Rail Gunners certify JROTC program
November 8, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas--Around the second week of March, the 41st Fires Brigade was visited by 80 junior reserve officer training corps cadets from the A.J. Moore Academy located in Waco, Texas. During their visit, the cadets were able to get front row seats for a small glimpse of a military lifestyle.
This time around, several Rail Gunner Soldiers were able to visit the A.J. Moore academy and receive an in-depth view of the school's JROTC program.
"Every three years, the [A.J. Moore] Academy has to recertify its JROTC program," said Sgt. Maj. Darrin Jones, operation sergeant major for the 41st Fires Bde. "This year, the academy had scheduled a Texas National Guard unit to do the certifications but that unit was unable to fulfill the obligations.
Jones said since the JROTC visit in the earlier part of the year, the Rail Gunners and the school have been working to foster a greater relationship.
"We have been getting to know the JROTC staff more, and the JROTC program sergeant major asked if we could come up to certify their program," said Jones.
The A.J. Moore JROTC program started in June 2001. The goal of the program is to help the cadets become better citizens.
"We prepare the cadets for the real world by teaching them about their unique life skills," said 1st Sgt. (retired) James Hart, Army JROTC instructor at the A.J. Moore Academy. "We show our cadets how they learn best, proper study habits, how to be leaders by running specific JROTC programs, giving back to the community, map reading, and first aid."
Some of the programs that the cadets will run are highway clean-up projects and local blood drives.
During the certification process, the Rail Gunners Soldiers tested the cadets on drill and ceremony, administration, physical security, training, and the cadets' webpage.
"We're pleased that the Soldiers were able to come out and assist us," said Hart. "The Soldiers helped to teach the cadets a lot about attention to details. It's also good to get the Soldiers to come out because this allows our cadets to get an in-depth look into professional Soldiers doing their jobs."
According to Hart about three to five percent of the cadets join the military after high school, however about 80 percent go on to college.
"Since the main goal of the JROTC program is to prepare the cadets to be better citizens, we don't encourage them to join the military," said Command Sgt. Maj. (retired) Willie Jones, senior JROTC instructor for the A.J. Moore Academy. "We set our cadets up for success. The 41st Fires Brigade Soldiers gave the cadets a lot of useful advice on their different duty positions. They also shared a lot experiences which could possibly help the cadets with future decisions."
As the certification process ended and the cadets proved to have a worthwhile JROTC program, Hart left the Soldiers with encouraging words.
"I would like to say that the Rail Gunners have been the best group of soldiers that we have had to come out and help us. Their unit should be very proud to have such professional Soldiers. I am happy to see great American Soldiers like them still serving."