JROTC Celebrates Banner Year

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JROTC Celebrates Banner Year

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2018-2019 has proven to be a remarkable year for our JROTC program. From high marks in performance, victories in competitions, the rallying to support a tragic loss to a fellow cadet, to their unparalleled commitment to their program were quite inspiring. To say the Weston Ranch JROTC program is reliable and respectable would not be justifiable.

I got to know the JROTC program in greater depth this year, beginning with my attendance at the JROTC Games way back in October. All schools in MUSD sent their cadets to WRHS for a day of competition and camaraderie and what I witnessed was inspiring. Our student cadets represented the school and themselves with remarkable aplomb, and taking home multiple victories was not the only thing which caught my eye. I saw the deep level of commitment our cadets have for JROTC and each other. They displayed everything teachers hope to see in their students. They were organized and committed. They worked together to achieve a goal. They accepted setbacks, learned from mistakes, and improved their resolve hoping that next time they will be successful. And for all this, I became a fan of these terrific young people.

As the school year progressed, JROTC hosted various events, participated in school functions, and displayed a strength in numbers approach. We see cadets raising the flag every morning, rain or shine. We see them wearing their uniforms and representing their program and their school with such pride. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this fantastic group of young people.

Perhaps the most significant achievement for this group came back in March when they competed against other schools in Ripon. The JROTC Cougar Battalion won seven trophies and three medals in the 3rd Annual Ripon High School JROTC Drill competition on March 2nd. Individual medals were awarded to Karman Basra who took 1st place in the Armed Color Guard, and Shamar Dacus for Unarmed Platoon Regulation. Lauren Malihan received a 2nd place medal for Armed Inspection, Ashly Portillo took a 2nd in Unarmed Color Guard, and Ventura Hernandez and Carolina Avalos were awarded 2nd place in the Drill Down. Dacus, who will attend US Military Preparatory School, West Point, in the fall, also captured 3rd for Unarmed Inspection, while Brianna Kennedy took 3rd for Unarmed Exhibition, Zachary Smith (3rd place) for Armed Exhibition, and Georgen Dumpit (3rd place) completed the beautiful day for the Cougars for her performance in the Drill Down. Overall, these trophies and individual awards are the most our cadets have won in JROTC history.

The cadets were also faced with the loss of fellow cadet Jaishyne Lopez who passed away tragically after complications of undergoing heart surgery. In honor of their fallen friend, the cadets held a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Lopez and then hosted a car wash fundraiser for the family of Lopez. After all the hard work and dedication, the cadets raised over $7000 for Jaishyne’s family.  The money cannot replace the loss, but to see these young people rally around their friend just shows you what kind of students we have here at Weston Ranch.

So, in tribute to Sergeant Reyes and Colonel Cerezo, their cadets, and their program, The Prowl salutes the efforts of these great young women and men who answer the call to serve as cadets and who inspire others to do the same.