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News > Future leaders receive a taste of military duty
Future leaders receive a taste of military duty

Posted 5/17/2012   Updated 5/17/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Chris DeBlanc
403rd Wing Public Affairs Office

5/17/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Over 100 potential future military leaders from six schools spent the day with the 403rd Wing learning about military careers and getting a taste of what military service is all about.

The 403rd Wing hosted its first Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Day May 11, showcasing Reserve and Active-Duty opportunities to the cadets.

"We've been on many base tours," commented Major Don Bailey, JROTC instructor from Donaldsonville High School in Louisiana. "Most of them are just windshield tours, this was more hands on."

Demonstrations throughout the day included a military working dog presentation by the 81st Security Forces Squadron, a tutorial by the 41st Aerial Port Squadron and facility tours by both the 403rd Maintenance Squadron and the 81st Mission Support Group Fire Department.

The most popular event for the cadets was an incentive flight aboard a 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron WC-130J. Two short flights to the Pensacola area and back provided cadets with a unique opportunity that most of their peers could only dream about.

For one cadet from Donaldsonville, junior Jaycob Bradley, the flight from his view was "awesome" because he got to witness a landing from the cockpit. He added that the day gave him great insight about the military and that he plans to enlist one day.

After the flight, cadets were treated to lunch prepared by the 403rd Force Support Squadron from the Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen. Bailey was glad to see that his cadets got to experience what chow would be like in field conditions. "They need to know that it is not as good as momma's cooking," he said.

The 81st Training Wing Honor Guard demonstrated what they do for military funeral honors and discussed what being a member of the Honor Guard is all about. A hands-on experience was provided by members of the 403rd Operations Support Squadron, giving the students a chance to try on different types of life support apparatus.

The day concluded with a panel of 403rd MXS personnel  and Reserve recruiters fielding questions from the cadets. 

"Everything that was planned within the organization was done really well," said Bailey. "We look forward to next year."

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