Marketing efforts strengthen AHS JROTC

Marketing efforts continue to strengthen Arlington High School’s JROTC
AHS JROTCArlington High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFJROTC) continues to attract new students thanks to a strong marketing effort in the middle schools. In 2017, there were only 77 cadets in the program and the Air Force informed the district that the program would close on June 30, 2018 since it didn’t meet the 100 cadet minimum. The district asked for more time to attract cadets and the program grew to 103 cadets. Since that time, the number of cadets has hovered around 100. The 100-cadet minimum was suspended during the pandemic but it will be required again in fall 2023.

“Our outreach efforts include getting into middle school classes to talk with students about the fun they can have and skills they can learn in JROTC,” said Major Mike Blue, Arlington High School Senior Aerospace Science Instructor. “Activities include a cyber education program, color guard, leadership camp and even a paintball tournament. We follow up with middle schoolers during their lunchtime.”

This year, the program’s first female instructor, Senior Master Sergeant Yvette Larson, joined the program. The AHS JROTC is comprised of both male and female cadets.

“I think some students are under the impression that if you join JROTC, that you’re joining the military but that’s not the case,” said Senior Rihanna Sahnow. “It’s a great program that really teaches you some leadership skills.”

“The experiences I gained from JROTC will prepare me for life after high school,” said Senior Zachariah Christoffersen. “With the friends I made, it definitely made my high school experience the best it could be.”