(St.Joseph,MO) The Central High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) program is celebrating 100 years of service to the community. The JROTC program is made up of five students that regularly participate in military drill, color guard, additional coursework and community service.
"The reason I decided to join JROTC is because of the benefits it provides to the community," Cadet First Lieutenant Aaronn Blohm said.
The senior enlisted in the Navy on June 6, 2018 and will leave for training on June 20, 2019 to become a gunners mate. Blohm said the JROTC program helped him gain life skills to prepare him for what he wanted to do after high school.
“Being in ROTC, some of the things I’ve learned that impact me the most is leadership abilities; how to direct and influence other people to accomplish a mission or task,” Blohm said. “As for the Navy itself it allows me to travel the world and it gives me the job that I want and it will allow me to further do what I want in the civilian world after I get out.”
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Jessica Miller joined the JROTC to carrying on the family tradition as a fourth generation Central ROTC Cadet.
“I think it’s amazing. I think if you look at from World War I to where we are now, the country has changed so much. The sports are changing and everything, but the ROTC program has stayed very consistent,” Miller said. “They’ve allowed the girls to join now and I’m extremely proud of how it’s lasted this long and we’ve kept this in our high schools. I think it’s a great program to keep going even as we change.”
Miller said after high school she wants to attend the University of Missouri and become a veterinarian.
Cadet Major Tyler Mann said he was surprised the program has made it to the centennial.
“As far as military programs go, I am a little surprised that we made it this way throughout all the progressive movements and all that. That being said of all the organizations to move, I’m glad this is the one that made it this far,” Mann said.
Mann enlisted in the Navy on June 19,2018 and will leave for training on June 13,2019 to become a cryptologic technician for the networking spectrum.Mann said he is also working to obtain a navy seal contract.
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Tucker Deming said the JROTC gave him a sense of camaraderie amongst other cadets.
"Throughout high school I've been with many different groups. I've been with the sports teams, I've been with the Boy Scouts, but I feel like RO, just the leadership we are all gaining together, there is a lot more bonding than with any other organization," Deming said.
Deming enlisted in the Air Force on July 13, 2018 and will leave August 6, 2019 for training to become a security officer.
Cadet Major Brooklynn Cogdill said the program helped push her out of her comfort zone.
"I grew to find out who I really was, someone I didn't think I had inside me. I was a shy kid my freshman year and this really broke my shell. I became a stronger person, I'm a leader now," Codgill said.
After high school Congill has plans to attend the police academy to become a crime scene detective.
The Central High School JROTC will host a military ball to celebrate 100 years of cadet achievements.The ball will be Saturday from 6p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Word of Life Church. Tickets are free for cadets and $5 for guests. For more information, contact Central High School at 816-671-4080.