Maricopa High School’s Air Force JROTC program, the 23rd in Arizona, will begin in January, staffed by Major James Alonzo and Master Sergeant Dishon Gregory.
Alonzo, at age five, emigrated with his mother from the Philippines to Hawaii to join his father, an aircraft mechanic at Hickam Air Force Base. A graduate of Mid Pacific Institute and the University of Hawaii, Alonzo was commissioned through the AFROTC program.
Most of his 20 years of service have been in Alaska as Air Force liaison to the Alaskan Congressional delegation and directing an Air National Guard refueling group’s formation.
Married with five grown children, Alonzo comes to Maricopa from North Pole High School where he started an AFJROTC unit.
Gregory joined the Air Force in 1989, deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, served two additional tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and two assignments in South Korea.
After 21 years of service, Gregory is retiring to join the new AFJROTC program at Maricopa High School as an instructor.