RJ Reynolds Army Junior ROTC

RJ Reynolds Army Junior ROTC

Cadet MAJ Xela/Nevaeh Harris, Staff Writer

While participating in RJ Reynolds Army JROTC, I found it to be very adventurous and challenging. I’m honored to be a part of such an astounding program with a mission ‘to motivate young people to become better citizens.

The first year in Junior ROTC isn’t easy. The material is a lot to take in, and it can be intimidating to someone without JROTC experience, but the teachers are happy to help. 

From day one Sergeant First-Class Bethea and MAJ Whitaker have been there for me when I needed it, whether that was in school or outside. They’ve helped me get where I am today and they have been amazing mentors for me.

I am incredibly grateful to have been guided by these two. They’ve made a great impact on their students, teaching to be more confident, open-minded, and to be empathetic towards others.  

“I believe that they are great instructors, and even if you’re not in this class, you should still talk to them,” said Cadet Sergeant Hailey Foley. “They are very wise, have a lot of knowledge, and are amazing people in general.”

This sentiment is shared among other JROTC students as well. 

“Being in Jrotc has made an impact on me because it makes me want to do better and want more for myself in life,” said Cadet Captain Raven Waters.

In JROTC, we discuss topics that aren’t necessarily taught in other classes. We learn material that will help us in the future, with lessons revolving around academics, long-term goals, and discipline.,

“We try to go off of the realistic goals of the students, and we are real when we speak to [them],” said MAJ Whitaker. “We would suggest you come on by, sit in the classroom, see what we do, and you’d be surprised.”

There is no limit to who all can join this program, and anyone who has the patience for JROTC can take in what it offers.

“We give you the perspective of what it’s going to be like in the real world and try to prepare you for that,” said Sergeant Bethea.

There are seven teams offered in JROTC, including the Drill, Raiders, Rifle, Robotics, Leadership, Color-Guard, and Honor-Guard. I have participated in 5 of these teams, and each competition is just as fun as the last, if not more.

“The Drill Team has shown me discipline and attention to detail,” said Battalion Commander, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Perla Moreno-Gil. “The Raiders Team has shown me that if my mind didn’t tell me I was tired, then I wouldn’t be tired.”

Cadets come together for practices to make sure everyone is prepared for the competitions. Whether we win or lose, our team spirit and the amount of fun we have glue us together. I can honestly say that the people in this battalion are like a family.