AFJROTC equips students with workforce-ready skills


Cadets participate in AFJROTC’s four different levels and six class periods for the 2021-2022 school year.

Colin Denny, Staff Writer

Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFJROTC) is a class that is offered at 870 high schools worldwide according to Air University. However, CHS is the only high school in Fairfax County that has an AFJROTC program, while other schools in the county have JROTC programs for other branches of the military, such as South Lakes High School’s Army JROTC program and Herndon High School’s Navy JROTC program. 

The main goal of AFJROTC is to  prepare students to become dedicated to serving their community and their country.

“Some people think that because you are in this class you automatically join the military, and this is not true,” AFJROTC instructor and Chief Master Sergeant Al Clemmons said. “While some cadets enlist in the military after high school or go to college through an ROTC scholarship, about 20-25% of our cadets don’t do that at all. They go to college for different reasons or they join the workforce.” 

The course not only prepares students for careers in the military, but it also prepares students for college and other possible occupations by teaching them responsibility. It also teaches them valuable skills for the future such as, how to be a collaborator, communicator and how to treat people with respect. AFJROTC cadet and senior Calvin Kim is joining the Corps of Cadets at the University of Virginia Tech next year.

“I have learned a lot and feel like this program does its job at preparing students for the workforce,” Kim said. “I also train six days a week in the gym [specifically] for AFJROTC, which is a commitment that I make.”

Cadets in the class are provided a uniform and taught how to properly wear it. They are also required to wear it once a week for the school day.

“Wearing my uniform takes time and effort to wear it correctly,” Cadet and sophomore Simon Lee said. “I feel proud to be in the AFJROTC and to wear my uniform every week because of what the uniform means to the Air Force and to those who have served.” 

Cadets have the opportunity to learn about the Air Force and valuable life lessons inside and outside the classroom. Inside the classroom cadets learn core values. Outside the classroom cadets can participate in activities such as, drill team, color guard team, awareness presentation team, aeronautics and raider team. 

“AFJROTC is a character development class, so there are a lot of things that happen in the class and there are after school activities that cadets can choose to be a part of,” Clemmons said. “In the classroom, cadets learn about aviation history and how aviation has been shaped by world history particularly through military service. But, [they] also learn leadership foundations, core values and how they affect our lives every day.”

Students who are in the AFJROTC have the choice to participate in activities after school. Some cadets participate in clubs and sports after school and cannot participate in these activities.

“I do sports for all three seasons, so I am not able to attend after school AFJROTC activities,” Lee said. “But I still do my best to prepare for the limited class time that I have.”

Some cadets join in freshman year and continue in the class for all four years.

“AFJROTC taught me to always serve others and not to only care about my own success,” Lee said. “Helping others has allowed me to make bonds with my fellow cadets.”