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On September 17, 2015 the Lighthouse Brigade JROTC 1Headquarters – which has direct oversight of the eight Muscogee County JROTC schools, Chattahoochee County High School and Stewart County High School – convened the Lanier and Richards Boards in order to select the Lighthouse Brigade’s cadet Brigade Commander and cadet Brigade Command Sergeant Major respectively for School Year 2015 – 2016.  This marks the Centennial Year of JROTC worldwide.

The Lanier Board is named after Sergeant Harry Lanier, Muscogee County’s first JROTC instructor who ran JROTC at Columbus High from 1919 to 1921.  The Lanier Board is chaired by the school district’s JROTC Director, LTC (Ret) Roger Barros and the newly-appointed Professor of Military Science of Columbus State University’s ROTC program, MAJ (P) Carlos Lock.  The criteria for cadet brigade command is based on an aggregate score from three items: a resume, a written exam and the results of the Lanier Board itself.  Cadet LTC John Pippins of Northside High School was selected to be the Brigade Commander for the Lighthouse Brigade in the Centennial Year.  He is an Honors student with a current GPA of 4.33 and a senior class rank of 9 out of 331.  Along with several other institutions, he has applied to the US Naval Academy and Georgia Institute of Technology.  John will be promoted to the rank of cadet Colonel in an upcoming ceremony.

Assisting cadet Colonel Pippins in leading the Lighthouse Brigade will be cadet Ja’Mia Lisbon of Hardaway High School.  She emerged from the Richards Board as the next cadet Brigade Command Sergeant Major. The Richards Board was chaired by CSM (Ret) Wayne Andrews, the senior NCO for the district’s JROTC, and SGM (Ret) Judson Gee, the Operations NCO at JROTC Headquarters and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Director.  Absent as a Boardmember this year was CSM (Ret) Jimmy Richards – a legendary JROTC Instructor who taught at Kendrick High School and for whom the Board is named.  Like the cadet commander she will assist, Ja’Mia possesses an impeccable resume of academic achievement, varsity sports and extensive community service.  She seeks to be accepted at Valdosta State or Columbus State University, among others. She too will be promoted in an upcoming ceremony to the rank of cadet Command Sergeant Major.
For the first time, a brigade staff consisting of a Personnel Officer (S1), Safety Officer (S2), Operations Officer (S3), Logistics Officer (S4) and Public Affairs Officer (S5) has been selected to support the command team in what is planning to be a dynamic community-focused, service-oriented centennial year.  The cadet brigade leadership team has been invited to the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Ceremony on November 7, 2015 where 4 of the cadets will provide the Color Guard.  In a gesture of reciprocity, the Lighthouse Brigade is inviting the living members of this Hall of Fame to the 2016 JROTC Centennial Ball on January 23, 2016.  The Hall of Fame touts inductees of local notoriety such as Colonel Ralph Puckett and former Mayor Bob Poydasheff.

By remarkable coincidence, the Rotary Club of Columbus is also celebrating its centennial in 2016.  The Rotarian’s Centennial Chairman has asked the Lighthouse Brigade JROTC to have cadets participate in the Club’s Centennial Tree-Planting Initiative and a Color Guard for the actual club birthday on February 3, 2016.  These are just two of many projects the cadet brigade leadership team will be working on.  The Lighthouse Brigade will of course continue to nurture its traditional collaborative relationships with the MOAA, MOWW, VFW, American Legion as well as many others.  Honoring Those Who Have Served is the Lighthouse Brigade’s centennial theme so these relationships will take on a greater meaning in 2016!


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