OREGON CITY, OR -- Major Douglas Thomas, Senior Army Instructor (SAI) of Oregon City High School JROTC, has known Major General Loop for a number of years in the area as one of the USAR Ambassadors. I had known Major General Hitchcock from when he was the commander of the 104th Training Division, when I was a Drill Sergeant. Major General Hitchcock was also the USAR Ambassador who interviewed my own son when he was applying for the very first USAR Minuteman Scholarship 3.5 years ago (a full ride ROTC scholarship to the University of Portland). Major General Hitchcock and I already had a measure of rapport. Neither Major Thomas nor I knew though that Major General Hitchcock and Major General Loop were actually old buddies from 'back in the day'.
As there are very few Army JROTC programs in Oregon, I wanted to see if we could get MG Hitchcock to come out and inspect/review our school and our JROTC program and bring him in as a guest speaker for our Army JROTC Cadets. He said he would love to as he had never been to our school or JROTC program before---- and he in turn asked his old buddy MG Loop to come along! We of course jumped at the chance to have two 2-stars out to our school to review our program and speak to our Cadets, especially our senior staff, who were almost all seniors and a few juniors. Also, 11 of our 22 graduating seniors that year had actually already joined a branch of the military already (50%!)...which was unprecedented.
Both generals came out and got the full briefing from our senior staff--our Cadet BC, CSM, Ops and others were in attendance. Our Cadets gave a very professional briefing (with a very nice PowerPoint slide presentation that they themselves created) to the Generals about how many Cadets we have and several of the more high-profile events we have done recently (including the trip we had with 11 Cadets going to Normandy for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day). We gave them the short tour of our facility and an overview of our curriculum. The senior staff also spoke about their personal responsibilities and roles, the challenges and rewards of the program, and their personal experiences.
Both the Generals also gave some timely and candid advice to our Cadets, as well as a review of our program to the Major and I. I am elated to say they were absolutely impressed with our program all around, and gave us some great Kudos! The Generals promised to come back out again in the future, perhaps for some of our more high-profile events.
It was our great honor and privilege to be able to host two distinguished 2-star Generals out to OCHS. They stayed for about 2 hours, and we had an AAR after they departed. The Cadets raved about the opportunity and hoped they would return again in 2019-20 school year.