Cadet News

Hammond High Magnet School JROTC: More Than Just Fun & Games

Hammond High Magnet School JROTC
HHMS Students are spelling out the NIMS acronym. Note the I in NIMS is comprised of Virtual Student Certificates. Cadet are wearing variants of the JROTC uniforms. The Cadet Battalion Commander, is the Commander of Troops and centered in the M of the NIMS formation.
Photo Credit: Joan Costanza, Teacher
  • Posted on October 30th, 2020
  • Story by: Cadets David Dreher and Rayna Myers
  • Battalion Public Affairs Officer (PAO): Cadet 1LT Granados
  • 6th Brigade
    Event Academic Excellence

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is more than just fun and games or any ordinary class. In JROTC, you are able to learn valuable leadership skills, financial planning, and life lessons. This course is unlike any other in getting you prepared for real life. Although JROTC does not inherently or actively recruit cadets that are interested in furthering themselves with a military career following high school, they have many resources available to be able to choose the best career path suited for them. In fact, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Credential, which is the feature of this article, is a certification for the JUMPSTART Public Service Pathway. JROTC is an introduction to the military standard, students may choose outside of school to enlist in an armed forces branch of their choice if they desire to pursue a career in the military. JROTC serves as a credentialing authority for advanced placement (rank) if they enlist or take part in a Senior ROTC Battalion in college.

The Tornado Battalion is student led! Cadet Lieutenant Colonel David Dreher is the Battalion Commander, Cadet Major Rayna Myers is the Executive Officer, and C/CSM Christian Stucke is the Cadet Command Sergeant Major. These cadets are a direct line, or chain of command, if other students are in need of help.

Our Battalion has accomplished many things in the past years. We have attended JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl (JLAB) 3 times, each time out performing thousands of schools in order to make it to compete nationally. Our JLAB teams were able to tour Washington D.C. while there for competition and gain appreciation and knowledge of the foundation of our country and its humble beginnings. We received the gold star, which means Honor Unit with Distinction, passed our annual inspection with flying colors (2018), hosted annual blood drives (pre-COVID), and went to an assisted living center to give them company, among other accomplishments and activities. Select cadets were chosen to represent the battalion with the Color Guard and reach out to the community at various events and gatherings; some of these include: Wreaths Across America, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, POW/MIA ceremony, football games, Veterans Day Brunch, multiple parades, and many other events.

Even during quarantine, our cadets were hard at work. They were able to complete and earn a FEMA: National Incident Management System (NIMS) certificate. NIMS is a training program that uses credentials as performance measures of attainment, often incorporating the credentials as completion requirements. As part of the Public Service Pathway, NIMS is tailored for students pursuing a career in the Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Pathway or the Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatcher Pathway. Cadets will be able to use these credentials outside of JROTC to acquire post-secondary employment and make them a more sought after candidate compared to others when seeking work. Coupled with the First Aid/AED/CPR certificate and the JROTC SMARTCadet lessons in First Aid, our cadets are highly qualified for working in a region where national disasters are a way of life.

As the program continues to grow, more and more cadets are receiving recognition for their participation in JROTC. Cadet Tristan Chelete was the first in the nation to graduate as an International Baccalaureate Career Path JROTC graduate. Since then, many cadets have followed his path. We also have previous cadets from our program who were able to acquire large scholarships to pay the bulk of their college fees and havepursued education in STEM, Nursing, and at the United States Military Academies at West Point and Annapolis.

New JROTC programs are arising everyday! The JROTC tech team is currently building a robot to introduce our cadets to STEM and will be conducting miniature competitions through our different platoons using VEX Robotics. The team’s mission includes building a robot that can simulate all marching movements in drill and ceremony including a flanking movement. The VEXpro Omni-directional wheels will allow cadets to practice giving commands while an operator controls the robot through the routine known by cadets as the 23 Moves. This will become a battalion battle-rattle, and we will be able to conduct small head to head competitions once trained. JROTC is constantly shifting and expanding! The future holds greatness for each and every cadet! JROTC is much, much more than just fun and games.