• 13 April Raiders Competiton at Mt. Olive High School, Flanders NJ - Highland AFJROTC cadets traveled to Mt. Olive High School in North Jersey to compete for the third year in a row at the Third Annual Marauder Challenge Raider Competition.  The weather has been consistent over the years;  feeling like the low 30's temps with all manner of precipitation and yet the cadets persevered.  Although not medaling, our cadets did a fantastic job on the one rope bridge event...best in three years!  Whether crawling through the mud, moving heavy things, or running on the track or in the woods, the cadets had a great time and showed Black Horse Pike pride even bringing a Jackson HS cadet onto the team who wouldn't have been able to compete otherwise.  The team was led by captains Dom Saul and Kayron Gross with essential mentorship from Jason Swart and Cadet Group Commander Alani Franklin. Below are some pictures from the event. 
    Raiders RunThe Raiders PoseRaiders Thumbs Up
    The Future, Family and Fun - These are some of the words that describe what the Highland Regional High School AFJROTC Program is about. The instructors mentor future leaders, treat cadets like family and do so with a sense of fun. As a family, we do keep in touch with graduates who come back to mentor current cadets or just to sit and talk with their past mentor. Such was the case on 31 Dec 2023 when a group of former cadets met up with Major Simpson to catch up over the holiday break and share what they were currently doing out in the world.
    The picture below represents (from left to right) cadets who are currently enrolled at the University of South Florida, Harvard, George Washington Univ., Embry-RIMG_6196.jpeg iddle Aeronautical University, Seton Hall and Princeton.  Major Simpson was just a Rutgers man 😊. Some of these cadets have also visited China, Italy and other countries since their graduation. The AFJROTC program can be a rewarding and rich experience and this is just a small example of the positive connections and results that can come from being a part of a program that represents HIGHLAND HYPE!! 
    Lunch with cadets Dec 2023
    Highland High School AFJROTC Excel in CyberPatriot Competition - Highland High School's "Black Horse 1" Cyber Patriot team has garnered first place in the Air Force JROTC category for New Jersey thus far in the CyberPatriot computer security competition.  CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of middle and high school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services.  The top teams in the nation earn all-expenses-paid trips to Maryland for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.  This year's top team members at Highland HS AFJROTC:  Jason Swart (Captain), Alani Franklin, Larry Franklin Jr., Soledad Vasquez-Milstein, Cameron Hearn, Domenic Saul.  
    Any member of Highland's AFJROTC grades 9-12 are eligible to join next year's teams.  Contact Chief Mahoney at rmahoney@bhprsd.org.. A picture of the team can be seen by clicking on the link below.  
    Thanksgiving Luncheon at Gloucester Township Senior Center, 2 Nov 2023 -Today, 2 Nov 2023, cadets from the Highland High School AFJROTC program volunteered at the annual Gloucester Township Senior Center Thanksgiving Luncheon. Cadets served meals and interacted with the local seniors. This is the 3rd event with the senior center and future collaborations are already planned for this growing partnership. This is yet another great example of Highland High School's dedication to service. Pictures from the event are below. 
    Highland High School AFJROTC Gets Rolling With Drones and Cyber Security Training, 17 Oct 2023 - Today was a busy day for the Highland AFJROTC After School competition teams. Cadets participated in drone building and familiarization along with a meeting on cyber security competition rules and expectations. The goal of the Cyberatriot meeting was to prepare cadets for competition in the Annual CyberPatriot Competitions. CyberPatriot is a National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air and Space Forces Association. This will be the unit's 3rd year competing. 
    Along with CyberPatriot preparation, cadets also started drone familiarization with our newly delivered competition drones. Our aim is to complete building and familiarization and compete in multiple competitions this year. These are just some of the activities that the Highland AFJROTC cadets participate in. This will be a busy year. Photos of today's after-school activities are below. 

    Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) Never Ending Weekend - The 14th and 15th of October proved to be a very busy weekend for the AFJROTC cadets from Highland Regional High School.  On 14 October, cadets competed at the Washington Township High School Drill Competition, while others manned a table set up at the Timber Creek Fall Festival. At the Festival, cadets interacted with the visitors and provided a robotics building demonstration. On Sunday, 15 October, other cadets helped to set up the Peace For Police 5K benefit race, at the Timber Creek Dog Park, and acted as route guides for the participating runners. It was a weekend of competition, community interaction and community service. Pictures of the cadets in action are posted below.

    HIGHLAND HIGH SCHOOl AFJROTC COLLABORATES ON CLEANUP OF HISTORIC SITE - On 30 Sep 2023, Highland High School AFJROTC cadets teamed up with students from the Interact Club to perform an area beautification project at the Historic Gabriel Daveis Tavern in Glendora NJ. The tavern is a historic, 275 year old building and an important colonial site in NJ. Cadets helped to weed, rake and cut down invasive bushes and bamboo. This two-hour event was a great opportunity for cadets to demonstrate the USAF core value of "Service Before Self." Pictures of the event are below.
    Cleanup pic1Cleanup pic2Cleanup pic3
    On 14 September 2023, cadets from the Highland High School AFJROTC program helped  with a luncheon at the Gloucester Township Senior Center. The cadets served lunch, interacted with the seniors and got to meet the Mayor and NJ Assemblyman Moriarty. This was the first of what will be an ongoing community service project collaboration with the Senior Center. This was a great way for cadets to show dedication to service and to give back to the surrounding community. Pictures from the event are posted below.
    Cadets at Senior Center#1Cadets at Senior Center#2Cadets at Senior Center#3

    Color Guard Presents Nation's Colors at Class of 2023 Graduation - On the evening of 15 June 2023 the Highland High School AFJROTC Color Guard opened up graduation ceremonies with the presentation of our nation's colors. This is an annual event for the unit's color guard and they performed admirably.  A picture of the color guard is below. 


    Field Of Dreams Baseball Game - On 2 June, a few cadets from Highland's AFJROTC volunteer as aides to players in the Field of Dreams Baseball Program. This township program involved helping disabled young people play baseball. Cadets served as motivational and safety aides during the game.

    Annual Dining Out/Awards Night - On 5 May, the cadets of Unit NJ20182 held their annual dining out and awards night celebration. Approximately 70 cadets, parents and administrators attended the event and had a great time networking and dancing. Various cadets were recognized for various accomplishments during the night. Some pictures are posted below. 

    Dining Out Pic1Dinign Out Pic2POW MIA Table

    AFJROTC Unit Receives Thank You Letter for Giving Back to their Community - The Highland High School AFJROTC Program recently received a thank you letter from the President and Founder of the Step Up Foundation. The thank you letter was for the unit raising over $300.00 for the foundation by organizing and executing a step-up challenge involving teachers and cadets. The mission of the Foundation is that it strives to change the narrative concerning the number of veteran suicides by dramatically expanding awareness regarding the effects of blast wave injury, traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress. This is done via physical challenges, and speaking engagements meant to raise funds as a way to support the program. The Junior ROTC Program is just one of many organizations at Highland High that continues to find ways to give back while using such opportunities to build better citizens and positively affect school culture. 

    Letter and short video attached. Thank You Letter to NJ20182  Challenge Video

    Junior ROTC Cadet Earns 4 year College Scholarship - The Highland High School JROTC program is delighted to announce that on 11 January, 2023, our Air Force Junior ROTC Cadet Group Commander, Connor Brennan, was awarded a four-year scholarship to a college of his choice. The J100 scholarship is a full scholarship, given to  only 100 AFJROTC cadets nationwide, who plan on taking ROTC at the college level and subsequently pursuing a military career as an officer. The Scholarship covers full tuition and includes approximately $14,000 in annual allowances for room and board, books and a monthly cadet stipend.

    This is a great achievement for Cadet Brennan and another positive moment for Highland. Congratulations to cadet Brennan and his mom along with his teachers and coaches who provided mentorship and guidance over these four years. A photo of Mr. Brennan's acknowledgement Ceremony can be seen below. Well done, Cadet. Brennan. 

    Recognition Photo 1


    Recognition of Top Sellers from Unit Fundraiser - On 14 Dec cadets Priscilla Guerrero Sanchez and Colin Congemi were recognized during class for their stellar contribution to a recent fundraiser for the unit. They both sold over $500 worth of items from Claire's Gourmet. In recognition of their performance, they both received a gift card as a prize and symbol of recognition. Pictures of the brief presentation ceremony are posted below. 

    Cadet Guerrero SanchezCadet CongemiGroup photo with recipients

    Color Guard Supports Camden County Veterans Award Ceremony - On 13 Dec 2022, Nj-20182's Color Guard supported the Camden County Veterans Award Ceremony. The unit was personally requested and opened the event with the presentation of the nation's colors. Other cadets also served as greeters. This was another great opportunity for unit exposure and to give back to our local community. Below you will see our cadets pictured with the County Commissioner. 

    CG with County Commissioner

    Chad 1000 Veterans Day Hero Remembrance Workout - In honor of Veterans Day, cadets, instructors and teachers of Highland High took part in the Chad 1000 Workout. The workout is meant to honor Navy SEAL Chad Wilkinson who took his life on October 29, 2018 due to the effects of numerous deployments, several TBIs, blast wave injuries and PTSD. The event is also meant to raise awareness for suicide prevention. A short video of the event is posted below. This is just one of many community-oriented events cadets at Highland do each year. 

    Chad 1000 Workout Nov 2022

    Wounded Warrior Representative Speaks to Cadets - On 9 Nov 2022, in preparation for Veterans Day, Highland cadets had the opportunity to hear United States Army veteran Christopher Hoff speak. Mr. Hoff had a distinguished career in the Army, where he served two tours of duty in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He amassed a wide range of expertise during his military career while attending schools such as the United States Army and Canadian Armed Forces Airborne School, Drill Sergeant School, Jungle Warfare School and Combat Medical School. He also received various commendations, such as the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star for Heroism. The cadets were engaged and attentive and topics of discussion included leadership, responsibility, putting the best effort forward and service.  Below is a picture of Mr. Hoff with Charlie Flight cadets. 

    Wounded Warrior Rep Chris Hoff

    Washington Township High School Drill Competition - On 29 Oct, cadets from the Highland High School Drill team had an early start to prepare for participation in the Washington Township Competition. Cadets showed up at 0630 to gather equipment and prepare their uniforms for the day's competition. Highland cadets participated in two color guard events, an academic briefing and testing competition and the new cadet drill sequence competition. Most of the team was comprised of first year cadets and it was a fun learning and networking experience for them. Below is a picture of our color guard prior to their entry to one of their two events.  

    Color Guard at WTHS CompetitionWTHS Closing Ceremony

    Color Guard Presenting During Senior Night Football Game - The Highland High School AFJROTC Color Guard looked great presenting our nation's colors at the 23 Sep 2022 home football game. Take a look at the pictures below.

    Color Guard #1Color Guard #2

    New Cadet Orientation Dates for AY23Dear parents and guardians, The New Cadet Orientation will take place from 8 - 11 August (Monday to Thursday) at Highland High. All new cadets must show up between 0900 - 0915 on the applicable days and will be dismissed by 1430 (2:30 PM) each day. On the first day, all cadets must enter via the main entrance to the school, and if possible we would like all parents to stay for a short 15 minute meeting that will start at 0915. On subsequent days, cadets will enter via door C4 at the back of the school near the tennis courts. Cadets must dress comfortably because they will be marching and working out. To get credit (receive a certificate) for attendance, a cadet must attend at least 3 of the 4 days. 

    If your child will attend the orientation we request that you email the following information to rsimpson@bhprsd.org and rmahoney@bhprsd.org no later than 22 Jul 2021:

    1. Cadet’s full name (First and Last)
    2. Cadet’s grade level for the coming year
    3. Any food allergies or medical issues that may prevent eating of certain foods or working out

    Check Presentation to Hometown Heroes for Special Needs - On 1 June 2022, the cadets of Highland High School AFJROTC's Echo Flight, along with Principal Ryan Varga, presented their check of $265.00 to Mr. Scott Dantonio from Home Town Heroes for Special Needs Families (www.hh4sn.com). This was a great example of the cadet's community involvement and their continuing effort to give back to their local community. Pictures from the check presentation are at the links below. 

    Group Check Presentation

     Group CC Presenting Check

    Cadets View USAF Operations - On 22 May 2022, cadets from our unit got the chance to view USAF operations at Joint Base Mcguire, Dix, Lakehurst. Cadets were treated to a bus tour of the base and a C-17 static display. They also enjoyed a great meal at the Dining Facility. This trip was organized and chaperoned by Chief Master Sergeant Mahoney. Pictures of the trip can be viewed via the links below. 

    McGuire Trip#1 McGuire Trip#2 McGuire Trip#3 McGuire Trip#4

    Winners of our Annual Penny Wars Charity Donation Competition - This year we hosted our first annual Penny Wars Competition to benefit Hometown Heroes For Special Needs Families. The winner of the competition was Echo Flight (7th period), who helped raise the majority of the $265.00 we will present to the Organization in June. The winners were treated to a pizza party as an award for their donations. See pics at link below.

    Echo Flight - Penny Wars Winner

    Highland's AFJROTC Raider Team is a Winner -  Congratulations to our AFJROTC Raiders Team. The team, led by Cadets Ethan Hicken and Connor Brennan, competed in their first Raiders Competition this Saturday at Mount Olive High School and garnered a third place trophy in the logistics relay.The logistics relay included a low crawl race, tire flipping and pulling a weighted sled.  Well done cadets!! Pictures and a video from the competition are below. 

    Humvee Pull  Prep for Ruck March   Marching With Pride, Hut, 2, 3, 4

    Highland AFJROTC runs Concessions for Charity - Starting 21 March 2022, Highland High School AFJROTC will be running concessions for all boys' home volleyball games. Proceeds are slated to go to a local charity. A picture of the concession cadets in action is below. The boys' home games are on 21, 24 March, 11, 20 and 26 April, and 02 and 09 May. The first game of each evening will start at 4:15 PM. Come out and support AFJROTC in a demonstration of "Service Before Self."

    AFJROTC Concessions


    Highland AFJROTC Establish First Raider TeamThe Highland HS AFJROTC Raider Team was created to provide an outlet for  physically fit and mentally tough cadets with a desire to compete in outdoor, physically challenging contests designed to include strength, endurance, and teamwork.  Raider practice and competitions improve physical fitness and mental toughness, promotes teamwork and camaraderie, and builds leadership and followership skills, while reinforcing self-discipline.

    The team is led by Cadet Captains Ethan Hicken and Connor Brennan (both pictured to the right in the first pic in the attachment below). They continue to condition and train for their first competition in April 2022. 

    Raiders Train to win

    Highland AFJROTC Cadets Help with Book Love Fest Literacy Event - On 16 February cadets helped to set up and and acted as escorts and greeters for the annual literacy event at Highland. Below is a picture of the cadet volunteers. 

    Book Love Fest Volunteers

    Highland High School AFJROTC Cadet Awarded Fligt Academy Scholarship - Maxwell AFB, AL (Dec. 3, 2021) – Jason Savage, a 12th grade Air Force Junior ROTC cadet at Highland Regional High School has received a scholarship to attend an accredited aviation university participating in a Private Pilot Certificate training program in the summer of 2022. Cadet Savage is one of 200 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets around the world to receive the scholarship from Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL. More than 1300 cadets applied for one of the 200 scholarships. There are almost 120,000 high school students enrolled in Air Force Junior ROTC programs at approximately 870 high schools in the U.S. and overseas. The scholarship covers transportation, room and board, academics and flight hours required to potentially earn a Private Pilot Certificate. The scholarship is valued at approximately $22,500.

    The Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy Scholarship Program is an Air Force-level initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage. The Flight Academy allows aspiring young aviators to get their Private Pilot’s Certification, at no cost, during an eight-week summer course at partner universities. Below is a pic of Cadet Savage at his notification ceremony. Pictured from left to right are Counselor Ashley Yandach, Vice Principal Michael Jones, Cadet Savage, Major Simpson and Head of Guidance Arthur Alessandroni. 

    Flight Academy Recognition Ceremony


    Highland High School AFJRTOC Competes in the National JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl - The Highland AFJROTC Unit just competed in the first phase of the National JLAB Competiton. Click on the link below for some pics and a brief news release.

    JLAB News Release

    Highland High School AFJROTC Completes 2nd Round of CyberPatriot CompetitonCadets from Highland High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) competed in the second round of the Air Force Association’s 14th annual CyberPatriot competition.  CyberPatriot is the Air Force Association's National Youth Cyber Education Program, created to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.  The entire competition is sponsored by IT and Defense organizations such as Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Cisco, Microsoft, AT&T and the US Department of Homeland Security.

    At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services.  The top teams in the nation earn all-expenses-paid trips to Maryland for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship funds.

    Highland High School AFJROTC completed the more challenging Round Two scenario solving challenges on Windows and Linux platforms as well as tested their knowledge and application on Cisco products.  Cadets Nicholas Grungo, Jason Savage, Ethan Hicken, and Jamari Robinson have completed training sessions, practice rounds, and two live rounds at this point.  They will continue to train in preparation for the State Rounds in December under the supervision and direction of team captain, Connor Brennan. Photo of team in action at link below.

    If you have any questions on Cyber Patriot or Air Force JROTC please contact Major Simpson rsimpson@bhprsd.org or Chief Mahoney rmahoney@bhprsd.org.  

    CyberPatriot Team Photo

    Cyber Patriot Pic#2


    Highland AFJROTC Color Guard Places Third - After a long and arduos 15 hour day on 20 Nov 2021, the NJ-20182 Color Guard was rewarded with a third place trophy from the West Orange High School Drill Competition. The competition involved AFJROTC units from 10 schools. A pic of the drill team with the trophy is below.

    Color Guard In Line WOHS CompColor Guard WHOS Comp All On Step

    3rd Place Armed Color Guard WOHS

    Highland AFJROTC Cadets Compete in National CyberPatriot CompetitionCadets from Highland High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) are competing in the Air Force Association’s 14th annual CyberPatriot competition.  CyberPatriot is the Air Force Association's National Youth Cyber Education Program, created to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. Below is a link with additional information and a photo. 

    CyberPatriot Competition Team

    Highland AFJROTC Cadets Talk with new Freshman Class - On 13 Oct, two Highland senior cadets spent the school day speaking with rotating groups of Freshmen. Cadets Jason Savage and Andrew Guy, who are heavily involved in the Highland school community and enroute to college,  spoke about being successful in school and used their personal experiences to illustrate how a student can have a positive and successful experience at Highland. Topics discussed included decorum, respect, integrity and leadership. Below are a few pictures from the event. 

    Cadets Talk To Freshmen #1

    Cadets Talk to Freshmen #2

    Cadets Talk to Freshmen #3

    Color Guard Opens Timber Creek 9/11 Ceremony - On 10 Sep 2021, the Highland AFJROTC Color Guard was given the honor of opening their annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony. Below is a link to a picture of the color guard at the event.

    Color Guard Opens 9/11 Ceremony

    Cadets March in Bellmawr Parade - Cadets from Highland participated in the 4th of July parade in Bellmawr NJ. The cadets did a great job representing Highland and the Black Horse Pike Regional School District. Below is a link to an picture from the parade.

    4th Of July Parade

    New Cadet Orientation - Orientation dates for incoming AY22 cadets are now set: The dates for New Cadet Oreientation will be 16 - 19 August 2021. A letter will be sent out to parents in early July 2021. 

    Awards Ceremony on 25 May 2021 - The unit held its annual awards ceremony and named the incoming staff for AY22. In attendance were D.r Repici, Mr. Jones and Ms. Speziali. The top 3 for AY22 are Savon Allen as Gp/CC, Torrance Liddell as Gp/CV and Andrew Guy as Group SEA. Congrats to them and the incoming staff for AY22!!

    23 May 2021 - on 7 May 2021, Unit NJ 20182 participated in the Piscataway High School Virtual Drill Competition and placed in all 3 of the events it entered. The unit garnered a second place in academics, a second place in unarmed drill and a third place in color guard. Job well done team!!!