TJ’s men and women in uniform shine.
by Morgan Dorn
Thomas Jefferson’s 8th Junior Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Battalion was highly awarded at the Annual Denver JROTC Review and Awards Ceremony, which was held on April 30, 2008.
The Battalion was recognized for the commendable honors that they achieved this year in the JROTC program. The awards included a Plaque for the JROTC-DCTA Essay Contest Annual Award, TJ JROTC’s most prized of all the awards they have won this year. The essay competition is a written essay, where all of the JROTC cadets from the city are judged based on their responses to the same writing prompt. This year’s prompt was, “JROTC helps me deal with peer pressure,” to which the students were to explain how this statement applies to them. The essays were judged at the battalion level, by TJ JROTC instructors Major Joe George and First Sergeant Carl W. Gray, and then at the City level, which is where the award was earned, after the battalion beat out nine other Denver High Schools.
JROTC was also won plaques for 2nd Place in the Comprehensive Exam, a competitive test based on general knowledge of cadets in the Denver Public Schools, an award for Outstanding Supply Operations, and an award for Most Improved Battalion from the Director of Army Instruction, a special award from Lieutenant Colonel Perry Roberts, the head of all the JROTC Battalions in Denver.
On May 1st, cadets were also acknowledged for personal merits achieved in JROTC. Extensively decorated Cadet Colonel Shawn Newman was especially recognized for his service to his battalion, school, and JROTC with a Certificate of Achievement and Service from Battalion Staff, Military Order of World Wars, Academic Excellence Award, and Superior Junior Cadet Decoration.
“I believe that this year was by far one of our best years for JROTC, but there is always room for us to improve. Next year I plan on leading the drill team to first place, in both city-wide and in state drill meets, and we plan on protecting the awards we’ve won this year for years to come,” said Cadet Second Lieutenant Drew Scherer, a leader among the cadets who will be a Junior next year.
Yet again, the 8th JROTC Battalion has brought pride and recognition to Thomas Jefferson High School, and the cadets will certainly have shoes to fill in the future. “The overall performance this year was a first for our cadets, because we have never before won four city level plaques. We are absolutely ecstatic, it just doesn’t get better than this! Next year’s competition will be even more challenging and the goal of the students will be to achieve first place,” said Major George.