Story by C/SGT Carolina Alonso
On September 20th, 2022, the book study team of Garinger and the rest of the JROTC program in CMS all came together for the annual JROTC book study opening ceremony. ALL 20 programs will read “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership” by General (R) Colin Powell and present an oral presentation. When we arrived we were greeted by the cadets of Hawthorne High School JROTC, once we talked with cadets from the hosting school and many more cadets from other JROTC book study teams. We were eccentric. After not seeing the cadets we’ve bonded with and after not being able to have the opening ceremony in person last year due to COVID. Before the ceremony we were able to see the Hawthorne color guard prepare for the presentation of colors and the singing of the national anthem by one of their very own cadets, PFC Jonathan Cruz.
After the national anthem and presentation of colors, we were able to hear a few words from our DAI Colonel Cowley, and the most important person there, keynote speaker prodigy of the Colin Powell LTG(R) Michael Tucker. He told us integrity matters, “What you see depends on where you sit”, and leadership is 5% direction and 95% follow up. Once he opened the floor for questions, C/CPT Gina Molina asked a very intriguing question “What do you think it means to be an inspiration to people or inspire you to do better?” His answer, “I feel obliged better yet obligated to give back to the country and the people who have given so much to me to succeed”.
Afterwards we grabbed a couple of pictures with LTG(R) Michael Tucker and some pictures of other cadets. After this event, we were very glad that we were able to have a great time and bond but yet learn some life lessons. We all enjoyed the ceremony in different ways, but we all came together.