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Cleveland, Texas, April 20, 2022 – If you have attended a sporting event, graduation, or ceremony in Cleveland then you have probably seen the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFJROTC) in action presenting the American flag or leading the national anthem. If you watched closely, you saw the cadets work in unison with skill, precision, and confidence. It’s an amazing sight to witness. While the ceremonial presentation of the flag is impressive, it’s just the tip of what the Cleveland ISD Air Force JROTC is all about. What you may not know is that the Cleveland ISD Air Force JROTC was selected as one of the best in the world! And, they will be headed to Washington D.C. this summer to compete in the 2022 U.S. Air Force JROTC National Leadership and Academic Bowl Championship.

The Cleveland ISD JROTC team earned top scores out of the 582 Air Force JROTC academic teams that competed from around the world. The team is one of only 16 Air Force JROTC teams in the nation to advance to the final competition, which includes an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC. This places the Cleveland program in the top 3% of all programs. Cleveland is one of only two teams from Texas. This is the school district’s first appearance at the competition. The 2022 U.S. Air Force JROTC Academic Bowl Championship will be held on the campus of The Catholic University of America, June 24-28, 2022. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force JROTC and is conducted by the College Options Foundation.

Advancing through two intense phases of online completion, the team of four was led by instructor Lt. Col. (Ret) USAF Robert J. Hunt. The team is comprised of students Jorge Pena (Team Captain), Sophia Molina, Karley Brock, and Diego Gonzalez. Haylee White and Ricardo Suarez served as alternates in the first two rounds.

Lt. Col. Hunt stated, “they practice a lot to get a sense of when to buzz in. During the two fast-paced preliminary rounds, all 4 team members were tested on their knowledge of core curricula such as math, science, and language arts as well as current events, citizenship, leadership skills, and financial literacy.”

The JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl is a nationally recognized competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity. The competition creates tremendous opportunities for JROTC cadets by allowing them to demonstrate leadership and academic abilities. The first Air Force JROTC programs were opened in 1966. Air Force JROTC has grown to 744 units throughout the world, with 103,000 cadets.