North Penn High School Junior ROTC Instructor Todd Zachary says the college-level program is about preparing young men and women for military service because they go in as officers, but in high school the goals are different. “It’s always been about preparing young men and women for life and better citizenship. It’s never been about welcoming them into the military. Certainly there is a military flavor to it, and there is a uniform and so on, but we are not recruiters. We are teachers first and foremost, and we enjoy what we do. We’re up there like every other teacher to help these tremendously gifted young men and women succeed.”
He says the course content is military science, with a focus on aviation.
“It covers a wide gamut of science. We talk physics, physical science, a little chemistry, physiology and meteorology. Just basically think flight school, and that’s what we talk about.”
Colonel Zachary, who retired from the Air Force after 23 years, says students also learn valuable study skills that will help them in college. He says all Junior ROTC Instructors in Pennsylvania have state teacher certification, just like math and history teachers, and he works for the North Penn School District, not the U.S. Air Force.