physically fit male students, thus allowing female students to count toward the minimum students needed for a viable unit. In 1972 the enrollment included 2,170 females making up 9% of the corps. Since then the number of females has increased to over 38% of the cadet corps.
Our AFJROTC program started in 2005 as a squadron with approximately 85 cadets and has now grown in numbers to become a cadet group. Over the years, our cadets have performed approximately 15,000+ hours of community service throughout Federal Way and the Puget Sound area. Consequently, our cadets earned AFJROTC’s Silver Star Community Service in Excellence Award for the second time in a row. This award is the fourth highest AFJROTC award and reserved for the top 15 units (out of 880 units), nationally and overseas, that have the highest cadet average of community service hours. As result of our cadet’s very hard work, the Director of AFJROTC recognized our unit as an AFJROTC Distinguished Unit for the 10th time; making it one of the best units in the United States and overseas.
Our wonderful cadets have established a very good legacy.