Service, race mark 100 years of JROTC

Students are gearing up for a record-breaking run and community service contributions in honor of the 100th anniversary of worldwide JROTC units.

Tech. Sgt. Tina Laing, an aerospace science instructor who works with the Air Force JROTC at Randolph-Macon Academy, said that the 100th Anniversary Fun Run is an effort to break a Guinness World Record for number of runners in a 5K race. Worldwide, she said all Fun Run participants will start off at 11 a.m. EDT April 23.

Laing said members of the community are welcome to jog the R-MA campus trail along with participating students.

“We wanted to not only do this run…we wanted to give back to our community, we wanted to do one project,” she said.

Master Sgt. Stephen Pederson is an aerospace science instructor and serves as faculty adviser for the Interact club. For their community service project, he said students have been raising money to help out other students.

He said bake sales and a “penny wars” session for casual dress days will contribute funds for a community service shopping trip. After stocking up on some healthy snacks, R-MA students will be packing and delivering Standards of Learning survival kits for students at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School.

“The money raising was already in the works…it was going to go more for a backpack project but we decided to do this instead,” Pederson said. “We’re basically helping the same kids, we’re just doing it in a different way.”

At Massanutten Military Academy, director of marketing and communications Lori Campbell said the annual 5K throughout campus will have a bit of a 100th anniversary spin to it. Cadets can don a commemorative shirt for the 11 a.m. run before prepping for the academy’s military ball that evening, another annual tradition.

Families and community members can also join in on this year’s 5K at the academy for a $30 entrance fee, which includes a commemorative T-shirt and a $5 contribution. Registration for the run can be found online at

Campbell said the anniversary initiative’s week of service is also more of the usual for cadets at the academy.

“Our students do a lot of community service just in general…that’s part of our motto,” she said. “We honestly have the spirit of community service year round, so we don’t do anything necessarily special for the anniversary.”

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or