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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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11/1/2012 10:00:00 PM
Prescott military science class draws students from across northern Arizona
Les Stukenberg/The Daily CourierStudents from schools across Yavapai County gather each Monday for leadership lab. 
The class is the first of its kind in the nation.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Students from schools across Yavapai County gather each Monday for leadership lab. The class is the first of its kind in the nation.
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

As Prescott High School Air Force Jr. ROTC members led Military Science 100 students in drills, Gary Lagoy, a social studies teacher at Rimrock High School, said it's good to see his students around other like-minded students.

"I've seen positive changes in our students' motivation since they started taking part in the class," said Lagoy, who retired from the Air Force after 22 years. "They don't have this type of opportunity at our small school."

Thirty-two students gather each Monday at Prescott High School for the two-hour face-to-face leadership laboratory portion of the year-long online-hybrid class taught by Col. Denny Peeples of Prescott High School's Aerospace Science Leadership Academy.

Fourteen of the students come from schools all across Yavapai County, including Rimrock, Seligman, Ash Fork, Sedona and Prescott Valley, for this opportunity that is not available on their campus.

"The effort this class takes is definitely worth it," said Jacob Diehl, a sophomore at Sedona Red Rock High School who wants to serve in the U.S. Army's Airborne. "So far I've liked all of it."

The class, the first of its kind in the nation, is part of a three-year pilot program approved by the U.S. Air Force, Peeples said.

The class is simulcast through interactive television at the Prescott High School studio, and each class is available on a YouTube channel so students can take part when it fits into their school schedules, Peeples said.

"They absolutely love it," Peeples said.

The Yavapai County Educational Technology Consortium sees classes like this "as the wave of the future," County School Superintendent Tim Carter said.

"Denny is working to take on something new in education," Carter said. "It's unique in the nation as far as we know, and we're proud of him and the students."

Students recently finished learning about the history of aviation, and asked questions of guest speakers Dr. Mike Fabian of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and local veterans, Peeples said.

"I really enjoyed learning about the history of flying and hearing the World War II veterans talk about their experiences," said MeKenzie Hawley, a junior at Seligman High School.

Upcoming units will focus on all branches of the U.S. military services, citizenship, leadership, and government, and many local veterans and veterans organizations are taking part, Peeples said.

Students also take part in orienteering, rocketry club, drill team, honor guard, color guard, and field trips, as well as a military ball, Peeples said.

Like most new technology, there have been some bumps in the road, but Carter said as schools adopt the technology and have success with it he thinks there will be more class offerings over time.

"It's going to take some time for early adoption of the technology and to have success with it," Carter said. "When Denny sees something good for the kids, he really latches on to it."

Kaytlyn Odle, a junior at Seligman High School who's considering becoming a medic, said if they offer a Military Science 200 class next year, she'll be signing up.

Peeples tells students he does not care whether students go into the military, but "I do care that you create a plan to succeed in life."

John Ault, a sophomore at Prescott High School and member of the Air Force Jr. ROTC, encouraged fellow students during a teamwork drill where four of them had to raise and lower a hula hoop together and keep it level.

"Put your arm up," John said. "You've got it."

Veronica Campis, a senior at Prescott High School, said what she enjoys most are the strong friendships she's formed as part of the group and the support they give each other.

"The confidence we learn here, we use in everything we do," Ault said. "You learn the confidence to lead, believe in your team, and the confidence to follow."


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Article comment by: proud cadet

I will support the military and my country until i die. I resist your comments and provide my own.

Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: Coyote Contraire™

@ Les Havalook,
During the Vietnam war I figured out the reason only guys from 18 to 26 years old were subject to conscription was because by the time people are 27 they often have become more aware and many would return their draft notices to the government with a "NO THANKS!" written boldly across the top, or such "Greeting" letters would simply be "lost in the mail" as is apt to happen with jury duty notices.

Governments have always counted on the gullibility of the young and the desperation of the unemployable to ensure they had sufficient cannon fodder for their military adventures. Only when the supply of expendable warm young bodies gets low do they resort to conscripting the mature.

When I was in the army it was interesting to note that more than a few of my fellow warriors were exercising their "privilege" (yeah, that's what they called it) to serve as a court-offered alternative to prison time. Some of them didn't do much better with military authority than they had done with civilian so they got "straightened out" in the stockade instead of a civilian prison.

In those days if you entered a land-grant college or university, you were essentially drafted into either army or air force ROTC for your first two years, which really served as a lengthy opportunity to try and con you into officer candidate school after graduation. Didn't work on many of us, who just became draft-elligible after college anyway.


Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: @ Gus Patrick

Your crying to have truth censored. You are an enemy of the US Constitution. You spit upon the 1st amendment. You are an enemy of the people.

Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: Zombie Killer

So we see Gus Patrick the facist. Silence all dissent.
. He spits on the US Constitution and freedom of speech. We see how the Zombie reacts, because they do not think. The Zombies cannot handle the truth. They are upset by it to a point they want it silenced. "Remove it."
Look up all the videos on Youtube where police and soldier mercenaries (yes they are hired and paid to carry out the orders of their owners)
All those videos that show the mercenaries following illegal orders with the statement "I am only following orders", Nice way to fulfill their oath to protect and defend the Constitution.


Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: Sorry Gus but Have you seen this class of students?

What do you call those students who have NO chance to go to college, no chance to learn a technical trade, no chance to work in a skilled trade? ROTC, that's it. These students, like the hacks before them, are joining to get a paycheck. You all act as if serving is soooo hard and do honorable but the truth is these people are too incompetent for other options. The military has ALWAYS been full of this type. They absolutely are PAWNS in a world-wide chess game. Their plight is there own lack of skills and unwillingness to educate. They are required to think or anything- just follow orders. And of course they are poor. Because if they were rich they wouldn't need to work.

Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: Disgusted by the Apathy

"You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification"

This is from the Courier's Terms of Use agreement. And is exactly what Gus is talking about in his comments. The comments by Just Fodder, should have fallen under this category when their comment was reviewed for posting. The name used by the poster alone "just fodder" should have been the first indicator of the lack of respect held for our service men and women by this person.

And to A Proud 11 Mike, if you indeed served in the military, you should be ashamed. It is your kind of thinking that allows bullies to continue to verbally torment others, because "hey, it's just words and is free speech".


Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: Les Havalook

Military indoctrination should be outlawed until the human brain is fully formed around age 27. Then and only then should one be confronted with the idea of preparing one's self to go off and kill other people for a living.

Also, the only fair way to support a military industrial complex such as we have now is to reinstitute the draft. No deferments whatsoever. That way all the congressmen, senators, governors, etc will have the same chance of seeing their own beloved sons and daughters arrive in a flag draped box at Dover.

Without some skin in the game one should not be allowed to vote on or make any decisions on sending other's sons and daughters into harms way.


Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: A Proud 11 Mike

Hey Gus - I served as well. Left some bits in the desert even. I didn't take much offense to the hyperbolic language in the comments (zombies, etc.). Shoot - most of the guys I served with were smart enough to figure out the sham that was the Iraq war. And that's saying a lot for a platoon of grunts. Grin. Guess that means we weren't zombies, but it's hard to argue that we weren't being "used" to some end or another.

Anyway, if someone wants to call me a zombie - whatever. We all seem to hurl a lot of silly language around to label others. It's free speech - supposedly something the military is defending by way of combat actions around the globe. ????


Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012
Article comment by: Gus Patrick

Yes, I find it demeaning and offensive when a person makes the following statements:

"The military are simply zombies"
"It brainwashes..."
"The police and soldiers are simply mercenaries..."

When your father, brother, yourself, your three sons, and your daughter-in-law all have served or are serving in the military, then perhaps you would find those types of comments both demeaning and offensive.

It is one thing to have the opinion that the rich get richer off of war, and stand on the backs of the poor to attain even more riches. But, to degrade the men and women that faithfully serve their country and communities is something else entirely.


Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Article comment by: @ Gus Patrick

Demeaning? You're a pretty sensitive guy. You might not agree, but I find little demeaning or offensive content in Fodder's post.

Those who wage ware typically do profit. Cheney made a personal fortune off the Iraq war. I guess the question is whether war is waged for noble purposes or not. Even if so - those noble purposes are often capitalized on by those in power to line their own pockets. And yes - the military is primarily the lower income segment of society. Rich profiting off the backs of the poor. Has been since the dawn of time.


Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Article comment by: Gus Patrick

In Regard to Just Fodder's comments

These comments are offensive and demeaning. They should be removed immediately!


Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Article comment by: Just Fodder

War Profiteers start wars and make huge profits on all these wars. They in turn buy the government and have their lobbyists write the laws so they are "legal" if not moral or ethical.
The government of the USA has been government OF the Rich, By the Rich and FOR the RICH since its beginnings. The military are simply zombies.
It brainwashes the foolish poor people to be true believers in a system that preys upon them for corporate profits. The poor actually buy the lies. The poor go and fight the wars caused by the rich. The poor actually defend the rich. The police and soldiers are simply mercenaries of the rich.




Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Article comment by: Way to ruin it Look Out

I'm a liberal combat veteran who served willingly and with distinction. Not everyone who recognizes the value of a strong (judiciously used) military and training programs that provide youth with experiences that will positively benefit their life whether they stay on the path to the armed services is by default a brain dead neo-con. In fact most war mongerers never got past the playing with toy soldier stage, much less wore a uniform.

Congrats to all the students in the program. Never mind the silly adults trying to politicize everything (myself included).





Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2012
Article comment by: April Boller

I am the proud parent of students that went through the JROTC at Prescott High. My son was in the program the first year it was established. I am a big believer in what Col Peeples has done to help these children grow into productive adults. Hats off to Col Peeples and this program.

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: PHS Parent

I am very happy programs like this exist at PHS! My son did not participate ROTC in high school but now attends a military junior college. He will graduate as a second lieutenant after 2 years at his college. Any students interested in learning more please visit www.marionmilitary.edu God bless our service men and women, now and in the future!!

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: I LOVE

I LOVE THE UNITED STATES MILITARY AND I ALWAYS WILL!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: Prescott Valley Resident

God bless our Current and Future military. Any negative comments are un-American.

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: Andrew Newton

This is a top notch program led by Colonel Peeples from its start at PHS. Venturing into the online world is another example of his passion for teaching a leadership program. Great job!

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2012
Article comment by: Look out

Mention the words ROTC, military, and school and start ducking from the liberal progressive hate that's coming. . .



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