ROTC Heading to Hawaii

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Bailey McTavish

With Major Dean Rasdall being the only teacher this year for the AFJROTC program, there comes a lot more responsibility and a lot more time gets put into his job.

“It’s busy. But having had years of experience and being left in a good position they started me out as, so everything is pretty much uptight and all the work was caught up. Being able to start of the year off with a good note helps,” said Rasdall.

In the process of finding a second teacher they have to wait for the Air Force to send in candidates for the job.

“It’s not so much a building or a district issue. The Air Force has to vet all of the candidates and then they will send a list of qualified instructors to the district that they higher from that list. So then they have to go through, of course, the district procedures and be hired,” said Rasdall. “It’s because of how the agreements are with the Air Force and some of the pay and funding issues that go along with that.”

Senior Dylan Wiseman believes that this year will be harder now that Rasdall is the only teacher this year.

“I definitely feel like it’s going to be a lot more work for not only him but for us as a core. We are  set up as like a core so we are self sufficient. We have things in place so that we can run ourselves,” Wiseman stated.

With the program set up as a core they do not need to rely on Rasdall as much. As they are learning to do things more for themselves.

“Major doesn’t really need to do anything but guide us, so we’re there to run it essentially. It’s great that we have people who can step up in those positions who can do that, and have a great year,” said Wiseman

Senior Mason Wolff has faith in Rasdall. “I believe he will do a good job as he does always,” said Wolff.

“I feel that it is going to get a little more frustrating throughout the year. It has not been yet. Only because we’re still in the administrator phase…But as we start to get into instruction this may prove pretty testing. Especially when we get into cadet activities and trips,” Wolff stated.

The AFJROTC program is going to Hawaii this year for their annual Junior/Senior class trip that they take every other year. Twenty four cadets are going this year with ten chaperones.

“Hawaii was a cadet planned trip. Every other year the Senior cadets plan their Senior trip. Based on fundraising, based on their desires. They get to go together as a class. All the Juniors and Seniors, since we do it every other year,” Rasdall said.

The students are the ones who select a location where they would like to go. With the fundraising the Juniors and Seniors have done in their past years have made Hawaii Possible.

Seniors, Dylan Wiseman and Mason Wolff are the ones who pitched the idea to go to Hawaii.

“I thought it would be a cool trip to go to.There is a lot of military focus and activities in Hawaii, Oahu especially because of the Pearl Harbor Memorial. There are a lot of military bases there, including marines, army, air force, even coast guard. I did not was to go someplace that would be cold in February,” Wolff said.

Not only was Hawaii one of the cooler places to look at it. They made it possible with all of their fundraising and support from their boosters. Wiseman has never been to Hawaii before and he is mostly excited to see Pearl Harbor when they get down there.

“Definitely Pearl Harbor…I’m a military guy. I’m actually enlisted in the Air Force right now, so I just think it would be cool. There’s history there. Even volcanoes. So we’re going to do a lot of sightseeing as well,” Wiseman said.

Senior Dylan Wiseman looks forward to his final year with ROTC. Photo by Bailey McTavish.

They have a lot of activities planned for when they get to Hawaii.

“We’re going to go to the Valor in the Pacific, It is a prime location to see, the USS Arizona, The Battleship Missouri. Plus Military installations are very plentiful around the Honolulu area. Some Other things include going to the North Shore. We’re going to some of the plantations over there. I don’t see how you can not go to Hawaii and not go to the beach,” Rasdall said.  

Wolff believes that they will all get something out of this trip.

“I think we will get a positive experience with this trip. It is a very exotic location, cool climate, and a lot of interesting things to see there (in Hawaii) both military and not military,” Said Wolff.

Even though the they have had a lot of help with the fundraising they have done, the trip will still cost the cadets $1,275. It includes everything besides snacks and souvenirs.

“The Air Force does provide a budget for cadet field trip activities. It doesn’t cover the field trip by any stretch, it’s a small amount. They give us a small amount per cadet ever year to use in addition of other activities. They give us a twenty dollar food allowance for each cadet. It’s only meant for a weekend trip. It’s not going to last for the duration of Hawaii. We’re going to well spend that,” said Rasdall.

Planning this trip for Rasdall has been very busy. He has been working two to three days every week trying to make this possible. From planning the flight so everyone was on the same plane and getting a hotel scheduled to figuring out what they are going to do in Hawaii.

“We’re losing that generation. Most young people don’t even get that experience to talk to a World War two vet, because you figure a veteran from World War two the youngest ones are now in their early 90’s. The generation is nearly gone and to be able to experience that. It’s a pretty somber moving event. It’s very meaningful,” said Rasdall.

“It’s a part of history we learn about. We teach about history, we read about history, we watch movies about history, and we’re able to go over there and experience it. Some of the air bases over there still have a lot of the structural remains of the December 7th attacks. They’ll still be able to see what brought us into World War two.”  

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