Pleasant Grove High School Army JROTC Program Accreditation Inspection

Authored by: MSG (R) Derrick Hamilton
Photos by: MSG (R) Derrick Hamilton

Pleasant Grove High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) was visited by 6th Brigade JROTC representative, Jerome Gates, of Cadet Command on the 12th of April 2024 for its first JROTC Program Accreditation (JPA) inspection. Also known as Spartans Battalion Leadership Academy (SBLA), the Battalion is unique as it comprises four (4) High Schools, McAdory High School, Oak Grove High School, Hueytown High School, and Pleasant Grove High School, in which the program is housed. Pleasant Grove High School JROTC started as an NDCC (National Defense Cadet Corps) program in 2020 and was officially approved to become a JROTC program effective 1 June 2023.

The Cadets and Spartans Battalion leadership spent many hours and days preparing for the inspection by practicing Color Guard, Platoon Drill, Continuous Improvement and Service-Learning Briefings, uniform inspections, and general knowledge questions. The Cadet’s dedication to success led to the Battalion earning a 99% (100 max) overall score, earning the Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD) award. This will be represented by the Cadets now being able to wear the coveted ‘Gold Star’ on their uniforms.

Cadets will be allowed to wear the ‘Gold Star’ for three (3) years as the JPA is a Tri-Annual inspection. In accordance with USACC Regulation 145-2 JROTC Program dated 12 August 2022, Chapter 8, Section 54 states that, “An Honor Unit with Distinction has demonstrated exceptional performance in all areas of JROTC, as determined by the USACC and as designated in permanent orders. Receiving such ratings is a reflection on both the unit and the school.”

Master Sergeant (Retired) Derrick Hamilton and Chief Warrant Officer Four (Retired) Eugene Murphy were proud of their Cadet’s commitment and dedication. Transitioning from NDCC to a JROTC program, the Cadets, Battalion, and instructors faced many challenges and constraints preparing for the JPA. The Cadets strived for success and being a JROTC Program for only 10 months were able to score 99%, making the Spartans Battalion one of the TOP JROTC Programs in Alabama per JPA inspections.