JROTC Gets Off to Fast Start

by: Jeren Brownlow and Sean Mutziger

A school year always start with a lot of activities.  This year was particularly busy for JROTC.

First, enrollment in JROTC is up over 25% from last year.  With more than 160 cadets, the senior students have their hands full issuing uniforms, organizing classes and planning events.  The 3rd and 4th year cadets run the JROTC organization, called the Cadet Battalion.  Like any organization, they set up a structure, assign leaders and members, and set up standards.  The senior cadets teach and mentor the new cadets.

Second, the senior cadets plan and run all the JROTC teams and activities.  JROTC has teams for color guard, drill, physical fitness and academic competitions. Senior cadets make up the cadet staff and they plan, coordinate and run many training and community service events.  So far this semester, JROTC has conducted the Presidential Physical Fitness Test for all cadets and have been involved with planning the City-Wide Safe Halloween Carnival.  They were also highly involved with Red Ribbon Week activities. They judged posters for the poster contest, put the red ribbons on the statues of the presidents and then more than 100 cadets marched in the Red Ribbon Parade.

Still to come in 1st semester are many events.  JROTC is sponsoring a blood drive here at Central after Christmas.  They are planning our Annual Military Ball, a formal dinner and dance at the Ramkota in December.  The drill team and color guard are going to competitions in Casper, Wyoming and Lower Brule.  They will also march in the Veteran’s Day Parade.  The color guard will perform at over 30 events this semester.  Also, the academic teams will compete in the 1st round of a national JROTC academic bowl.

It is a fast start, which will be good practice, because 2nd semester is even busier.

Editor’s Note: See more photos of the Central JROTC students on the Pine Needle’s Flickr page.