CAPT Ed Colley
Two longtime Valencia High Junior Air Force ROTC leaders are appealing their cases after being decertified and losing their jobs for allegedly failing to submit inventory letters on time.
Capt. Ed Colley and Master Sgt. Fred Malcomb of the Valencia High School Junior Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps were decertified by officials with the Department of Air Force Air University on May 18 of this year, according to documents.
Colley has been at Valencia High School and in the Hart District for 20 years while Malcomb has been with the school for 11 years, Colley said.
“You were decertified for not meeting the standards expected of an Air Force officer and an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor… specifically for not complying with AFJROTC requirements by failing to meet the (deadline) two years in a row despite being reminded by HQ AFJROTC,” according to a letter from the AFJROTC Holm Center to Colley.
“In 20 years, I have had no discipline issues of any kind,” Colley said. “Locally, we’re a valuable program supported by many community leaders. The decertification was based on things that were not true. The decision on the appeal was based on things that were proveably not true.”
Both Colley and Malcomb were confirmed to no longer be with the William S. Hart Union High School District, said Dave Caldwell, spokesman with the district.
“We plan to continue the AFJROTC program and are in the process of trying to find someone to take their place,” Caldwell added.
But Colley is determined to prove his, and Malcomb’s, innocence alleging the AFJROTC headquarters lost the completed Valencia High AFJROTC Automated Data Processing Equipment paperwork in 2014 and that they sent the paperwork in a couple days before the deadline this year.
“We’re going to be having to go to court and fight for our jobs back,” Colley said.
Colley appealed the decertification in June stating in the appeal, “teaching is my chosen profession, one that I love dearly. One of the major reasons why I decided to become an (ROTC instructor) is because I wanted to create a positive impact on children’s’ lives while continuing to serve both my community and my country.”
The appeal was denied June 30, according to documents.
“Last year you were placed on probation following the failure to complete the 2014 Air Force ADPE suspense in the specified time. This year, once again, you have failed to meet the specified ADPE suspense for 2015, despite personal direction and phone calls from your Regional Director,” according to the decertification letter from the AFJROTC Headquarters. “Your inability to comply with AFJROTC requirements even after direct Headquarters involvement and reminders more than warrant decertification and are clear indicators of unsatisfactory performance.
“Other instructors who have failed to meet consecutive ADPE suspenses have been similarly decertified.”
Colley remains hopeful to return to his position at Valencia High, he said.
“I have loved teaching and mentoring the students of our valley for all of the 20 years I have been teaching the AFJROTC program in the Hart district. Together with Master Sgt Malcomb, we have sought to provide a quality program for our cadets, while supporting our school, the school district and the Santa Clarita Valley community,” Colley said in an email. “We will continue to work in every way we can to return to the program we have dedicated much of our lives to and we hugely regret any loss our students will face.”