Shadow Mountain High School embarks on a historic designation. The school is one of only 10 high schools Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) selected as the inaugural cohort ​​of high school Space Force JROTC detachments.

To commemorate this monumental milestone, 82 cadets attended an Air Force Deactivation, Space Force Activation Ceremony, and a Space Force Lapel Pin Ceremony on Feb. 23. Officiating the event was C/Lt. Col. Brayden Cummings. Principal David Appleman made ceremonial remarks, along with JROTC Cadet Col. Catalina Dick; Col. Carey Jones; and Space Force Delta 13 Commander Col. Niki Lindhorst. Senator Mark Kelly provided pre-recorded comments to celebrate the occasion.

“The purpose of a formal ceremony is to emphasize the continuity of leadership and the unit identity despite changes in authority. The ceremony also symbolizes the transfer of command responsibility and accountability, represented by passing the command flag as the tangible symbol of the unit. The formal ritual is conducted before assembled members of the unit, colleagues, military counterparts, honored guests, dignitaries, family, and friends; all of which were gathered for the ceremony,” says Lt.Col. William Bones, USAF (Ret.).

The Space Force JROTC program will commence on May 12, 2022. To prepare, Shadow Mountain cadets have received new uniform items identifying the unit as a new JROTC unit. New uniforms and a new curriculum focused on Space Force principles, mission objectives, and policies will be implemented in the next few years. Space Force JROTC is still in the developmental phase of establishing mission objectives, but a focus on STEM principles is expected.

The U.S. Space Force was created in December 2019 and is the sixth branch of the United States military. It is responsible for defending America’s interests in space and includes all aspects of space operations, including satellites. Considerations for JROTC unit selection included school proximity to Space bases, facilities, and centers of influence, for example, Space Command Headquarters, NASA, Missile Defense Agency, etc., or current instructor cadre with prior space operations experience.

Air Force JROTC AZ-911 was established at Shadow Mountain High School in 1991. For 31 years, this unit has been recognized as a Distinguished Unit. Learn more about the JROTC program.