Cathedral Preparatory School
Villa Maria Academy

Air Force Junior ROTC Q&A


The purpose of Air Force JROTC is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. The course is a blend of academics, leadership-building, community service, physical fitness, and FUN!

We must be doing something right as JROTC has seen a huge growth over the last four years, from 78 to 135. We currently are projected to have over 100 students in the program for the 2022-2023 academic year, which is about 15% of the entire Cathedral Prep student body.

We realize students have many questions or concerns about JROTC. Here are the most common:

Question: What is the Air Force Junior ROTC program?

Answer: Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFJROTC) is a military-regulated high school program that exists to instill in students the values of citizenship, service, and personal responsibility through education and mentoring. In JROTC class, cadets will learn about a variety of topics ranging from aviation science and military customs and courtesies to communication skills and organizational management. Students will occasionally have the opportunity to take field trips to places like the Air Force Museum to expand on the curriculum. Above all, JROTC provides cadets with many opportunities for leadership and character development. Most of the JROTC experience occurs outside of the classroom, where cadets participate in clubs and teams, engage in community service, attend special events, and lead unit projects.

Question: Do I have to join the military?
Answer: Despite what you hear, JROTC is not a military recruiting tool. There is no obligation to enlist in the military. In fact, most cadets in JROTC do not end up joining the military. Over the last few years, graduating seniors only had  15% joining the military. However, if you are interested in a military career, our curriculum and guest speakers do discuss this option, and your instructors will certainly help you.
Question: Do I have to do push-ups all day?
Answer: No. While physical fitness is a part of the program, it is not an everyday requirement. A physical fitness assessment consisting of a minute of push-ups, a minute of sit-ups, and a mile run is administered two times throughout the school year. The objective of the Wellness/Physical Fitness is to motivate cadets to lead healthy, active lifestyles beyond program requirements and into their adult lives.
Concern: I play a sport or participate in other extra-curricular activities, therefore will not be able to take the class.
Answer: 85% of our cadets play a sport or other extra-curricular activities and are able to enjoy all the activities that JROTC offers.
Question: Do I have to do a lot of events outside of the classroom?
Answer:  The actual class presents no more conflict than any other class. However, the extra-curricular activities sponsored by the program–including drill team, raider team, logistics, aerospace clubs, academic team, and orienteering–generally take place outside of school hours. We have many cadets involved in other aspects of school activities (sports, band, choir, clubs, etc.), and they occasionally have to choose which activities to join or attend. We do require every cadet to do one event every quarter but many can be done right before or after the school day. And most of these events will also count toward their yearly 25 hours required by Theology.
Question: If I join AFJROTC, do I have to wear a uniform even if I can not afford the cost of the uniform?
Answer: The uniform is free of charge and it is the exact same uniform worn every day by active-duty Air Force personnel. You wear the uniform once a week. Students will be issued an Air Force uniform and will wear it to classes once a week. Cadets are held to the same standards as the USAF men and women wearing uniforms every day. Because of that, cadets must meet appropriate grooming standards to include getting haircuts that meet regulations, being clean shaven, having natural colored hair, and following piercing and nail polish limitations for females.
Question: Do I have to be concerned about my hair style?
Answer:  Just as Prep has hair standards, so does the United States Air Force, but they closely mirror each other.

Men’s Hair: will be tapered appearance on both sides and the back of the head, both with and without headgear. A tapered appearance is one that when viewed from any angle outlines the member's hair so that it conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point without eccentric directional flow, twists or spiking. A block-cut is permitted with tapered appearance. Hair will not exceed 2 inch in bulk, regardless of length and ¼ inch at natural termination point; allowing only closely cut or shaved hair on the back of the neck to touch the collar. Hair will not touch the ears or protrude under the front band of headgear. Cleanly shaven heads, military high-and-tight or flat-top cuts are authorized. Prohibited examples (not all inclusive) are Mohawk, mullet, cornrows, dreadlocks or etched design. Men are not authorized hair extensions.  

Female: No Minimum hair length, to a maximum bulk of 4 inches from scalp and allows proper wear of headgear. Hair will end above the bottom edge of collar and will not extend below an invisible line drawn parallel to the ground, both front to back and side to side. Bangs, or side-swiped hair will not touch either eyebrow, to include an invisible line drawn across eyebrows and parallel to the ground.

So, whether you want to learn to be a leader, or to take an alternative to World History, become part of a family, or to find out a little bit more about the military, Junior ROTC is the course to take.