Alice JROTC offering hands-on Aviation Education Program

Students are involved in the management of aircraft and learn the intricacies of the pilot. This fills a great need for the younger generation of pilots.

CORPS-CHRISTIE, Texas – Students in Alice are getting an education. The Kali Aviation program gives students the opportunity to prepare for a career in the sky!

Our Simone Simpson spoke with Cliff Moriarty in the program. He served in the Air Force for 26 years as a Cold War soldier. He knows how important it is for retirees for the younger generation to move to the role of pilot.

Cliff says that “over the next 10-15 years, we will need about 100,000 new pilots to work in commercial aviation, general aviation and, of course, military aviation.”

In response to the demand of young men and women to learn to fly, Samantha Gray is grateful that Alice High School’s junior ROTC Air Force is taking advantage of a civilian air patrol program to raise new pilots.

“If you don’t have anyone to fly planes,” Gray said, “you don’t have that extra support. You don’t have the life-saving ways that our community, our region, really needs.”

Cadet programs offer students free airplane flights where they can take control and enjoy the flights. Jonathan Vela is the first JROTC cadet. This will be his second flight.

“Maybe my favorite part should be when you go up in the air and your ears burst, which seems to be the best part for me.”

Meanwhile, Alan O’Martin has been flying since he was 18 and has worked for the Civil Air Patrol for 20 years. He hopes to inspire more students such as Jonathan who are passionate about flying.

“I think getting into aviation can change your life. Anyone can get into it.” He says: “People from all walks of life, history, art, it doesn’t matter if you do science or not, but aviation is just a great thing, and I think aviation has a good future as a general.”

After leaving the first of the 8 flights that took place today, Jonathan had only one thing to say: “I liked it. I can’t wait to get up again.”

And Cliff hopes Jonathan’s enthusiasm is contagious.

“For all our 16 cadets who will be flying today, this is a significant event in their lives. It can change lives if they realize that flying is a lot of fun. And someday they will want to do it.”

He hopes the young minds run away.

If you want to learn more about the program for yourself or the young person in your life, you can visit

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