By Mary O’KEEFE
On Saturday night the Crescenta Valley High School JROTC held its 27th anniversary Military Ball. The evening was a time for cadets to celebrate their accomplishments and to honor those who help support their program.
The dinner was held at the Oakmont Country Club and was free for those in attendance thanks to the support and fundraising talents of the program’s Boosters Club.
The JROTC is one of the busiest programs at the school, receiving requests from all over Los Angeles County for their presentation of the colors and emotional POW/MIA table ceremonies.
At the ball, Lt. Col. David Worley, teacher and mentor of JROTC, recognized the American Legion Post 288 for its support with a certificate of appreciation.
“Thank you, cadets. You are always there for us when we ask you to come to an event at Two Strike Park. You are always there to support us,” said Mike Baldwin of American Legion Post 288.
The mistress of ceremonies for the event was Senior Master Sgt. Billie Smith. She has been with JROTC for about six months.
Col. Jerry Knotts, a long time supporter of CVHS JROTC, offered remarks when he spoke to the cadets about how to prepare for their future.
Knotts served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force and flew 112 missions in North Vietnam as an F-105F Wild Weasel/Ryan Raider. He then served as a program manager engineer building “special” aircraft as a member of the USAF Big Safari Program team. He received his engineering degree from Penn State University.
“Often I got asked [about his future], ‘What were you thinking about while you were in high school?’ I knew I was going to be in the Air Force and fly, and be an engineer,” Knotts said. “I am a Penn State engineer. How did I do it? It was tough.”
He quoted George Washington Carver, “Where there is no vision there is no hope.”
Knotts told the cadets to set big goals and to create a master plan.
“Make sure you make milestones, always look forward and focus,” he said.