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Junior ROTC at Coventry High School shut down

February 3, 2014

Coventry's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) drill team was competitive at many levels, as the 2009 team (above) showed. File Photo

COVENTRY— After receiving multiple warnings regarding low enrollment, the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program at Coventry High School will close it’s doors following a 41 year run.

Instructor Colonel Steven Buteau explained that he and his colleague Master Sgt. Marc Boulay got a letter in October 2012 from the Air Force explaining that Coventry’s unit, RI-081, would be deactivated if it did not maintain minimum enrollment the following school year.

According to Title 10, U.S. Code Section 2031, the program must have a minimum of 100 people or 10 percent of the school population, whichever is less, Colonel Buteau said.

“After this past fall came and went our number was at 77 so they sent us a closing letter,” he added.

In November, Superintendent Dr. Michael Almeida received a letter from the JROTC Director Colonel Cameron Gilbert explaining that the program would be deactivated on June 30 of this year.

Colonel Buteau said the JROTC program at Coventry High School has not been able to maintain the minimum enrollment since the 2006-2007 school years.

“We did climb up during the 2009-2010 year; we were up in the high 90s but we’ve never been at the 100 or 10 percent minimum,” he explained.

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