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Santa Clarita CA
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April 9
1937 - Pioneer aviator E.B. Christopher and passenger killed in crash of light plane on Ridge Route near Gorman [story]

The members of the CA-782nd Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) gathered at the Santa Clarita Valley Activities Center February 9, 2020, to celebrate at their annual Military Ball event. Military Ball is a military tradition in which the Corps gathers for a formal dinner, dancing, and other events to celebrate the corps.

The night began promptly at 5:00 pm with the presentation of the Colors and the playing of the National Anthem by Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Negron (clarinet) and Cadet 1st Lt. Joshua Yoon (cello). The invocation was presented by Cadet Airman Basic Emily Bartels, and the corps and their guests were led in a toast by Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Joshlyn Lo and Cadet Lt. Col. Vincent Kim (the emcees of the event). There was also a POW/MIA table presented by an Honor Guard comprised of Cadet Master Sgt. Victoria Ingham, Cadet Master Sgt. Reece Demory, Cadet 2nd Lt. Joshua Mourthi, Cadet Airman 1st Class Joseph Mashman, and Cadet Staff Sgt. Maxximus Almaraz. Dinner from Fresh Start Catering was served, and DJ services were provided by KGB Mobile DJ Services of Santa Clarita. Other traditions enjoyed included a two-man rifle team performance by Cadet Capt. Connor Whalen and Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Keegan Schaumloeffel and the crowning of a prince and princess of each grade level (king and queen for seniors). These are honorary titles conferred by anonymous votes from the entire corps. Those crowned were: (Freshmen) Cadet Airman Basic Alex Garza and Cadet Airman Basic
Emily Bartels, (Sophomores) Cadet Tech. Sgt. Joshua Arrizon and Cadet Master Sgt. Julianna Hogan, (Juniors) Cadet 1st Lt. Joshua Yoon and Cadet Master Sgt. Abigail Alea, and (Seniors) Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Joshlyn Lo and Cadet Capt. Daniel Kim. The Officer in Charge of the event was Cadet Master Sgt. Ranan Kim, a junior at Academy of the Canyons.

“Being able to do something for the members of the Corps warmed my heart,” said Kim. “I learned that communication is key and that it is important to communicate to not only my staff and Colonel but also with cadets to get their input too.”

AFJROTC is a four-year academic program to develop scholars, leaders, and citizens with positive values, character, and conduct. The curriculum includes Aerospace Science, Leadership Education, and Wellness (physical fitness). All students from Valencia, Castaic, Saugus, West Ranch, and Academy of the Canyons High Schools who are in 9-12th grade are eligible to enroll in the course. Valencia High School is the host school, and students from other schools are bused to Valencia three days per week in the afternoon.

For more information about joining AFJROTC, contact Col. (Ret.) Christopher Bricker at cbricker@hartdistrict.org.

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