Glendale "Bugler" - Women in ROTC

Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle and to command a Shuttle mission grew up in public housing. There wasn't much money for family outings when she was a child, but her father liked to take the family to the airport to watch the planes take off. Her dream was to fly, so Collins saved up for lessons and had enough by the time she attended community college. Once in the pilot's seat, her future seemed clear. She pursued her dream, joining Air Force ROTC at Syracuse University and was among the first women allowed into the pilot-training program. Eventually (and we know how this story ends), she set her sights even higher - on NASA.

STS-63 (February 3-11, 1995) was the first flight of the new joint Russian-American Space Program. Mission highlights included the rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir, operation of Spacehab, the deployment and retrieval of an astronomy satellite, and a space walk. Collins was the first woman pilot of a Space Shuttle.

STS-84 (May 15-24, 1997) was NASA's sixth Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. During the flight, the crew conducted a number of secondary experiments and transferred nearly 4 tons of supplies and experiment equipment between Atlantis and the Mir station.

STS-93 Columbia (July 23-27, 1999) Collins was the first woman Shuttle Commander. STS-93 highlighted the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Designed to conduct comprehensive studies of the universe, the telescope has enabled scientists to study exotic phenomena such as exploding stars, quasars, and black holes.

Eileen Collins has said that she is an explorer and that she wants "to go places that are new and different, learn new things." "I think that's what being human is all about. It's what life is all about - exploring and learning." Our subject, Women in ROTC, also calls to mind this past weekend's "Cadet Kelly," a made-for-television movie on the Disney Channel. It was a tale of a free-spirited ninth grade girl who joins a prestigious military academy against her wishes but ultimately distinguishes herself on the JROTC Drill Team. Competition drill footage in the movie was provided by the Marine Corps JROTC unit at Rahway High School from Rahway, New Jersey. Congratulations to Disney for showing off some of the exciting aspects of JROTC Drill Competition. But particular congratulations go to the Rahway MCJROTC cadets. Well done! We look forward to seeing more of their drill routines at Nationals. Incidentally, you may have recognized some of the movie props from the competition site of the Nationals.

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