2021-2022 JROTC Military Ball


Justice Harris, Staff Editor

Students in the Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) will be able to attend the annual 2021-2022 Military Ball in conjunction with Jefferson Silva. 

Preparations for the ball have been taking place throughout the program. For most of the cadets, it is their first time attending. 

“This is my first year in the program,” junior Ethan Jones said. “Staff is taking care of all the arrangements and all the decorations that we’re going to have there, invitations and tickets that need to be printed. Personally, I just have to go and get my uniform cleaned, shine my shoes, and make sure I look decent.” 

Senior Vonna Walker holds the S-2 position on staff. 

“We’re going to have a rehearsal with Jefferson since we’re all together, and we’re going to go through all the scripts, so we know what we have to say,” Vonna said. 

The 2020-2021 Military Ball was canceled because of the influx in COVID-19 cases around the city, but this year the activities have resumed: marking the continuation of a tradition dating back centuries.  

“COVID presents a unique challenge. You’re talking about an indoor event, and depending on what local mandates, stipulations, and the current state of the city, it’s going to change the dynamic of how we have the ball,” Command Sergeant Major Nathan Shaw, the JROTC Army instructor, said. 

The cadets hold a variety of distinct roles and have been working hard this year. 

“I’m in charge of the arms room and security for the building,” said Vonna. “I have to go through the arms room, the supply room, the staff room, the bathrooms, and check if no one is there; I give it to my sergeant major, and he checks it off.” 

But the different teams are excited to unite under one cause, and really have fun. 

“I’m really excited for the dancing part of the military ball. I can’t wait. I like to dance and I’m going to have fun,” Vonna said. 

After being given the opportunity to socialize with students from other schools, the cadets will venture into the ballroom and have a formalized dinner. Skits made by different class periods will be presented and ranked for each school. An award ceremony will recognize senior cadets, and honor those who have accomplished military and academic feats this year. Following will be the dance portion that closes the event. 

The festivities go beyond just a night of fun. The social event gives the cadets an opportunity to show off what they have learned in the program and get out of their comfort zones.  

“We’re not here to turn high school students into soldiers, or airmen, or marines,” CSM Shaw said. “We’re here to turn high school students into better citizens for the betterment of themselves and the community. It takes a lot to do the same thing as an organized team. You go from learning how to be led all the way to learning how to manage leaders in four different modules. I teach classes on how to read better, how to take tests better, teach you about how your thinking habits are,” 

Command Sergeant Major Nathan Shaw truly captures the essence of the program.

“The program is a transitory process; it goes from year to year. My intent is to transform young, immature thirteen- and fourteen-year-old kids and send them on the left side of the stage as young adults ready for the world.” 

The cadets will join together at Grace Gardens Event Center on Friday, March 4.