Shepard JROTC cadets learn what it takes on USAF base

  • Written by Bob McParland


  Selected to attend Summer Leadership School,REPORTER-3-col-ROTCAshley Burgoine, a U.S. Air Force JROTC cadet from Shepard High School, falls backward as classmates catch her during a trust and team building exercise at Summer Leadership School at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis. a half dozen U.S. Air Force JROTC cadets from Shepard High School could hardly have made more of their summers.

  They joined nearly 150 other USAF JROTC students from Illinois, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi and Wisconsin. The experience blended physical training, team building, and an opportunity to glimpse life as an Air Force officer.
  “There were lots of team building and leadership activities, as well as demonstrations from the Honor Guard, military working dogs, and tours of various Air Force work centers,” said Major Dan Johnson, the senior aeronautical science instructor at Shepard.
  Security forces day always proves a highlight.
  That day, students receive a glimpse of deployed life in the field. Air Force personnel bring weapons and vehicles employed by Air Force security forces.
  Students explored work centers such as airplane hangars, air traffic control and civil engineering at Scott Air Force Base, near St. Louis.
  USAF assigns students to a flight of 10 other cadets. At the end of the SLS, each flight competes in a drill competition, and flights are recognized for their overall performance in athletics, room and uniform inspections, drill and ceremonies, and other aspects of training.
  Shepard junior Josh Reynolds won the Outstanding Cadet award from his flight.
  The U.S. Air Force this year chose to name the top cadet honor for former Shepard student Arielle Terry. Arielle, a leader in the JROTC program, transferred to Homewood-Flossmoor High School at the start of her senior year in the fall of 2012. Tragically, she died after a short illness.
  Nick Knoth, a student at O’Fallon High School in downstate Illinois, won the inaugural Arielle Terry Outstanding Cadet Award.