Paid for by The King’s Academy JROTC Batallion
In the summer of 2017, before my high school journey had even begun, I was lost. There were many clubs, but none really sparked my interest. However, my family remained adamant. I had to join at least one club. In the end, I chose JROTC, but I certainly did not think I was going to go through all four years in the program. “Maybe one or two years, but that’s it,” I told myself. Four years later, and I have never been more glad that I went against my own wishes.
What I once believed to be a “wannabe military kid” program turned into the thing that shaped my life. I had a lot of questions about myself, questions I was afraid to answer. JROTC gave me the confidence to confront them with ease.
I was a shy, mild-mannered, angsty little teen going in my first year of high school. JROTC changed that. I met people that shaped me for the better, and I would be in a much worse situation without them. They took care of me and became my second family: brothers and sisters, united under one program.
JROTC taught me to be a better man, a better leader. It drove me to look out for others. It taught me to open my social horizons, beyond just the program. I feel more natural now around bigger groups. Most importantly, however, it taught me respect. Respect for your superiors and subordinates. Respect for friends and rivals. I now look at every human being with the basic understanding that they deserve respect, no matter what.
My life may not be perfect. High school may have brought many demons onto me that beat me down to a pulp. Without JROTC, I would have stayed down and accepted my fate. Instead, I kept fighting. I fight for those who believe in me. I fight to be the leader that I learned to be. JROTC and the people that I met along the way will be a part of my life, forever and always.
Cadets cultivate lifelong friendships
When I was in eighth grade, I knew that once I got into high school, I needed to join a club. Unsure of my career path at the time, I was still trying to figure out who I was going to become.
My sister had a couple really good friends that were in the JROTC batallion while she was at TKA, and they all encouraged me to try it out. I went to the shadow day and knew that it was something I wanted to sign up for the second I got into high school.
I never knew JROTC was going to invest in me the way that it did. I met some of my best friends ever in this program. These are people that I probably would never have even crossed paths with if I had not decided to join the JROTC batallion as a freshman.
I have had some of my best days and some of my worst days there. All of my peers would automatically come around me showing love and encouragement for anything I dealt with at the time.
For the year I was the only girl in the class, the boys became like brothers to me, and I would not trade them for anything. I know that any of them would have my back in a second.
This year when I started stepping into my career, they were just as excited for me as I began this new phase of life. As I end my time here at TKA and JROTC, I know that I will continue to take these cherished times and friendships with me.