Story shared by: LTC (R) Richard R. Hodgson, Senior Army Instructor (SAI) of Junction City High School AJROTC
Junction City High School in Junction City, Kansas held the 40th reunion for the class of 1982. Among the attendees was Ms. Beatrice Garcia, who was the second Cadet Battalion Commander of the Junction City High School AJROTC program which began in 1980. The Cadet Battalion Staff and Instructors gave Ms. Garcia and several other Class of ’82 alumuni a tour of the new JROTC area in the high school that opened last year.
All of the former cadets enjoyed the tour, were impressed by how the program has grown and advanced over the years, and spent time reminiscing through the Battalion scrap book from 1982.
Looking at the picture of her being promoted by LTC Ken Burgoon, the first Senior Army Instructor and assuming command, Ms. Garcia remarked “Girls didn’t even wear a real Army uniform then, it was a green, plaid blouse which we wore instead. Things have changed a lot”.
Junction City is an Army town just outside of Fort Riley and as such, many, if not most, of the students then and now are military family members and tend to go their separate ways upon graduation. Few of these alumni still live here, most spread out all over the world in a wide array of career fields. Ms. Garcia graduated and went on to have a distinguished 26-year career in the Air Force and is now a Department of Defense Civilian working for U.S. Space Force. All of them remarked on how much of a positive impact JROTC had on their development.
“I loved JROTC, said Ms. Garcia, “and I’m so happy to see it still going strong.
Cadet Beatrice Garcia of Junction City High School AJROTC being promoted to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel by Senior Army Instructor LTC (R) Ken Burgoon in 1981