U.S. Secretary of the Air Force James visits Yokota AF Cadet Program
In a great Yokota Air Base community and school partnership event, high school students, members of the Air Force 374th leadership, and the Japan Dist. School Supt. Office, came together at Yokota High School to welcome U.S. Secretary of the Air Force, the Hon. Deborah Lee James to Yokota. In her first time ever visit to a high school cadet program, Sec. James met and mingled with leading AFJROTC and CAP cadets from Yokota Air Base.
She was met with a warm welcome speech given by JROTC Corps Comm. Kristiane Sonnenberg. Secretary James then gave a presentation to cadets. A brief luncheon was then followed by an excellent Question & Answer session between the cadets and the Secretary, regarding the Air Force perspective on current events. In attendance as well were 374th AW Comm. Col Doug DeLaMater, 374th AW Vice Comm. Col. Lukes, Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Adam Boyd, JROTC Senior Instructor Lt. Col. Gary Ardo, YHS Acting Prin.Henry Barr and JSO Asst. Supt. Dr. Christine Hill.
An ending highlight of the program was the presentation of honorary JROTC Cadet membership to the Secretary by the cadet commander Sonnenberg and JROTC and CAP patches as mementos of her visit. The visit was a thrill for the cadets and the Secretary enjoyed spending time with our dedicated and enthusiastic cadets.
Cadet Shareef Saxon remarked “I liked meeting with our SECAF because she’s very easy to get along with and went around to every cadet asking about their plans after high school and that showed that she really cared.” Cadet Kaylynn Harvey said “I thought it was a fun event and she was helpful with any questions we had”. Cadet Johnathan Crumpton stated “it was a good experience; it is probably the most memorable high school experience I’ve had in all four years. It was surprising to me that she was such a normal person for someone who is so important”.
Yokota extends great appreciation to Secretary James for taking the time to connect with our students and to the great support given to the event by Yokota Air Base leadership!
The Yokota High School Air Force JROTC program is now in its third consecutive year as a Distinguished Unit; a member of the top 10% of 890 AFJROTC units worldwide.