Air Force JROTC

On the 26th of March 2021, cadets were able to participate in field day during their last three class periods. Squadrons were tasked with creating a chant and shirts for their teams while also learning the 30 count drill sequence. Each team participated in physical activities including ultimate frisbee, kickball, tire-flipping, and much more. The Senior’s were in charge of planning all events, monitoring them, awarding trophies, and of course, cleaning up. The available prizes were: a trophy for the best team spirit, design, and chant, as well as the overall trophy for the winning squadron. The winner for team spirit was Bravo Squadron (Bravo Bullets) and the overall winner was our combined squadron of Delta/Foxtrot/Golf (The Basic Airmen)! Cadets made sure to stay hydrated throughout with frequent water checks during the event.

Congratulations to Luca Hewett of West Orange High School, who has been awarded the National Veteran Business Development Council scholarship for the State of Florida. Luca was awarded this scholarship for making a big impact in our community and representing the future of our country. Click here to view the complete list of winners.

A great option next year for your child at West Orange high is our outstanding Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program. Your child must take a HOPE (Health Opportunities through Physical Education) credit and two fine arts credits; AFJROTC grants one of each. AFJROTC is NOT a military recruitment program, but rather a class at West Orange High focused on Character Development. 40% of the course is academics where students learn the Principles of Aviation, Space Exploration, and Cultural Studies. 40% is leadership education, where students learn to command themselves and lead others while exercising the Air Force’s Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. The final 20% is Physical Fitness – where students learn to push themselves beyond their self-imposed limits.

In addition to the base curriculum, your child will get outstanding opportunities to do things she or he may have never considered: launch rockets, fly planes and unmanned drones, participate in STEM competitions, compete in unarmed and armed drill competitions, perform community service, participate in military balls and traditions, and learn through a bevy of behind-the-scenes curriculum-in-action field trips to amazing places like Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Orlando International Airport, and various technology and graphical simulation conferences.

Your child will learn to dream big and work hard to achieve those dreams. He or she will study under 20+ year retired Air Force Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. AFJROTC at West Orange has a distinguished history of breeding top-notch graduates including, Academy appointees, ROTC and academic full-ride scholarship recipients, and even the 2017-2018 WOHS valedictorian. Two years of Aerospace Science can waive the HOPE requirement for graduation. If this sounds good to you, discuss it with your child, then contact WOHS Guidance and ask them to sign up your daughter or son for Aerospace Science 1.

Air Force Junior ROTC provides great opportunities to the students of West Orange HS. The AFJROTC program is designed to offer high school students leadership experiences and motivate them to become better American citizens. AFJROTC combines classroom instruction with service to school and community, extracurricular and social activities and the chance to develop leadership skills within a military structured environment. Over the past 15 consecutive years our cadets have done an exceptional job as demonstrated by their selection as a “Distinguished Unit” in each of those years. This year we have had many individual successes as well.

Luca Hewett was selected for the $10,000 NVBDC Scholarship. This is a new scholarship for Florida and also comes with a brand new state of the art laptop computer. NVBDC stands for the National Veteran Business Development Council. It is the leading Veteran Owned Business Certification organization developed by Veterans, for Veterans. The purpose is to provide a credible and reliable certifying authority for all size businesses ensuring that valid documentation exists of a Veterans status, ownership and operational control.

Erika Wetmore was selected as the MOAA Cadet of the Year and a $1,000 scholarship. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) established the MOAA Scholarship Fund in 1948 to provide educational assistance benefits to children of military families. It supports one of the association's founding principles: education is the cornerstone of a strong democracy. It is funded by donations from MOAA members, Councils and Chapters, corporations, and others with a desire to help military families.

Three cadets (Luca Hewett, Andrew Henderson, and Merial Smith) were selected to participate as delegates in the prestigious American Legion Boys and Girls State program. The Boys and Girls State program is American Legion based program that sculpts the leaders of tomorrow and educates the students about: the structure and processes of government along with the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens. The cadets will spend a week at the state capital in Tallahassee all-expense paid this summer. Our hearty congratulations go out to these outstanding cadets for being selected for this coveted program.

Our cadets continue to do great things for the community every year, emboldened by the unit motto “Lead, Serve, Dream”. This year they accumulated over 1,545 hours of community service which will help them to earn the hours needed for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.