AFJROTC regional director inducted into National Military Drill Hall of Fame

  • Published
  • By Christian P. Hodge
  • Air Force JROTC Public Affairs

A member of Headquarters Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps was recognized as an inductee into the National Military Drill Hall of Fame.

For retired Chief Master Sgt. R. Wayne Barron, a former AFJROTC aerospace science instructor, his induction is a significant milestone amidst decades of service to the nation, the Air Force and the citizen-development program.

The announcement of his honor was made during the opening ceremonies at the National High School Drill Team Championships, April 17, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“This is the pinnacle of drill,” said Barron, AFJROTC Region 7 director, about the induction honors. “This award is given to both JROTC instructors and various drill teams over the years that have sustained excellence, not only on the drill floor, but in the support and recognition of drill.”

Barron is part of a select few who truly understand the virtues of military drill, the dedication and time it requires, and subsequently the positive impact that military drill has upon AFJROTC cadets who elect to participate on their unit drill teams.

“Drill teaches leadership, and leadership is the cornerstone of many facets of life,” he said. “I have personally seen drill take the most shy and quiet cadets and transform them into the centerpiece of their unit’s drill team, and with a ‘command voice’ that would make other drill teams envious. No other extracurricular activity better teaches the concept of separate individuals all coming together for one common goal.”

According to its website, the “Drill Hall of Fame award is to identify, recognize and publicize those individuals and entities that have excelled in their drill-related endeavors and in doing so, have greatly enhanced the military drill universe. Additionally, the Drill Hall of Fame is designed to publicize the history and variety of military drill, and to identify and honor dedication and selflessness and builds esprit de corps within the entire connected universe of those who drill, and those who have respect and honor as spectators, teachers, and related entities. The Drill Hall of Fame will make a connection between the generations of people who began the art, who continue the art, and who will further the art in the future.”

Many might find military drill tedious, but for Barron, he finds enthusiasm that equates to passion.

“For me, it’s the emotional response. I’ve seen grown adults jump into the air and yell out ‘Yes!’ when their cadets’ teams have won,” he said. “I’ve seen cadets in tears, and hearing them scream with glee can only mean one thing – they won!”

Barron said he once saw a young cadet who was just over five feet tall march up on a stage to get an award, and his drill team marched and displayed such a command presence that you would have thought that cadet was 10 feet tall. 

According to Barron's induction webpage, his inclusion has been a “unique mosaic of drill passion, drill prowess and drill progress it puts worth within individuals who push to the highest levels. It is a great honor to induct this great drill leader into the National Drill Hall of Fame.”