The Ramstein High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program achieved the highest rating on a recent inspection and was relieved from probation March 26.
JROTC programs are inspected yearly and given a unit evaluation every third year. If a program fails to meet standards on the unit evaluation, it is put on probation and is closely monitored.
Retired Lt. Col. Wayne Goulet and retired Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Dilda, Ramstein High School JROTC instructors, inherited the program while it was on probation and turned it into one that exceeds standards.
“Junior ROTC is an elective,” Dilda said. “The students could have quit or self-eliminated, and some did, but some had enough pride to stick with it. We had an awards ceremony to recognize them and all the hard work they’ve put into making the program better.”
The program not only made a complete turnaround; it achieved the highest rating on the inspection a year early.
“This year, the inspection was supposed to be a staff assistance visit,” Goulet said. “Because we did so well, they upgraded it to a unit evaluation. I believe this was only the second time this particular inspector has ever done that.”
Brett Smith, Ramstein High School senior, said the program being released from probation was a great way to end his high school career.
“We had two practice inspections, and the third one was the final,” Smith said. “Last year, we were striving to make one of the practice inspections official so we could get off probation. Our second year, there was a lot of work going into (the inspection) and, by the end of the second year, everyone was pumped to pass because we knew we were ready. We had 100 percent accuracy with our inventory and attained the highest rating of exceeds standards.”
In addition to exceeding the standards and being released from probation, the Ramstein High School JROTC program was given a distinguishing award.
“The Ramstein High School Junior ROTC program has been selected as one of 77 units out of 867 to receive the 2014-2015 Air Force Junior ROTC Outstanding Organization Award,” Dilda said. “This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that have performed above normal expectations and have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America.
“We are very proud of our cadets that have worked extremely hard this year to earn this award,” he continued. “More importantly, we are extremely grateful for the outstanding support we continuously receive from parents, family members, school administration, fellow instructors and the base community. Earning the Air Force Junior ROTC Outstanding Organization Award was truly a team effort.”