Attrition: November 6, 2004


: The air force is looking for 402 recently retired, or about to retire, officers and NCOs willing and able to serve as Junior (high school) ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) instructors. About 58 percent of the JROTC units are air force, and it is seen as a major source of future officers. At the moment, the JROTC has 108,000 students (cadets), taught by more than 1,600 instructors. The Air Force JROTC has operations in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and Guam. The JROTC courses are electives, but include science and history subjects. Uniforms and books are furnished free by the Air Force. The schools pay about $50,000 a year to help defray the costs. The students are under no obligation to join the air force when they graduate, but the JROTC instructors (one officer and one NCO) encourage them to either apply for the air force academy, or attend air force ROTC (and become an air force officer) when they go to college. Another attraction of the JROTC are the field trips to air bases, often including rides on air force transports. Theres also a drill team and outdoor activities like orienteering. The Department of Defense currently offers JROTC programs in 1,370 schools, but is increasing that to 1,645 next year. There are some 24,000 high schools in the United States, and they have to compete to get a JROTC program. The military puts JROTC programs in schools that appear most likely to provide the most new officers down the line.