Air Force Junior ROTC cadets learn how to safely handle drones, air rifles, rockets and more

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Drill Team  
Air Force Junior ROTC cadets across the nation dedicate countless hours to their unit’s drill team. Drill Team participation is used as a means of instilling discipline and esprit de corps, and continues to be one of the finest methods for developing confidence and leadership abilities of cadets.  Units compete at local, state, regional and national drill team competitions throughout the year.  While fostering a friendly and entertaining environment, these competitions provide cadets an opportunity to showcase their hours of dedication and tremendous marching skills. 


The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, or CyberPatriot, is an educational program designed to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other STEM disciplines critical to the nation's cyber technology future. The nation's largest cyber defense competition puts high school and middle school students in charge of securing virtual networks. JROTC cadets on the winning team will each receive a full scholarship to Gannon University; second-place team members receive a $4,000 scholarship, and third-place team members receive a $3,000 scholarship.  Additionally, many cadets receive offers for paid internships with industry leaders such as CISCO and Lockheed Martin during the summer.  For more information on CyberPatriot go to


StellarXplorers provides students with leadership opportunities, gives members insight into the space industry, and cultivates relationships between students and professionals. Launching students into STEM careers, the program welcomes those who are interested in space, no matter what level of experience, as a place to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences with others who share a similar passion for problem-solving, team collaboration, and space system design. Each member of the winning StellarXplorers national competition receives a $3,000 scholarship along with various offers of summer paid Internships from industry leaders in space. For more information on StellarXplorers go to

Academic Bowl 
One of the main goals of the JROTC Academic Bowl is to prepare students for state exit/graduation exams as well as college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT.  However, many JROTC instructors are understandably interested in measuring how well their cadets are learning the JROTC curriculum. Therefore, each level of the competition contains a mix of questions from the JROTC curriculum, as well as English, Math, and Science questions. 

Color Guard
The Color Guard is one of the most visible co-curricular activities within the Air Force Junior ROTC program. Being part of the Color Guard enables cadets to properly present the national colors for selected events throughout the school year. A Color Guard consists of four highly motivated cadets that take pride in the presentation of the national colors at many events.

Marksmanship Program 
Have you ever wanted to learn how to safely handle and fire a rifle?  Then the Marksmanship Program will be of interest to you.  This program introduces cadets to marksmanship and the safe handling of an air rifle.  Cadets will learn how to handle, clean, and fire the air rifle.  Scholarships are also available at numerous colleges for marksmanship.

Aerospace Static Model Program 
Do you enjoy building things?  Then the Aerospace Static Model Program is for you. The program provides cadets with knowledge on how to design and/or build small model rockets or planes.  Cadets are also given the opportunity to compete at rocketry competitions. 

Cadet Orientation Flight Program 
The cadet orientation flight program shares the thrill of flying with cadets. Cadets receive general aviation knowledge through hands-on familiarization flights in single-engine aircraft.  Cadets may also receive an orientation flight on other military aircraft. 

Leadership Lab Activities 
Instead of spending your summer sitting in the house why not go to a Leadership Activity or Academy.  Leadership Lab Activities are summer activities for cadets.  These programs are located all over the world and focus on a variety of activities.  Not only do you get to experience JROTC you will also make lasting friendships from Cadets at other JROTC units.  Cadets participate in activities that range from flying, physical fitness, orienteering, and drill. 

Learn to find your way by following a set of directions or a map.  Cadets compete against other cadets to see who can complete the task at hand.

Drones are offered as an educational and recreational experience.  Students experience the world’s fastest-growing technology, creating collaborative learning lessons in engineering, iterative design, and applied science.  After learning flying safety regulations, students start with the basics of flight and then move on to autonomous flight skills, programming their drone for autonomous operation.  From building drones to programming them, drones are a trailblazing educational tool that prepares students for the future in careers that haven’t even been invented yet.  For more information on Drones go to

Robotics is not only the future, but also the present. Partnered with the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation presenting the VEX Worlds Robotics competition, cadets are familiarized with programming, sensors, and automation. They hone critical computation thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century's workforce and in everyday life. Beyond science, robotics develops creative engineering, teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving. This year AFJROTC cadets won the VEX Robotics' Excellence and Aspire Awards, which are the highest awards given by VEX for robotics design and performance.  For more information on Robotics go to

Raider Competitions, or “Raider” as it is more commonly known, are athletic competitions between JROTC programs from all services around the United States. Raider event formats differ depending on location.  Events take place outdoors and typically feature personal fitness/individual strength tests (i.e., push-ups, curl-ups, tire drag, obstacle course, etc.). Raider events also include a distance team running event, along with some type of "through the woods" obstacle event, and a rescue/first aid event (e.g., rescuing a body from the woods on a litter). Lastly, most Raider events include some form of rope bridge construction and/or a transport component.  Raider is a mental and physical test of strength and endurance that takes a committed group of cadets who are willing to train hard and push themselves to the limit. For more information on Raiders go to

Partnered with the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), JROTC’s Archery program is aimed at improving focus, self-control, discipline, patience, and the life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life.  Archery is an inclusive sport that allows students of all abilities to participate. It doesn’t discriminate based on athletic skill, size, gender, or economic background. For more information on NASP® and Archery, visit

JROTC’s Rocketry program is partnered with the American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest rocket competition, with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year.  Rocketry gives students the opportunity to design, build, and launch model rockets and provides hands-on experience with solving engineering problems. The goal is to motivate students to consider aerospace as a career field. Co-sponsors include the American Association of Physics Teachers, Estes Industries, the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and NASA. Rocketry competitions involve designing and building a model rocket (650 grams or less in weight, 650 millimeters or more in length using NAR-certified model rocket motors totaling 80 N-sec or less of total impulse) that carries a payload of one Grade A Large egg for a flight duration of 43-46 seconds, and to an altitude of exactly 820 feet (measured by an onboard altimeter), and to return the egg to earth safely by parachute, without cracking it. For more information on Rocketry go to