LOS ANGELES, CA -- On the 19th of September 2020, the Los Angeles Unified School District along with the Director of Army Instruction held its Annual All-City Luncheon – Virtual. With the challenging times, the Director of Army Instruction wanted to continue to recognize the Junior ROTC cadets who went above and beyond the norm or being a cadet. To be recognized as one of the Top Cadets in the City of Los Angeles the Top Nine had to have competed in the All-City Staff Competition held each year. Due to COVID-19, the cadets were not able to compete as normal in-so-much as being all together.
The decision was to advance the Top Cadets from last year, who were now Seniors, on how they finished last year's competition. Since only nine cadets from last year competed in the full competition, those cadets were advanced up and the rest of the Top cadets from the other high schools were selected by their Senior Army Instructor thereby representing all 16 Army Junior ROTC programs.
The All-City Staff Competition consists of the following events: Cadet Challenge Physical Fitness Test (1 Mile Run, Curl-ups, Pull-ups, V-Sit Reach, and Shuttle Run), go through a Formal Uniform Inspection, Present an 8-10 Minute PowerPoint Presentation on a current event, take a 300 Question Test on Leadership Education & Training – LET 1, 2, & 3 Material, and march a squad utilizing 57 Army Regulation Drill Commands.
This school year, James Monroe High School had Five of the Top Nine cadets in the City from last year’s competition. All Five cades are all seniors and they are C/LTC Elvira Ornelas-Alfaro – Current Battalion Commander (2nd year), C/MAJ Yazmin Pahua – Executive Officer, C/Kimberly Isidoro – Public Affairs Officer, C/MAJ Mary Raxic-Benavides – Training Officer and C/MAJ Deysi Santacruz – Special Project Officer.
The Virtual All-City Luncheon was under the direction of COL Daryll Hensley (Ret.), Director of Army Instruction, LTC Robert Huntly, Ret., Assistant Director of Army Instruction, Patty Heideman, Administrator, High School Instruction, Los Angeles Unified School District, Division of Instruction, Mr. Mat Diamond, Principal (James Monroe High School), and under command of the All-City Colonel Helen Kim from Van Nuys High School. Both James Monroe High School and Van Nuys High School were tasked to give a PowerPoint Presentation on two topics which were Assimilation to Virtual Learning (James Monroe High School) and Leadership Development (Van Nuys High School). All meetings and coordination were done via Zoom conferencing between the cadets.
The Guest Speakers were Medal of Honor Recipient CSM Gary Littrell, Ret, USA who talked about his experience and actions in receiving our Nation’s highest honor – The Medal of Honor. We were also honored to have the All-City Colonel from SY 2019-2020 Cadet Jaricsa Vega from Manual Arts High School and currently a 1st-year cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy.