New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Air Force JROTC cadets from a boarding school in Virginia march in the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade

This Saint Patrick's Day, the R-MA Parade Unit marched in New York City (NYC) as part of the Annual NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in America.

The Parade Unit was made up of the Cadet Wing's Corps Staff, Color Guard, Band, and Flag Corps. Consisting of over one hundred cadets, roughly one-third of the Cadet Corps, this impressive formation marched in front of over three million live viewers and many more televised ones.

Marching is an important part of what the Corps of Cadets do; not only is it a part of R-MA's deep military tradition, but it is also a reflection on the professionalism of the Air Force Junior ROTC cadets of R-MA. "It's amazing to see over 100 cadets march perfectly in-step during the parade," says Advanced Aerospace Instructor MSgt Pederson, whose high expectations for his cadets were more than met. It's not surprising that the cadets received so many cheers and applauses from spectators. 

After years of marching excellence, New York's landmark 5th Avenue, which serves as the parade route, has become very familiar to R-MA cadets. This year's trip to NYC, however, brought fresh and unfamiliar things.

With extra funding from the Air Force that encouraged more Cadets in Action trips, this year's trip included a side visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. The funding also allowed the parade unit to include the R-MA Flag Corps, a fifty-cadet unit that includes every state U.S. state flag. 

"It was amazing to lead the corps to represent our school in the middle of New York City! Lots of people, mesmerized by our music and marching, enthusiastically cheered for R-MA. I am grateful for the opportunity to perform in a once-in-a-lifetime event! Like many other R-MA students, I will never forget this unique experience in New York," says senior Cadet Colonel Amy Go, who led the parade formation.