The JROTC units at Abilene High School and Cooper High School have been selected to receive the 2017-18 Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit Award.

In an award letter written to each high school, Col. Paul C. Lips, national director of the Air Force JROTC, wrote, “The Distinguished Unit Award is limited to the very best of the best of our nation’s 900 Air Force JROTC units.”

Only 276 units were chosen for the highest unit award possible in 2017-18.

More than 200 AISD students participate in the JROTC programs. Instructors for the units are Lt. Col. (ret.) Robert Davidson and Chief Master Sgt. (ret.) Thomas Sokolnicki at AHS, and Col. (ret.) Steven Shinkle and Master Sgt. (ret.) Ronald Deos at CHS.

The Distinguished Unit Award recognizes the personal growth and accomplishments of the cadets, the contributions of the instructors as mentors of the cadets and the support of the school and community. The objectives of the JROTC programs are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service, instill responsibility, character and self-discipline through character education, and to provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.

The Air Force JROTC programs are located in high schools across the U.S. and at selected schools in Europe, the Pacific and Puerto Rico. Enrollment includes more than 120,000 cadets who do over 1.6 million hours of community service each year.