Mind, body and spirit are tested constantly, both in sports and life. Although organized sports is one way Warren County High School students have to work on the aforementioned attributes, there’s another way to win. There’s a program called The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, or JROTC for short. Students can participate in that and also branch programs like the Raiders, drill team, color guard and rifle team.
The goal of the program is to teach students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership and diversity. It works jointly with the U.S. Army and the school to teach the skills they will need, not just to join the Army, but in life in general. Students can use these skills going forward to college, or a civilian career. If they do choose to stay involved through college, students can earn a commission to second lieutenant upon graduation. Completing the high school criteria alone will even move you up a one rank when enlisting from Private E-1 to Private E-2.
The program is taught by retired military personnel. Out training the Raiders – an extracurricular group that trains mentally and physically harder than the normal program – First Sergeant Tim Howard explained the programs objectives.
“It’s all about citizenship building,” Howard said. “Whether they use these skills going to college, in the service or in the workplace, it teaches them how to be on time, mental discipline to be successful and generally an excellent starting off point for graduates. We also have two young men receiving scholarships to SROTC at UT-Knoxville and one for Virginia Military Institute.”
The Raiders have had an extremely daunting rehearsal for the upcoming weekend in Scottsville, Kentucky in an event called “Continuous Raider”. Cadets will be required to work as a team in a continuous manner for around 90 minutes, conducting a cross country rescue, an obstacle course, tire flips and team relays. The best executed time with the fewest penalties will win.
The upcoming Raider even will be a test of stamina as it is a non-stop, continuous-action course designed to test what you’re made of. There are eight events in all that task all the muscle groups. Imagine doing sit-ups in a line of teammates with a telephone pole in your lap, facing uphill.
The color guard can be seen at many football games as they usually post the colors for the National Anthem. Regular classes are broken down into companies, emulating the military structure where more experienced cadets can lead as company commander, or platoon sergeant and others can build up to those points along the way.
The Raiders will be on the campus of Allen County High School this Saturday and Sunday. Beginning times are 9 and 9:15 a.m. for Warren County High School’s Raider team.