Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) can track its heritage to a program founded in 1911 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by Army Lt Edgar R. Steevers. Lieutenant Steevers was assigned as an inspector-instructor of the organized military of Wyoming. During his assignment, he envisioned a non-compulsory cadet corps comprised of high school students. His program was aimed at making better citizens.
The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized a junior course for non-college military schools, high schools, and other non-preparatory schools. The Army implemented JROTC in 1916. Public Law 88-647, commonly known as the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964, directed the secretaries of each military service to establish and maintain JROTC units for their respective services. The first Air Force JROTC programs were opened in 1966.
“The purpose of Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps is to instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.” (10 USC Sec 2031)
Air Force JROTC (AFJROTC) is a continuing success story. From a modest beginning of 20 units in 1966, AFJROTC has grown to over 790 units throughout the world, with approximately 103,000 cadets. The AFJROTC program positively influences our country by helping one student at a time. Comprised solely of active duty Air Force retirees, the AFJROTC instructor force is helping to form tomorrow’s nation by educating proud and patriotic cadets—tomorrow’s leaders.