Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) Program

  • West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is excited to announce that starting in January 2023, WDMCS will begin an Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program at Valley High School. Students who attend Valley Southwoods, Valley, and Walnut Creek Campus will be eligible to register for the course.


    JROTC Program Overview

    • In August 2022, all students will begin the first course, AFJROTC Aviation History.
    • The entire program offers four 1-credit courses.
    • Only one of those courses is offered each year.
    • All classroom experiences include components of course curriculum, leadership, and physical fitness.
    • Classes may include students from multiple grades. 
    • Each course will satisfy the Physical Education graduation requirement for the year.
    • Transportation will be provided, if needed, for students who attend Valley Southwoods or Walnut Creek Campus.


    Download Program Overview


  • AFJROTC Aviation History

  • AFJROTC Science of Flight

  • AFJROTC Exploring Space

  • AFJROTC Cultural Studies

  • What is the mission and purpose of the Air Force JROTC program?

    Posted by:

    Our Mission
    “Develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community.”

    Our Purpose
    Instill in students the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, character, and a sense of accomplishment. To make the greatest positive impact in the lives of our cadets as possible. This is perfectly encapsulated in our motto: “Building Better Citizens for America.”

    Comments (-1)
  • Tell me more about the curriculum.

    Posted by:

    The curriculum is designed to include a blend of aerospace science (40%), leadership education (40%) and physical fitness (20%). 

    Aerospace Science topics: 

    • Aviation History
    • Science of Flight
    • Exploring Space
    • Cultureal Studies

    Leadership Education topics:

    • Air Force culture – ranks, organization, history
    • Military customs and courtesies, proper uniform wear
    • Civics
    • Flag etiquette
    • Drill (marching)
    • Leadership skills

    Physical Fitness (Health and Wellness):

    • Students perform a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) at the beginning of the year.
    • Cadets participate in Physical Fitness during class one day per week.
    • Cadets will perform a Physical Fitness Test at the end of each year.


    Comments (-1)
  • What are the dress and personal appearance requirements?

    Posted by:
    • Cadets are required to wear the uniform one day per week.
    • While in uniform, cadets will comply with the basic uniform wear, personal appearance, and grooming standards in accordance with Department of the Air Force Instruction (DAFI) 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. 
    • DAFI 36-2903 contains specific rules about dress and appearance, including how to properly wear the uniform and guidance for personal appearance and grooming standards such as:
      • hair styles, length, accessories, coloring
      • nails
      • cosmetics
      • tattoos/brands/body markings
      • body piercings

    Proper uniform wear and grooming is required of all cadets.  Cadets are required to wear the uniform one day per week throughout the school year. Cadets unable or unwilling to wear the uniform and meet the grooming standard will be removed from the program.  Uniform and grooming standards are in accordance with Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.  This is HQ AFJROTC policy and not negotiable for cadets or instructors. In general terms, this means a neat, clean-cut haircut and no facial hair (with the exception of a trimmed mustache) for male cadets while in uniform. For female cadets, this means their hair must be styled in compliance with DAFI 36-2903. 

    The Four Elements of Uniform Wear: Neatness, Cleanliness, Safety, and Military Image

    Comments (-1)
  • Why did WDMCS choose the United States Air Force instead of a different branch of the military?

    Posted by:

    The United States Air Force identified the state of Iowa as an underrepresented state. They currently offer JROTC programs in Sioux City, Waterloo, and Council Bluffs. This low representation increases the potential for Valley High School to host a program.

    Comments (-1)
  • Is this a semester or full-year course?

    Posted by:

    All of the JROTC courses are a full year.

    Comments (-1)
  • When will this course be offered?

    Posted by:

    We will offer this course at Valley starting the first semester of the 2022-23 school year.

    Comments (-1)
  • Are Valley Southwoods or Walnut Creek students allowed to enroll in this course?

    Posted by:

    Yes. All students in grades 9-12 can enroll in the program.

    Comments (-1)
  • JROTC Instructor

    Aaron McConegheySenior Master Sergeant Aaron A. McConeghey

    Prior to retiring April 1, 2022, Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt) Aaron McConeghey was the Public Health NCOIC at the 132d Medical Group, 132d Wing in Des Moines. He managed the public health activities and programs in support of the Aerospace Medicine Program and the 900 Airmen assigned to the 132nd.  He also oversaw multiple public health programs, including deployment health, occupational health, medical entomology, sanitation, food safety, and defense and communicable disease prevention and control.

    SMSgt McConeghey provided technical expertise to and advised senior leadership members on several executive councils, including the Threat Working Group, Emergency Management Working Group, and the Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Council.  He also provided crucial support, advice, and technical expertise to Wing Senior Leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    SMSgt McConeghey is married to his wife, Mickey, and together they have two children, Abbey and Merritt.  He has been an active Boy Scouts of America volunteer leader since 2013, enjoys supporting his children in various sports and activities, and is an avid motorcycle rider.

    SMSgt McConeghey said he is looking forward to a new career as the JROTC instructor for West Des Moines Community Schools.


  • Southwoods Counselors

    Valley Southwoods Counseling Department has two full-time school counselors. The students are assigned to a counselor based on the first letters of the student’s last name. 

    Tess Young
    Counselor A-K

    Request an appointment

    TJ Cox
    Counselor L-Z

    Request an appointment


Last Modified on September 21, 2022