San Diego high school unit wins Junior ROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl

  • Published
  • By Christian P. Hodge, Headequarters Junior ROTC Public Affairs

The Air Force Junior ROTC unit at Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., took home the honor of being the 2021 joint service academic champions at the Junior ROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl, July 22, 2021, Washington, D.C. The JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl is an all-service national competition that culminates in a national-level championship.

The lead Air Force Junior ROTC instructor at the school’s Unit CA-935 could not be more proud of the cadets.

“They worked hard all year, they set goals, they worked individually and as a team and they displayed the highest levels of commitment, motivation and preparation,” said Col. Dennis P. Tucker Jr., senior aerospace science instructor. “From September forward, they met together every week to practice, utilizing test banks of questions from previous years. In addition, they studied SAT-related material on their own weekly in preparation for Level 1 and 2 of the competition, which had SAT-based questions, and they studied JROTC textbooks on leadership.” 

Tucker also said this cadet-organized and cadet-led team ensured that they all stayed apprised of worldwide current events by reviewing a number of online news platforms.

“The leaders, Cadet Captain Raymond Sun and Cadet Technical Sergeant Kevin Zhao, spoke to all cadets about the opportunity to be on our academic team. They then held tryouts and recommended 12 cadets for inclusion on the 2020-2021 academic team,” he said. 

He met periodically with the team leaders to assist, giving them top-level guidance on what they should be preparing for and at which points in the season.

In addition to current events, he said, they needed to be ready for a variety of academic trivia from math, science, history, literature, the arts and more.  They also needed a plan to study JROTC leadership academics and SAT-based questions.

“The cadets took ownership,” said Tucker, “They understood they were aiming to uphold a long legacy of success here at the unit, and the upperclassmen inspired the junior cadets with this mantra. They took pride in embracing excellence and gave their very best effort for the team to be successful.”