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Air Force JROTC at Bob Jones plans ‘20th Anniversary Celebration Bash’

MADISON – An upcoming event will combine components of a birthday party, an anniversary observance and a party for success when the Air Force JROTC unit at Bob Jones High School hosts its “20th Anniversary Celebration Bash.”

Throughout this school year, the unit has been hailing the milestones of its 20 years with observances, but the fun will escalate on April 30 for the on-campus celebration.

“Celebrating 20 years as an Air Force JROTC unit is a huge accomplishment. We would like to celebrate all former cadets who helped make the AFJROTC program into the top-tier program it is today,” USAF Maj. (retired) Dr. Melissa Lacey. Lacey works as an aerospace science instructor at Bob Jones.

“AFJROTC units are evaluated annually for viability — meaning each unit has to maintain enrollment of 100 cadets or a minimum of 10 percent of the overall student population,” Lacey said. “There are other areas which could cause a unit to close — funding, lack of district support, lack of instructors, lack of designated facilities. Thankfully, this has not been an issue for us here in Madison City Schools.”

Since 2002, more than 1,600 students have enrolled in AFJROTC at Bob Jones. Eight teams now are functioning in archery, marksmanship, CyberPatriot, Drill Team, Honor Guard, Sabre Team, orienteering and Aerospace Team.

Currently, the unit is trying to contact as many AFJROTC alumni as possible. Former AFJROTC cadets can email bj.afjrotc@gmail.com, and the unit will mail an invitation to attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration Bash.

USAF CMSgt (retired) Ellis Clark and students serving on the Anniversary Committee have worked on the bulk of the planning for the celebration. Clark also teaches aerospace science.

“The day of the celebration will consist of welcoming all alumni, paying honor to our founding cadre, USAF Lt. Col. (retired) Randy Herd and USAF MSgt (retired) Renaldo Beatty, as well as games and competitions,” Lacey said.

“We will provide a meal, but we are still seeking sponsorship,” Lacey said.

During the past 20 years, the four veterans who have served as cadre for Bob Jones AFJROTC are USAF Lt. Col. (retired) Randy Herd, USAF MSgt (retired) Renaldo Beatty, Clark and Lacey.

For more information, email bj.afjrotc@gmail.com.

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