The Bastrop High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Program recently held its second mini-drill camp this summer.
The camp was held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 7 through 10. During the camp, about 30 incoming cadets, who already knew they wanted to be in JROTC, were able to get a head start by learning about basic drill and ceremony, teamwork and discipline. The camp was also an opportunity for the program’s new leaders to showcase their planning and organization skills.
“Right now (during the camp), they’re broken into small groups because not everyone learns at the same pace,” Cadet Rachel Lautigar, BHS JROTC public affairs officer, said. “This program is unique to Bastrop High School and very prestigious. We have the highest unit star possible. It motivates students to become better American citizens through the use of discipline and community service.”
The JROTC program was created to prepare high school students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities and privileges as American citizens. It promotes graduation from high school and provides instruction and opportunities which benefit the student, community and nation. Comprised solely of active duty Army retirees, the JROTC instructors serve as mentors to students.
“The program is a program of excellence,” Cadet Command Sergeant Major Antoinette Brown said. “We have the best instructors including Colonel Jess Link, Sergeant First Class Tina May and Sergeant First Class Frederick Harrison.”
The JROTC program at the high school has several teams including an armed drill team that consists primarily of boys, an unarmed exhibition team that consists of both boys and girls, boys and girls color guards—both armed and unarmed—a marksmanship team, a leadership team, an academic team and a cadet challenge team that focuses on physical fitness. The program is designed so that it can be taken as a voluntary elective in place of physical education.