Air Force veteran Gary Maki is Bedford High School’s Senior Aerospace Science instructor for the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC program.
Maki retired from the Air Force in 2014 and is now on the BHS faculty. Gary has had prior experience as an instructor in the Air Force, was in Marine Corps Reserves for six years and has had three combat deployments, including one in Afghanistan.
Students from Bedford, Hanscom Air Force Base, and Billerica take part in the BHS JROTC program. The program currently has 67 students. Maki said a district the size of Bedford would on average have more than 80 enrolled. Maki and his JROTC students will improve awareness at the middle schools to make younger students aware of the program benefits and increase future enrollment.
According to Maki, JROTC programs in general are not designed to recruit for the United States military. While students are learning respect, efficacy and solving problems, JROTC offers students the opportunity to explore topics like aerospace that they may not experience in their other traditional programs. In addition, JROTC students have the opportunity to be in leadership positions, learn life skills like finance and effective communication, and how to choose a college.
Students spend 120 hours in the JROTC classroom during their six-day schedule, meeting four times during the school week performing drill and physical training.
more at Joy Richards, http://bedford.wickedlocal.com/article/20151111/NEWS/151119407