Central High School JROTC selected for national competition

Published 11:03 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

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In June, four Central High school in Hayneville Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) students will travel to Washington D.C. to compete against their peers in the JROTC Leadership Academic Bowl (JLAB).

Central JROTC instructor, Master Sergeant Bruce Reeves said the student’s selection was an honor few get to experience.

“Only 40 schools in the nation qualified for JLAB,” Reeves said. “When we get there, students will compete with students from across the nation, in challenges based on leadership knowledge and competency.”

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During the competition, students will answer questions about current and former Generals like Colin Powell and Douglas MacArthur. Students will also consider leadership situations and how best to handle each situation.

Participants will get to visit historical sites during the trip. Cadet Private Shar’Dajai Harris said she is looking forward to experiencing monuments in the nation’s capital and learning how to become a better leader.

“I’m looking forward to the scavenger hunt,” Harris said. “We’ll be going around looking at different memorials, like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. JROTC teaches us how to be a leader and take the initiative so I think this will build my confidence.”

According to Reeves, JROTC helps students learn leadership skills and explore career opportunities in the military or whatever path they may choose. 

“It helps mentor young men and women to help them build a life and also consider future developments,” Reeves said. “What we care about is making sure they have a plan for life and graduate from high school.”

Cadet Command Sergeant Major Shamirria Rudolph said JROTC has taught her the high standards expected of leaders.

“To me, [leadership] means that you uphold high standards because you have people that look up to you,” Rudolph said. “So, you have to be on your best behavior all the time.”

Rudolph, who enjoys meeting new people, is looking forward to networking and learning about different military branches.

“I love to network and love to meet new people,” she said. “I will be able to see different branches of the military and experience what it’s like to be in the military.”

Cadet First Sergeant Gabrielle Briggins, who hopes to pursue a military career, said JROTC has helped her experience military life and learn the values officers uphold.

“[Military personnel] show leadership and loyalty because they uphold brotherhood and sisterhood,” Briggins said. “I’m looking forward to meeting high ranking officials who will be at the competition.”

Janyale Harris, who is a JROTC Cadet Private, hopes to own a business one day. She explained that JROTC helps her learn the leadership skills entrepreneurs need.

“It teaches me leadership and teamwork, and how to work with people,” she said. 

The students completed testing to qualify for the competition and were selected based on their test scores. The all-expenses-paid trip is scheduled for June 18-22.