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Bob Jones cadets amass AFJROTC honors

MADISON – During the 2021-2022 school year, lecture, drill and plenty of determination at regional and national contests led to major honors for cadets in Air Force Junior ROTC at Bob Jones High School.

CMSgt. Ellis Q. Clark and Maj. Melissa Lacey, who teach aerospace science at Bob Jones, coordinated the cadets end-of-year awards for the unit.

In national competition, Bob Jones AFJROTC won third place in Unarmed Regulation Drill. These cadets included Quincey Amacher, Jackson Ford, Ethan Fury, Audrey Groger, Team Commander Lucy Halter, Laiken Justice, Routine Commander Shaniya Jacobs-Lanier, David Lockhart, Anthony Pena and Kaitlyn Thompson.

In Unarmed Exhibition Drill, Bob Jones claimed another third-place win in national competition. These cadets were Quincey Amacher, Abigail Bennett, Neil DiGennaro, Cassius Dodson, Routine Commander Jackson Ford, Ethan Fury, Audrey Groger, Team Commander Lucy Halter, Laiken Justice, Shaniya Jacobs-Lanier, David Lockhart, Anthony Pena and Kaitlyn Thompson.

In National Fitness Competitions in Daytona Beach, Fla., the Bob Jones cadets took fifth place in the 3K Beach Run. Participants were Marjorie Baumbach, Elian Castaneda, Cameron Farr, Molly Halterf, Bailey Hartsfield, Kendall Jackson, Logan Jackson, Nick Jensen, Team Captain Joshua Johnson, Arianna Lee, Benjamin Miller, Esteban Del Rio Perez, Manfred Rosero and Clay Whigham.

Marjorie Baumbach was the first-place winner in the Women’s Standing Long Jump.

Kendall Jackson was the second-place entrant in the Men’s Standing Long-Jump.

Shaniya Jacobs-Lanier, who served as Cadet Corps Wing Commander, earned the prestigious Jean Weil Foundation Scholarship.

In other honors during this school year, Marjorie Baumbach and Elian Castaneda, who will be seniors at Bob Jones in the next school year, received a coveted scholarship to the AFJROTC Flight Academy. As of 2021, this highly competitive program has only 200 spots available to U.S. students.

The program totals almost $22,000, including the actual course, transportation and accommodations. The U.S. Military ultimately will pay all these fees. Baumbach and Castaneda will complete an eight-week course in the summer at various universities around the country. At the end of the course, the cadets will have earned Private Pilot’s Certification.

With the Flight Academy program, the U.S Military intends to change the low percentage of minorities who serve as pilots. Currently, women account for less than six percent of this profession. Minorities are representing less than 10 percent. With this program, the number of new pilots is increasing by almost 1,100 every year; more than 50 percent of that number are female pilots added ‘to the skies.’

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