OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Students at Apollo High School in Owensboro are gaining discipline and leadership skills thanks to the Air Force Junior ROTC program.
Watching Erica Cameron shout out commands with authority, you wouldn't know she started high school shy and reserved.
"I've gained more leadership ability and more ability to stand up and be who I am," Cameron said.
Erica is the newest vice corp commander.
Classmate Brittany Webster is commander.
They were named to those positions thanks to skills they say they learned in the program.
"I think the main thing is maturity," Webster says. "You really learn to grow up. Being in the corp and learning to work with people, it really sets you up for the real world."
Col. Edgar Paul says that it's not unusual to have girls in those leadership roles.
They make up about 45 percent of cadets.
"They're very intense, very competitive. They want to compete against the boys on an equal level and they do a fantastic job," Col. Paul. said.
Cadets have several requirements.
They must wear the uniform at least once a week and take elective classes.
Requirements outside the classroom include the drill team, color guard, marksmanship using air rifles and community service.
Erica is considering joining the military, Brittany is not but they say what they've learned will help them whatever direction their lives take.
The ROTC program was recently honored with a distinguished unit award.