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The JROTC Inspection

December 22, 2011

By Tiffany Montano, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Sarah T. Reed High School

Sarah T. Reed High School’s JROTC underwent its official inspection last Thursday, with pins awarded to six cadets for exceptional personal appearance and to several others for outstanding academic performance.

The cadets were inspected based on their uniforms and personal appearance in the gymnasium, followed by an exhibition of platoon drills.  Cadets spend hours learning military knowledge, performing drills and preparing their uniforms before inspections.

The inspectors only spent a few moments with each cadet as they moved through the gym, looking over particulars such as uniforms, shoes, pin placement, hair and personal hygiene. They also took the time to make a connection with the cadets and give a few words of encouragement.


Goals for Navy JROTC instructors include teaching cadets precision, discipline, time management and how to set priorities.  Mr. Ploeger, Dean of Academics, addressed the students Thursday morning with powerful words.  “You are the leaders of this school.  Others look to you for guidance.”  These wise words reminded me that teachers, administration, and even City Year have a role to play in guiding students; but the most powerful leaders of all are the outstanding students of this school who really exemplify what being great means.

I have never been one to be very interested in the military.  I respect what they do but the seeming loss of individuality and autonomy has often left me skeptical of military practices.  However, on Thursday, I realized that, at least for JROTC, it’s deeper than that.  I felt like a proud mother just marveling at her kids, realizing that no matter what they decide to do, she will be proud of them if they do it well.  I recognized so many faces in the rows of cadets and I knew firsthand that these people have their own personalities, motivations, and dreams.  They are not swallowed whole by the collective; they are made stronger by it.

I hope these students will take what they are learning in JROTC and bring those lessons to every aspect of their lives.  I hope that other students notice them and follow suit.  Now is the time for our students to turn things around and show the world what they’re really capable of.



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