BISHOPVILLE, SC -- My name is La’Montica Geddis, and I am a JROTC Cadet at Lee Central High School in Bishopville, South Carolina. As a student, I understand the value of hard work. Therefore, I pushed myself to be the best and that is why I have been an honor student since middle school. I am also a member of National Beta Club and Early College Program. I use to be a quiet girl who didn’t like to participate in any extra activities, in or out of school. However, all of that changed once I entered high school and enrolled in JROTC. I love being in JROTC so much that if I could take it for every class, I would. Being in JROTC helped me to improved my communication skills and leadership abilities. My instructors challenge me to be the best person I can be, physically and mentally. The school I attend has less than 600 students; however, our JROTC program is strong.
As a new high school student, I had some fears I needed to overcome. I was out of shape, and I didn’t like to work in groups. I was afraid of expressing my knowledge and communicating with other people. Our JROTC program has helped me physically, because we do a lot of PT. Our PT program consist of running a mile, cross fit training, warrior fitness PT (which includes training with our instructors and our local US Army National Guard / Army Reserves Soldiers), and fun sports such as kickball and softball. All of these activities helped me to get in shape and build my confidence. I was then able to attend JCLC (JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge) summer camp at Fort Jackson. Mentally, this program helped me to improve my leadership skills. This program taught me that there is no “I” in the word team, and that working with others will get the job done efficiently and quickly. We truly believe that the little things you do for the community can really make a big difference. Therefore, as a citizen, I am always doing my best to help others within my community.
From being a member of JROTC, I understand the concept of being a loyal citizen within my community. My JROTC program participates in multiple American Red Cross Blood Drives, visits to elderly homes, reading books to elementary school children, and picking up trash along the highways through the Adopt-a-Highway program. Due to all of our hard work, we earned the Palmetto Pride 2018 District 1 Community Service of the Year Award. We were recognized at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina for all of our Adopt-a-Highway community service work. As a leader, I helped plan and organize the Adopt-a-Highway, American Red Cross Blood Drive, and Elderly Home events. I love the being a Leader, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a role model for others.
My JROTC program supports our community in many different ways. We participate in events such as parades, Community National Day of Prayer programs, Federation of the Blind, local church Veteran’s Day programs, and other community ceremonies. During each event, I either participated as the Color Guard Commander or a member of the Color Guard team. Once, I was the narrator for one of the Veterans Day Program hosted by the JROTC Program. The more I got involved, the more I move up in the ranks. I have shown my strengths through talent, heart, and motivation. This resulted in my promotion to Major by my junior year in high school. I was promoted quickly by showing my instructors that I had the ability to lead a group of people and was a responsible student on which they could rely. As a leader, I am always on the A/B honor roll, I follow all rules and regulations, and I wear my JROTC uniform with pride. My instructors hold me to a high standard. This is good, because it allows me to keep setting the example and seeking self-improvement
Finally, I would like to say that, because I joined JROTC, I now have an interest in joining the military. I have already taken and passed the ASVAB test. My plan is to soon join the US National Guard. I believe that I will be an excellent Soldier. Being in this class showed me that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I know there were many cadets competing for this award. I am honored to be nominated and to receive such a prestigious award. This is truly a blessing, and I am humbly grateful that my JROTC instructor nominated me.