Story and Photos by: CPT (R) Christopher Robinson
“I never pass up the opportunity to come talk to you, because the program you are in right now, Junior ROTC, is the best leadership program. It is the best program that helps prepare you to be a better person, a better citizen, and support your community. It is a program that is focused on preparing you for the next step.” (LTG Maria Gervais, TRADOC Deputy Command General)
LTG Maria Gervais conducted a visit with the Cadets of the Ridge View High School Blazer Battalion on August 24, 2023, where she shared her journey from high school to becoming a commissioned officer in the United States Army. In her reflection, she expressed that sometimes your intentions for the future don’t always go as planned. The Cadets were given the opportunity to ask questions about her military career.
LTG Gervais concluded her visit by presenting coins to seven deserving Cadets of the Blazer Battalion for their efforts and accomplishments while being a member of the JROTC program. She also acknowledged two former Ridge View JROTC Cadets who are now members of the South Carolina State University Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion.
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Blackwood, the current battalion commander of the Ridge View High School JROTC program said of the visit, “The visit was inspirational and I gained a sense that you can start anywhere in life. As long as you stay determined, you can achieve your dreams”.