The Prescott High School Air Force JROTC recently was awarded the Distinguished Unit Award with Merit (the highest unit award possible) for the 2013-2014 school year. This award is presented by Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC to the top units in the country. The PHS unit was first formed in 2006, and has won the award each year of its existence – three time’s with merit.
The Distinguished Unit Award is presented to units that achieve various goals. Each year the unit has to set and achieve a minimum of at least 6 goals (2 for the unit, 2 for the school, and 2 for the community). In addition to the goals, the unit must also perform at least 1300 hours of community service work. This award is usually awarded to about 10% of the 863 AFJROTC units worldwide.
A few of the unit’s goals this year included the establishment of a "wingman" program through which cadets chose a partner to assist with any issues over the course of the school year. One of the unit’s school goals for this year was to paint several storage sheds on campus that were many years past due for a paint job. After a good scrapping, the unit painted the sheds blue and gold. A community goal for the year was repainting the "P" on "P" mountain. The unit spent a weekend in February doing so, and the “P” looks good as new.
The unit far outreached their goal of 1300 hours of community service – they actually did well over 10,000 hours. This averages out to about 50 hours per cadet in the program. The students were extremely proud of this, as one of the main goals for JROTC is to build better citizens and their belief is that community service is an outstanding way to accomplish this goal.
The award received by the unit this year was extra special because it was “with Merit”. The only way to receive this award is to have an inspector from AFJROTC Headquarters come to inspect your unit (usually about every 3 years). If your unit earns the Distinguished Unit Award and the inspector was especially impressed by the unit, then they get the award "with Merit". The inspection this year was conducted by Mr. Greg Wynn, the Deputy Commander of AFJROTC, and his report indicated that he felt the PHS unit was one of the 10 best units (out of 863) he had seen in his 10 years as Deputy Commander. All three times the unit has been inspected by Headquarters since 2006; they have earned the Distinguished Unit Award with Merit.