NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) - It may look like a typical high school classroom, but the New Albany High School Air Force Junior ROTC is teaching students much more than most students experience.
The program is open to freshmen through seniors.
New Albany High School AFJROTC's David Prejean said, "We try to make ROTC a well-rounded program. This is a doing class and is not for someone to come in and just sit and not do anything. Our big focus in ROTC is physical fitness."
In fact, physical activity is a weekly part of the program along with learning everything from proper dress to heading up community service projects like food drives for the needy.
There are also competitions with other high school programs.
New Albany has racked up a collection of trophies over the years.
This program is an elective for students, some of whom joined in the ninth grade and have been a part of it through their senior year.
Senior Jamie Easley said, "It's helped me to think about all the alternatives and going into the military if I decide to do that."
Senior Arturo Valles said, "For me, it felt like it's a very organized program. I'm an organized person, so that's the interest for me or the basis of it."
Senior Cynthia Martinez said, "I've had a lot of ideas but didn't know how to develop them. So when I came here, it taught me. It's a great leadership program."
Officials point out the JROTC is not a recruiting service for the military although that option is explained to students.
Prejean said, "We do teach juniors and seniors about jobs available to them in the military. We also teach them about jobs working for the military. About 70 percent of jobs in the military are supporting the military and not actually being in the military."
Whatever career path they choose, the students and instructors say these students will go into it as more well-rounded individuals because of AFJROTC.