The Del Valle High School (DVHS) Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) successfully completed their Headquarters Inspection on February 3. The instructors and cadets earned an overall unit assessment score of “Meets Standards”– the second-highest available rating for inspection.

Regional Director Headquarters AFJROTC, Mr. Ron Henderson, performed the DVHS inspection. A flight drill sequence performed by second-year cadets was included in the inspection. Henderson believes student participation in AFJROTC is meaningful and lessons learned expand beyond mandatory drills.

“This is very important for cadets because it teaches leadership, a sense of pride, and discipline,” Henderson notes. “Ultimately, we are trying to make good citizens. Our cadets have an opportunity to make personal growth through community service and self-improvement; it makes them become better citizens and better people. It’s absolutely perfect for developing leadership qualities.”

During Henderson’s visit, he awarded two students with the Cadet Top Performer Awards. The Cadet Top Performer Award is a Headquarters AFJROTC award presented to less than 2% of the unit cadet corps population. Recipients display exemplary leadership and job performance, are in good academic standing and demonstrate significant self-improvement, community involvement or other notable accomplishments.

12th-grade students, C/2nd Lt. Ariel Ramirez and C/Lt. Col. Jose Hernandez, were named AFJROTC Top Performers, putting them among the top high achieving cadets in the nation. After the inspection Hernandez, group commander, released the cadets back to class and reflected on why he, as a senior, is still in AFJROTC.

“As cadets, we function as a family. We work hard but have fun together,” said Hernandez. “If you want to become a leader or join a branch of service, this is where you want to be.”

Col (Ret) Mike Kinslow, AFJROTC Senior Aerospace Instructor, together with SMSgt (Ret) Demarcus Tate, have worked year-round to ensure the AFJROTC program at DVHS is providing students with a comprehensive approach to self-improvement. Today’s inspection was just one of many opportunities for the cadets to demonstrate their ability to excel.

“We set high expectations for our cadets, and we teach them how to set goals and how to take steps to meet their goals,” said Kinslow. “Through class drills, physical training and lessons about aerospace science and life skills, our students are learning how to better themselves and they are more prepared for life beyond high school, whether that includes military service or not.”

With the unit receiving a “Meets Standards” rating, the next external unit evaluation will be in approximately three years.