Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Julius Bedford (Craigmont High School)
Excitement filled the air as the pupils came together to celebrate another year of being involved in the Junior Reserve Officer’s Core at Craigmont High School’s Annual Army JROTC Ball on April 24. Students gathered from Douglass High School, Manassas High School, Northside High School and Craigmont High School.
The ball included festivities celebrating the Commander and Chief, the Master of Ceremony.
The key note speaker was Staff Sergeant Vinson D. Harrell who reminded the students, “You can only be successful if you want to be.”
During the 2014-2015 school year, participants in the JROTC program dedicated the year to community service such as drives allowing students to donate blood (with the permission of parents) and fundraisers such as car washes.
The JROTC originated in Vermont in 1917. The purpose of JROTC programs is to instill leadership, responsibility, selfless service, loyalty and self-management.
A typical cadet attends Boards, where representatives from the military come and inspect the students depending on their ranks, while they have to stand in formation for hours. While in formation, the cadets stand as still as possible and are asked general questions a citizen should know such as “Who is governor of Tennessee?” and “Who is the mayor of the city?”
Cadets also have the opportunity to join the Drill Teams which consist of the Armed Drill Team which performs commands while holding guns and the Unarmed Drill Team which performs the same duties without weapons. With these opportunities, cadets have the pleasure of meeting other cadets from other schools and areas, but most of the time they do not actually socialize because of the competitive atmosphere of the events.
Students left the ball grateful to the school officials for their hard work and efforts to make sure that they had a great time.
“It gives schools a chance to mingle, because when we are at competitions we really don’t have a chance to fellowship with one another in a calm setting,” said Teranique Reid, 16, of Craigmont High School.
“It was a very lively occasion,” said Elton Nichols, 16, of Northside High School. “Overall, the experience was fun. I had the pleasure of getting to know my fellow colleagues in a calm environment.”
The next time the students plan on seeing each other will be May 31-June 5 at the JROTC Camp at the Camp Robinson Training Maneuver Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, where they will sharpen their leadership skills and learn more strategies in how to effectively engage other students to become leaders in their schools.