Brandeis AFJROTC Flying Through A Busy Year
Submitted By Rachel Hellums
The AFJROTC unit at Brandeis High School is always a bustling community of practice, competitions, events, meetings, and volunteering…rinse and repeat. There is never a shortage of something to be a part of or something to plan.
Currently well into the 2017-18 school year, September 2017 was by far the busiest month for the cadets. The month began quickly with a senior class trip to the Toyota Plant in San Antonio. Cadets were able to get a feel for how smoothly a well-maintained machine can run, giving them a few ideas on how to steer the corps throughout the school year. After the trip, on September 6, the cadets and their parents were invited to an Ice Cream Social to enjoy a treat while meeting their team leaders and learning about the resources available to them. September 15 marked the end of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Drive. Cadets helped to collect baby items to send to those in need of support. The next day, September 16, was what the AFJROTC likes to call “The Corps Games.” Each flight competes against one another in various games to help them bond as a unit and learn how to help each other while still having a good time (congratulations to C-Flight, this year’s winners). That sums up the month of September, but it’s far from the end of what the Brandeis AFJROTC has achieved so far this school year.
In October and November, the Brandeis AFJROTC held their annual delicious cheesecake fundraiser and canned food drive. This year’s food drive was truly a schoolwide effort! Together, the cadets donated 6,923 pounds of food to the local community. Also during the fall, 100 cadets were fortunate enough to attend the Joint Base San Antonio Airshow featuring the Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. In late November, corps pictures were taken and then came competition season.
Competition season began with intense practices for each of Brandeis AFJROTC’s six teams (Nighthawks Armed Drill, Blue Aces and Thunderbirds Unarmed Drill, Foxhound Cyber Patriots, Praetorians Physical Training, and Titans Rocketry). Each drill team practices some mornings and most afternoons (in addition to Saturday mornings), and the other three teams practice multiple times a week in the afternoon. So far, each team has competed in three to four competitions each, never coming home empty handed.
With December came the arrival of the Corps Holiday party. The cadets bonded, enjoying their time in a less calculated and more free flowing environment, mingling and engaging in such activities as a balloon pop, cake walk and Bingo. The fun event was catered by Las Palapas and Rudy’s BBQ, the Corps Commander provided a great playlist perfect for dancing, and some lucky cadets took home door prizes.
Also in December, 120 cadets and parent volunteers joined Wreaths Across America, an organization whose mission is to try and place a wreath on every headstone of a veteran, carry out their efforts a Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
The New Year began with the preparation for the Corps Unit Inspection, making sure all the i’s were dotted and all t’s were crossed. This includes (but is not limited to) triple checking inventory, making sure all Corps events, competitions, and practices are placed into a program called Wings, the department is spotless, and every cadet is in tip top shape.
The 2017-18 school year thus far has been filled with amazing memories and a packed schedule, but with the year barely even halfway over, there is still much to be done. As always, the Brandeis AFJROTC will continue to strive to reach excellence in all that they do.