Nellis Airmen volunteer time to train future military leaders

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Julie Parker
  • Nellis AFB Public Affairs
Military servicemembers can almost always remember the first day they came into the military.

The fear of the unknown and apprehension of taking the step into a completely new world is not a feeling that is easily forgotten.

Sunday marked the first day of the in-residence Summer Leadership School, an annual training course that affords Junior Reserve Officers Training Course cadets the opportunity to have a little taste of military life.

Sixty cadets who have been involved in the JROTC program at six local high schools attended the week-long course here. The participating high schools included Rancho, Durango, Palo Verde, Liberty, Western and Canyon Springs.

Following a basic training format, the cadets participated in physical training exercises, ceremony and drill, and leadership and teamwork courses, which are based on an Airmen Leadership School curriculum.

Former military training instructors, ALS instructors, security forces, medical and maintenance personnel are just a few of the many volunteers from Nellis who made the course possible, according to Master Sgt. Armando Perez, 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of Equipment Maintenance.

"This amount of experience and knowledge would be impossible to duplicate at JROTC units that are not located near an Air Force base," said Sergeant Perez.

The cadets will bring back to their units a new set of leadership and follower skills, and promote citizenship by preparing cadets for leadership roles in their units, schools, and local communities, he said.

Developing citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community is the mission of the Air Force JROTC program. But the cadets are not the only ones who benefit from the program.

Sergeant Perez believes by volunteering to participate in the AFJROTC Summer Leadership School, Nellis' Airmen are afforded the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of young adults.

"It is also a chance to give back to our community and be positive role models for young adults at a critical time of their lives," Sergeant Perez said. "You can't ask for a better opportunity than that."

According to the AFJROTC Web site, the program enrolls approximately 102,000 cadets, employs more than 1,700 instructors and operates units in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Republic of Korea and Guam.