Douglas High School JROTC program needs recruits

Without enough students joining, Douglas High School could lose its Junior ROTC program.
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 10:13 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Fewer students are joining The Douglas High School Air Force JROTC program which can be a problem for the funding.

Covid has put a major strain on many things throughout our society, and close to home the Douglas Air Force JROTC is feeling that strain as well.

The program has been around for 51 years and was the only Air Force ROTC program in the state until a year ago.

“Covid was a big factor, and we were allowed to continue to, but it was very hard to attract students to our program when alot of them were at home or online and we are still working towards recovering and seeking out to expand our program,” said L.t Col. Michael Murrow, Air Force JROTC.

Due to federal law the minimum requirement for an ROTC program is 75 recruits.However this year the JROTC at Douglas High School falls short with only 48 cadets.

“We have like lots and lots of community service events that we do during the year. We do a fall and spring raffle, so we raise money for our corps to do, like have sergeants taking us to Washington, D.C in the summer,” said Support Squadron Commander Cadet Charisma Lassiter.

The program provides cadets an opportunity to achieve community outreach, military readiness, and learn the basics of flying a plane.