CAMP ZAMA, Japan — The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets of Zama Middle High School’s Trojan Battalion were tested on their attention to detail during an in-ranks inspection Jan. 24 at the school’s football field here.
Soldiers assigned to Camp Zama, including Command Sgt. Maj. David Rio, senior enlisted leader of U.S. Army Garrison Japan, acted as the inspectors for the 38 cadets, grading them on the impeccability of their dress uniforms, quizzing them on JROTC standards and conduct, and even evaluating a presentation from the color guard.
Retired Lt. Col. Douglas Fields, the senior JROTC instructor, said the cadets undergo the inspection every three years in accordance with the JROTC Program of Accreditation. He lauded the cadets for their performance, emphasizing the exceedingly positive remarks Rio had for the color guard.
“I would put this color guard sequence in the upper tier of any of the cadet commands in the JROTC program,” Fields said. “They did a fabulous job.”
The senior instructor also said he could see in the cadets a sense of pride in their appearance during the uniform inspection. Fields said he often stresses to the cadets that the uniforms they wear are nearly identical to those that Army Soldiers wear.
Following his evaluation, Rio said he could tell the cadets did a lot of practice and preparation for the inspection, summing up their performance with, “They nailed it.”
“What I hope the cadets take away from this is a sense of something bigger than themselves,” he said. “I hope they felt like they had something to strive for and know that when they have a set of standards to meet, they have to put in the effort.”
Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Emerson Moore, a sophomore, said that leading up to the inspection, everyone focused specifically on honing all the areas on which they would be graded. Although she noticed a few points the battalion needs to work on, she was impressed with their preparation and dedication to performing the best they could.
“What I learned throughout the inspection was to always to be prepared and not only focus on what I need to do, but also make sure everyone else is squared away,” Moore said.
As the battalion’s senior enlisted leader, Moore said it is important that she improves her communication skills so that she can be better in sync with her fellow cadets.
“I am in the JROTC program because I want to be a better person overall,” Moore said. “I want to learn how to take charge and be more responsible.”