About 60 Santa Maria Joint Union High School District students are answering the call of military service this year.
Recruiters and staff honored them Tuesday night in a special drive-thru ceremony at Righetti High School.
The students received stoles from their recruiters to wear over their gowns.
This is the first year all the schools in the district have had students join the armed forces as a group.
"I really want to be a part of something greater than just, like, an everyday thing," said Pioneer Valley High School senior Omar Ortiz. "I know by doing this, I'll be a part of that and it's a really good way to inspire other people to go the extra mile."
Teachers at the ceremony described the students at "true heroes".