Story By: Lt. Col. (Ret) Chevelle Thomas
AL CTE JROTC Section President and Murphy High School JROTC SAI
Mobile, AL – Mobile County Public School System Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps student cadets from Murphy and Blount High School participated in ‘Career Technical Education on the Hill’ in Montgomery, AL on February 2, 2023, to celebrate the beginning of CTE month.
“We are truly excited to celebrate Alabama Career and Technical Education Month,” said Assistant State Superintendent, Dr. Jimmy Hull.
Career Technical Student Organization Officers from all organizations to include JROTC gathered on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol to have a photo opportunity with Governor Kay Ivey and the Assistant State Superintendent Hull in honor of the annual CTE proclamation.
“Our programs are focused on preparing students for a lifetime of success. Whether they are focused on attending college right after high school graduation, entering the workforce, military service, or a combination of these wonderful opportunities, Alabama Career and Technical Education is committed to assisting every student in achieving their goals,” said Hull. focus
CTE is a natural fit for JROTC cadets who decide to join one of the military services as they have a tremendous advantage over someone who has not taken JROTC, according to U.S. Army Retired Lt. Col. Frank Barrow, MCPSS JROTC Director of Army Instruction.
“Tech education is the new norm. Our daily lives depend on the ever-changing technological advancements in society, and CTE month allows us to celebrate and learn more about the importance of the program,” said Cadet 1st Lt. Toki Ingram, 10th grade, Mattie T. Blount High School JROTC.
Cadet Captain Valeria Portillo, 11th grade, Samuel Silenus Murphy High School JROTC said, CTE represents different people coming together to collaborate with one another by learning and developing various skills to become better leaders and workers.
Murphy and Blount cadets kicked off the celebration with activities to include: a guided tour of the State Capitol; a visit to Dexter Ave Church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor; a visit to Historic landmarks along the Dexter Avenue Historic drive such as Rosa Parks, and a guided tour by the ROTC Mustang Battalion of Auburn University at Montgomery.
Ingram was truly inspired by all the activities. She said, going to the State Capitol and Dexter Avenue gave her the chance to glance back in history to see what got her to where she is today.
Cadet Sgt. 1st Class Christine Abel, 10th grade, Murphy JROTC shared a similar viewpoint about the tours teaching her about the history of our state and the people who impacted it.
Portillo enjoyed learning about the State Capitol Building and being able to site see the Senate Chamber and old Supreme Court room.
The Alabama State Capitol is a working museum, which the House of Representatives, Senate Chamber, Old Supreme Court Chamber, Library, and Rotunda were renovated in 1992 and are now all open to the public.
Abel said, trips like these help her to narrow the path to success, and that JROTC helps her develop leadership attributes and teaches her how to be a leader, which in return would potentially help her in her future career.
The U.S. Army Cadet Command partners with high schools to conduct JROTC to develop citizens of character; and partners with universities to recruit, educate, develop, and inspire Senior ROTC Cadets to commission officers of character for the Total Army.
Thus, many ROTC university partner with JROTC high school programs, which sometimes result in shared activities between the two programs.
“Conducting campus tours is a unique privilege. I hear about what the students are currently doing in high school and what they would like to do after graduation. It is great to hear about their hopes and dreams for their future,” said Dee Long, AUM Senior Program Administrator.
“JROTC to me is a program to help me be a better person mentally and physically and to see what to do in the future,” said Cadet Private Jaselynn Ross, ninth grade, Murphy JROTC. “I feel like today was a day to see colleges so you can prepare yourself and your future.”
“ROTC has influenced my life by allowing me to gain and grow salient life skills such as communication, collaboration, networking, and time management. I have always had a strong work ethic and time management skills. However, being in ROTC showed me how to not only manage time for myself but also plan a timely schedule for a multitude of people, which is a crucial skill in any line of work. Communication and collaboration are indispensable skills needed to perform well with others in the program and get things done accurately and on time,” said Cadet Keiana Williams AUM, Mustang Battalion Executive Officer.
CTE trips like this impact your future by showing what colleges have to offer and helps you decide on an occupation, Ross said.
CTE Month is important because it allows new experiences and knowledge. While, the JROTC program gives advantages and benefits, which make it easier to make life decisions, said Cadet 1st Lt Jason Davis, 11th grade, Blount JROTC.
Ingram said, “touring AUM opened my possibilities to where I want to pursue my passion and studies.”
“I volunteered to do the tour because I knew I had knowledge of the campus and about our program that would not only be imperative for an incoming student to know but interesting as well,” said Williams.
Blount and Murphy High Schools JROTC delegates had fun, learning and leading, connecting the past to the present while pondering how they will impact our state and world in the future, said U.S. Army Retired Lt. Col. Robbie Cross, Senior Army Instructor Blount JROTC.
Top Photo Caption: Murphy and Blount High School JROTC cadets pose for a group photo on the steps of Alabama State Capitol for CTE on the Hill in Montgomery, AL.