Ozark, AL - It’s test day for Carroll High School’s Army Junior ROTC program, and students have been hard at work training.
“I play basketball. This is like the championship for us. This is it. This is the championship. We need this,” says Carroll High School JROTC Master Sergeant, Maysia Anderson.
Once every three years, the JROTC program is up for accreditation.
“It’s so much work. I can barely begin to describe how we get ready for this,” says JROTC Battalion S3 Operations in Training, Nicholas Godeke.
The annual formal inspection evaluates the battalion in ten areas from knowledge to proper uniforms.
“To show what we do on a daily basis and how we operate and the benefits that we provide to the community,” says the Battalion Commander, Daniel Jones.
Battalion Command Sergeant Major Christopher Jones says, “We spent numerous hours. Many cadets have been down at the JROTC department from 2 – 10 sometimes 11 o’clock at night. We are beyond ready.”
And cadets say all the hard work is worth it.
“No program in my life has had a great impact than JROTC,” adds Godeke.
“It helps you to have discipline for yourself and discipline to want to get out there and want to achieve your goals,” says Battalion S3 Public Affairs Crystal Harrell.
The goal is to earn a gold star meaning honor unit with distinction. That puts Carroll High School in the top 10 percent of all JROTC’s in the nation.
“I hope they will be able to see what a great battalion we are, what great cadets we are, and how great this program is to not only cadets but this community as a whole,” says Godeke.
Carroll High School has a tradition of excellence when it comes to their program. Leaders say all things are pointing to a gold star.
“A lot of times I model my other schools throughout the state to kind of follow their lead. So they are setting the pace for the state of Alabama,” says Jerome Gates, JROTC Operation Representative.
The program scored a 97 percent. That’s a five percent improvement from the last inspection.