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Developing the Best Air Force Leaders and Citizens
of Character, Dedicated to Serving the Nation

James F. Byrnes High School, Duncan, South Carolina.

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Program Overview

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The goal of the Air Force Junior ROTC program is to help high school students become better citizens and leaders by instilling a sense of responsibility, character, and self-discipline. The program promotes community service, education excellence, teamwork, fitness, and personal development for success. An underlying thread in ROTC is patriotism and pride in the institutions and values that make this country strong.  By design, AFJROTC is not a recruiting tool for the U.S. Armed forces, nor is it a military prep program.  In fact, fewer than 2% of our cadets enter some form of military service -- our goal is to develop citizens of character

AFJROTC “PILLARS” Citizenship and leadership are the two major focuses in all we do. Our cadets are heavily into community service and beyond. They respond with open hearts and hard work when it comes to helping others. Leadership is reflected in every activity. The cadets learn the fundamentals of good “followership” first - then develop sound leadership principles that will help them succeed in any endeavor.  

BRIEF HISTORY OF AFJROTC Army ROTC has been around since 1911, but all the military services committed to the program in 1964 with Public Law 88-647, the ROTC Vitalization Act. The law provided for the establishment of JROTC programs in all public and private high schools. The Air Force had reached its ceiling of 690 units until General Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, saw JROTC cadets cleaning up the streets after the Los Angeles riots. He liked the community service he saw and so did the Congress of the United States. Our legislators approved an Air Force expansion to 945 units. Today, there are over 900 high schools with Air Force Junior ROTC, and over 120,000 students are enrolled in the program. District Five took advantage of the new opportunity and secured a contract for Byrnes High School in 1992 with our first class of cadets in the 1993 school year.

THE INSTRUCTOR TEAM Since the AFJROTC program was established, the Air Force has actively recruited the most highly qualified officers and non-commissioned officers to serve as instructors in America’s high schools. Applicants are screened and scored according to academic, leadership, management, communicative, and professional skills. Most officer instructors have at least Masters degrees, and all have earned Bachelor degrees. The highest officer rank is Colonel, and the highest enlisted rank is Chief Master Sergeant.  All instructors are retired from active service. Complete Air Force biographies for the Byrnes instructor team are located under “Staff Profiles”.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT Registration for the Air Force Junior ROTC program is open to Freshman through Senior classes. During the first year, students receive physical education credit. Additional courses result in elective credit. Cadets may take ROTC all four years if they desire. After the freshman year, selected cadets may be allowed to double-block. Juniors and seniors may be selected to enroll in the AFJROTC honors classes for additional quality points toward graduation. 


Phone:  864-949-2364

Fax:  864-949-2347

Colonel Rhea Dobson:

Senior Master Sergeant Glenn Sparkman:

Senior Master Sergeant Adam Clarke: