By Mary O’KEEFE
The Crescenta Valley High School JROTC program received the Outstanding Organization of the Year for the 2017-18 school year by the Air Force JROTC. The school’s program has received many honors over the years but this recognition is centered in community service, a practice the JROTC cadets take seriously.
“Cadets average at least eight hours of community service from April to April, per cadet,” said Daniel Kim, JROTC senior.
That means all 108 cadets must provide at least eight hours of community service hours. Many have seen the cadets from CVHS JROTC providing color guard services at several events like Memorial Day at Two Strike Park, CV Hometown Country Fair and every month at the CV Town Council meetings. In addition, the cadets help with set-up and tear down at many more events throughout the community and beyond, like at Oktoberfest.
“Finding out that the award is given because of community service means a lot since serving the community is one of our core values,” said Nathaniel Lee, a JROTC sophomore.
“We do a lot through our [community service branch] the Kitty Hawk Society and our Drill and Ceremony,” Kim said.
Cadets in the Kitty Hawk Society are required to lead, organize or create an event for community service. Kim added that although there are leaders within their organization, it is really a team effort that makes their program a success.
“I think that although I held [one of the] highest positions in the core I put my trust and faith in the cadets,” he said. “There is responsibility on my end but I trust the cadets to do what they are required to do.”
“Hearing the requirements of the award, I am very proud of what our JROTC has done,” Lee added.
Kim said he was also proud of the JROTC accomplishments, even with the new leadership.
“It shows this whole organization is very stable,” he said.
The program has had some changes this year as longtime teacher/mentor Lt. Col. David Worley retired in the 2016-17 school year after leading JROTC for 14 years. Maj. Michael Sharpe took over the teacher/mentor position this school year.
Sharpe focused on getting to know the cadets and building a new part of the program – Ground School, which will become a reality in this coming school year. The students and mentors worked hard to raise the funds to transform the upper offices in their classroom for ground school training, as well as getting the flight simulators, purchased a few years ago, moved to the room as part of the class curriculum.
Earning the Outstanding Organization Award took a lot of work and organization, which feel to MSgt Alvin Johnson.
“There were some targets I had to hit,” he said.
The targets included not only keeping track of service hours, but also recording academic information.
“There were 121 schools from all over the world recognized with this particular award this year,” Johnson added.
Kim was selected to go the Air Force Academy. He said he was ready to graduate.
“I have always wanted to [go to the Academy]. I have had this goal since fourth grade,” he said.
Kim was recommended to the Air Force Academy by Congressman Adam Schiff.
“Last summer I had the privilege o interning at his office in Burbank,” Kim said.
He is planning on majoring in political science.