The AK-033 Cadet Group was established at West Anchorage High School on 01 September 1968 through the efforts of Lt Col Harold Hopkins (deceased) who served as the officer instructorthrough 1980. AK-033 is the original and oldest Junior ROTC unit in the State of Alaska. The Corps is currently under the supervision of Major (Ret) Edward J. Dove, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, and CM Sgt (Ret) Morris L. Pickel Jr., Aerospace Science Instructor.
Many view the Air Force Junior ROTC as a "high school basic training" with cadets headed for a military career. Nothing could be further from the truth! While it is true that some graduates will enter the Armed Forces, others will not. The fact is that AF JROTC is actually a citizenship/leadership laboratory. Emphasis is placed upon the cadets learning to accept responsibility, to develop their leadership potential, to become good citizens of the community, to increase their confidence, to teach them to speak on their feet, to communicate through writing skills, about military organization, and about drill and ceremonies.
Cadets in AK-033 come from every walk of life with various levels of abilities. The Corps has Honor Society members, football and basketball players, wrestlers, rifle team members, choir, orchestra, drama and debate students, cheerleaders, dancers, and civic religious leaders. It is not boasting to say that West's AF JROTC is filled with winners!
Being winners is not new to AK-033 cadets. We have been named by the Air Force as an Honor Unit eleven times and a Meritorious Unit ten times since 1968. Further, AK-033 has five times earned first place plus four Honorable Mentions in the annual nation-wide Aerospace Education Foundation contest. We have also won the Overall Winner Award in 1988. In 1998 we won first place Exhibition Drill in the Challenger category at Daytona Beach and in 2002 we won the Hawaiian JROTC/DOE Spring Camp "Honor Battalion" trophy. In 2004, our Drill Team went back to Daytona Beach and came back with a first place trophy for our Precision Exhibition Team. In 2006, our Drill Team returned, yet again, to Daytona Beach where they won multiple trophies. They won a first place in Color Guard as well as a first place in Precision Exhibition, and a second place in the nation trophy! They also placed sixth in Unarmed Regulation and fourteenth in Unarmed Inspection which placed them second in the nation. On the local level, the cadets excel in drill competitions, in contributions to the community and our school, and enhancing the image of American youth.