On June 18, 2016, the AFJROTC, short for Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, at Crescenta Valley High School made CV history. They placed 4th in the academic bowl, making it all the way to the semifinals.
The Academic Bowl is a competition, that consists of three phases, in which JROTC from all over the nation compete. Each branch of the military, such as the Army and Air Force, first compete within themselves. The winners of each branch then compete each other to win overall first place. The Air Force branch alone started with a total of 255 teams, that gets narrowed down to 155 in the first phase and then all the way down to a mere 8 teams in the second phase. The third and final round takes place in Washington D.C. Cadets are tested on their knowledge in military and leadership information and academic subjects like math, science, and current world affairs.
Though the CVHS team members came from a variety of advanced placement classes, each round was still challenging. However, by working together as a team and utilizing every member’s strengths, they made it far into the competition. Team leader Samuel Park recalls the Academic Bowl saying, “Every member of the team played a major role towards the outcome. Everyone brought in a unique aspect that diversified our group. Our bond was strong because we interacted a lot through AFJROTC activities, but our bond became even stronger during the preparation. Overall, it was a truly memorable experience that I took away a lot from.”
Having never made it past the first two phases, going to Washington D.C. was a huge milestone for the team. However, making it so far into the Academic Bowl was a huge accomplishment not just for the team but for the entire corp. The feats accomplished by this team have paved the way for future success of the CVHS AFJROTC.
The Academic Bowl team has truly upheld the Air Force values of “Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do.”