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Union AFJROTC Receives Silver Star

GREAT CAREER: Union’s AFJROTC program recently received the Silver Star Award for community service. This is particularly timely given that Lt. Col. Ron McCool, who leads the program, is retiring after 16 years at Union. 

Courtesy Union Public Schoolsn Un

The Union High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp has received a 2017-18 Silver Star Community Service with Excellence Award. Union’s AFJROTC was also selected as one of 276 units to receive the 2017-18 Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit Award.

“Only 45 units out of the 900 Air Force JROTC units worldwide were selected for the Silver Star Award. It also places us among the top units in the country. These accomplishments are on the same level as winning a state championship or being nationally-ranked in your sport,” says SMSgt Daniel Snow, who leads the cadets, along with Lt. Colonel Ron McCool.

Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler commended the cadets on their achievement. “Congratulations on this well-deserved honor. This is yet another example of our students demonstrating the Union Way.”

The Silver Star award recognizes the top five percent of all Air Force JROTC units based on community service in support of schools and local communities. The Distinguished Unit Award is reserved for units that have performed well beyond expectations and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force JROTC citizen development mission for America.

“We are very proud of our cadets and our program,” Snow says.  “It is a great way to celebrate the contribution of (retiring) Lt. Colonel McCool as he concludes an outstanding career at Union.  We thank all of you for your continued support of our program.”

The cadets wanted to show the community what they are all about and pledged last year to serve more than 3,000 hours of community service.

“JROTC has a habit of working quietly in the background at Union,” Snow says. “We are much better known for our professionalism and quality of service in the outside community of Green Country than within the Union community.”

“This year, the cadets of AFJROTC conducted more than 1,674,951 community service hours nationwide,” states Paul C. Lips, Col., USAF director. “This is an incredible accomplishment, and all units are congratulated for their efforts in supporting their communities. Unit OK-20012 at Union High School, Tulsa Oklahoma, added to this effort by performing 4,234 community service hours from April 2017 to April 2018. With only 110 cadets in their program, that equals more than 38 hours per cadet of service to their community.  Outstanding effort,” he says.

The objectives of the Air Force JROTC program are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline through character education; and to provide instruction in air and space fundamentals. Enrollment is open to high school students who are in grades 9-12.

Air Force JROTC is located in close to 900 high schools across the United States and at selected schools in Europe, in the Pacific, and in Puerto Rico. Air Force JROTC enrollment includes more than 120,000 cadets who do over 1.6 million hours of community service each year.

Updated 05-22-2018

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