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JROTC students compete at Tinker AFB

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Students from nine Oklahoma high schools gathered Oct. 26 at Tinker Air Force Base to compete in the fourth annual 349th Recruiting Squadron Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corp Competition.


Parts of the competition, such as the mile and a half run, push ups and sit ups, were standardized across Air Force physical training requirements. Other parts of the competition include planks, dodgeball, drill downs and tug of war.


Lt. Col. Russell Montante, commander of the 349th RCS, said the competition is an important opportunity to introduce future military leaders to Air Force life.


“This is an event we look forward to all year. It provides potential future military an opportunity to see what Air Force life is like … We want to show them an operational Air Force base and what actual Airmen do every day,” Montante said.


AFB Airmen volunteered to support the event and cadets from the University of Oklahoma ROTC team also attended the event.


Theresa Determan, a retired Air Force major and the JROTC instructor at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, said the students love being involved at Tinker AFB, considering it part of their community.


“This is our community, we consider Tinker ours. We love coming out to Tinker. The support from Tinker AFB and the 349th RCS that we get at Carl Albert is amazing. Any time we can do something with them is a good opportunity for the cadets,” Determan said.


She said she emphasizes Air Force core values as well as pride, ownership and accountability with her students.


“It’s something I walked away from the Air Force with, and it’s something I want them to have,” Determan said.


“They don’t have to join the Air Force, they don’t have to join any military unit after their high school experience, but I do want them to have (those qualities).”