By Colonel Alan Hester
On Wednesday, April 11, a team of inspectors arrived at Greenville High School to inspect and evaluate all aspects of the High School’s JROTC Program. Tension and uncertainty among the 121 JROTC cadets in the morning gave way to joy and a sense of pride in the late afternoon, as the cadets were informed they had earned Honor Unit With Distinction, the highest level of accreditation a program can receive.
The JROTC cadets began the morning with a battalion in-ranks inspection. Each cadet was individually inspected, with the evaluators reviewing cadet personal appearance in their full dress uniform. In addition, cadets were quizzed on basic cadet knowledge questions. Cadets who received individual acclaim for their performance in the inspection included LaQuanda Peagler, Ross Hester, Treyvon McClain, Austin Guthrie, Payton Thomas, Riley Boutwell, Levion Adams, and Sean Crawford.
Each of the four companies of the overall Tiger Battalion were then evaluated on their ability to complete a pre-determined marching sequence. Although all four companies performed well, Delta Company was named Best Drill Company, receiving a perfect 15 out of 15 score. In fact, the chief drill evaluator, Master Sergeant Shaun Pearsall, told Delta Company that they “nailed it, performing at a higher level than most active duty US Army units.”
The Greenville High School Color Guard then performed, earning a nearly perfect score. After their performance, the Chief Evaluator, Mr. Jerome Gates, formally presented the Color Guard with a trophy in recognition for the Color Guard earning Second Place in the recent Alabama State Drill Championship. The members of the State Runner-Up Color Guard team include Jonathan Wills, Avant Wilkerson, Kahari Rue, and Esron Satterwhite.
Other items inspected later in the day included cadet portfolios, with samples of cadet coursework from over the year, instructor portfolios, and a briefing from the Battalion Staff on implementation of a new Promotion System for Tiger Battalion. The evaluation wrapped up with a briefing from the cadet company commanders on their Service Learning Project, which was development of a Veteran’s Day Program for Greenville High School and W. O. Parmer Elementary School.
Mr. Gates concluded the day with a parting briefing to the JROTC leadership, led by Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Banes Carlyon. He revealed that Tiger Battalion had earned an overall score of 198 of a possible 200 points. Mr. Gates called on the cadets to continue to work hard and improve, especially to strive to raise the level of uniform appearance.
While there is always room to improve, Mr. Gates commended the battalion’s overall performance, remarking that the 99 percent grade is “probably the highest I have given any school this year.”