San Jacinto Unified’s Air Force JROTC unit receives ‘Exceeds Standards’ grade

Formation under the command of Cadet John Pepper, far right, performs a 30-step drill sequence for the inspection. Courtesy photo

SAN JACINTO – The Air Force JROTC at San Jacinto Unified School District’s San Jacinto High School earned an overall unit assessment score of “Exceeds Standards,” the highest rating attainable during their evaluation Oct. 28, by the headquarters under the U.S. Air Force.

“The cadets were very impressive and displayed exemplary pride in their unit,” Col. Bobby C. Woods Jr., director of the Air Force JROTC headquarters, said in his recent letter of congratulations.

San Jacinto High’s unit was evaluated by retired Col. Ben Young Jr. to provide feedback on their performance and assess their compliance with Public Law, Department of Defense and Air Force Instructions, and the written agreement that exists between district and the Air Force.

Instructors retired Lt. Col. Michael B. Howard, retired Senior Master Sgt. Richard J. DeMarti, and retired Senior Master Sgt. Troy L. Loar were all noted as exceptional role models and providing a quality program.

Retired Col. Ben Young Jr.,the regional director of Air Force JROTC, discusses findings with cadets. Courtesy photo

“The strength of our program is reflected in the instructors. I had no doubt that the inspection would reflect their hard work and dedication to our cadets,” Principal Courtney Hall said. “Our cadets are amazing individuals who we are proud to have represent San Jacinto High School. We look to them for inspiration and for examples for all our students to follow. I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them and am so pleased that this inspection validated what we already know to be true about them.”

The district agreed that the AFJROTC citizenship program was making a positive impact on the cadets, the school and the community.

“Our ROTC is an amazing place of connection for our students where character, honor and professionalism are evident in every cadet,” Superintendent Diane Perez said. “It has provided hope and opportunities to students, many of whom have gone on to college and to be successful, contributing members of our community, and I am from an Air Force family and wholeheartedly support this incredible program.”

San Jacinto High’s Air Force JROTC unit was established in 2001. In addition to grade-level specific classes, cadets engage in social events, community service opportunities, field trips, exposure to remote- controlled aircraft and model rocketry, along with other extracurricular activities. A significant advantage of selecting the Air Force JROTC learning pathway is earning a certificate of training or a certificate of completion after two-three successful years in the program, which means advanced rank and pay if enlisting in the armed forces after graduation. Cadets serving as an officer in the program have an advantage when competing for appointments to service academies and when applying for ROTC scholarships to colleges and universities. For more information about the San Jacinto High AFJROTC program, contact Howard at (951) 654-7374 or

Submitted by San Jacinto Unified School District.