Story and Photos by: 1SG (R) Francisco Ramey
JROTC Takes Flight
An opportunity of historical epic proportion and creative uniqueness presented itself to the Madison County High School Army JROTC program on August 25th-26th, 2023. 9 out of 153 of our Cadets were selected to attend the Red Tail Flight Academy in Tuskegee, Alabama by their JROTC instructors Colonel (Ret) Robert Stuart and First Sergeant (Ret) Francisco Ramey.
Our Cadets were received with a phenomenal introduction from the Red Tail Flight Academy staff, led by Mr. Johnny Montgomery, Director of Flight Operations, Mr. Stephen Barlow, and Mr. Kaleem Santos, Certified Flight Instructors (CFI). Their briefing included: flight simulator training, basic single and dual-engine aircraft and their basic operational functions, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) before and after all aircraft maneuvers.
A brief history lesson was provided to the Cadets on the rigorous training that the pilots of Tuskegee Institute had to endure to become military pilots and becoming some of the first African-American Commissioned Officers in the United States Army Air Forces.
The Cadets were also chaperoned throughout the campus of Tuskegee University by the Army ROTC program highlighting their several engineering programs that were available to the students: mechanical, aerospace, aeronautical, astronautical, and space engineering majors.
Nevertheless, the highlight that most of the Cadets were waiting for was taking flight on one of the single-engine aircraft. And they did not disappoint! They were ready and did extremely well according to Barlow. “They were the best group that ever came through our Flight Academy!” They were very respectful, engaged, and followed directions as instructed from the beginning to the end”.
“Awesome group that represented your school, program, and community with great pride”.
We hope to make this a bi-annual event with the hopes of it becoming an interest to our students for their future goals.
Thank you to our district and administrative leaders for supporting this adventure.