Cory Mills takes JROTC to new heights


Photo provided by: Hannah Waller

Cadets senior Jahi Abbott and junior Deven Fraser along with Congressman Cory Mills and principal Brian Blasewitz check the controls of the Parrot AI drone in flight.

Sammie Jo Clark, Staff Reporter

On Apr. 12, members of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program on campus received a visit from Florida District Seven Congressional Representative Cory Mills. After expressing great interest in their Embry Riddle Drone program, Mills visited the school to talk to cadets about how he plans to move forward with drone legislation.
Mills currently serves as a congressman in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. He served in the United States Army and government before being appointed as Florida’s District Seven Representative in the 2022 fall election. His army service spanned from seven years in Iraq, two years in Afghanistan, the Kosovo Campaign, and traveling to the front lines of Ukraine.
“It was insightful to hear what he (Cory Mills) thinks about our program and others like ours,” junior Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Hannah Waller said. “I learned a bit about his job and his plans regarding drone legislation. I was already interested in political office, but hearing it applied to another career field I’m looking at made it feel even more interesting.”
The Embry Riddle drone program offers three industry certifications involving drone safety and drone imaging. The courses center around unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) and are available to students with the prerequisite of one Aerospace Science class in the AFJROTC program.
“The Air Force ROTC program is a remarkable launching point for students interested in joining the military,” Mills said. “I enjoyed spending time with the students and faculty from Lake Brantley High School and Embry Riddle as they demonstrated their drone program on campus.”
Mills exchanged ideas with cadets about how he plans to move forward with the technology of UAS in fields of scientific research and defense in the government, along with advocating for federal change.
“We gained a new sense of perspective on his impact on our community,” senior Group Commander Cadet ColonelJayden Rosado said. “We learned about his interest in our drone program and some points on how he plans to move forward with drone legislation. He had taken time specifically so he could see our Embry Riddle Drone program at work and those cadets about the applications of drone technology.”
Mills’ talk was not only about the application of drones in research and defense, but the importance of good leadership throughout cadets’ positions in life. Whether in service or elsewhere, Mills advocates for the aspirations and possibilities of the next generation of Americans.
“My desire for these students is to understand the importance of a life of service,” Mills said. “Service is exemplified in a variety of careers and is most rewarding when you work for something greater than yourself. I hope these students carry with them their ambitions as they embark on their next move as young adults. I hope they remember that they have bright futures ahead of them with endless possibilities. I look forward to celebrating the success of these students as a next generation of leaders.”