Congratulations to the Grant County High School JROTC who earned a “Gold Star” rating in its three-year formal review this past Thursday, February 17, 2011. The inspection was conducted by the 7th Brigade JROTC Director, Mr. Bob Smith, who works at US Army Cadet Command and 7th Brigade Headquarters at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The review is completely executed by the JROTC Cadets and covers ten (10) functional areas with fifty-six (56) sub-assessment categories.
This three-year formal review determines whether or not a JROTC Unit receives a rating of
· Honor Unit with Distinction (Top Rating - must Achieve 96% or better - GOLD STAR),
· Honor Unit (Must Achieve 86% - 96% - BLUE STAR), or
· Merit Unit (Must Achieve 76% - 86% - WHITE STAR).
The rating system essentially means that the entire Cadet Corps can lose no more than 24 points on the entire inspection, worth 600 total points, and still earn the “Honor Unit with Distinction” status.
The GCHS JROTC inspection went exceptionally well because of the professionalism, attention to detail, and high standards the Cadets in the Cadet Corps set for themselves. During the inspection they consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities in a high-stress, real-life setting. The support provided by the high school staff and administration, along with district administration, was also outstanding and demonstrated a standard of excellence that was duly noted by Mr. Smith throughout the inspection. He complimented the partnership, stating, “Grant County has achieved in less than 6 years what it took most education districts in the 7th Brigade, (an organization of 217 JROTC Units), twenty or more years to accomplish.” Mr. Smith added, “I am sure Grant County will continue to lead the rest of the 7th Brigade in education innovation, facilities, and teamwork, with a vision of excellence for the future which everyone should emulate.” Individual Cadet Staff members were also encouraged throughout the day as he expressed many positive remarks while inspecting their respective functional areas.
During the “After-Action Review” in which Mr. Smith reported his findings to the Cadet Battalion Commander, together with Principal Claudette Herald, Asst. Supt. Matt Morgan, and the Cadet Staff, Mr. Smith shared, “During my 15+ years of JROTC Headquarters experience, and of the 217 high school JROTC units in 7th Brigade, this Cadet Staff Briefing was the best I have ever seen.” Then he added, “If I could award a Platinum Star, I would give it to the Grant County Cadet Corp for their exceptional performance today. The best I can do, however, is to Award the Cadet Battalion with a Gold Star to be worn on the US Army Uniform. This symbol carries with it the title of “HONOR UNIT WITH DISTINCTION!”
In addition to the visual “Gold Star” recognition each Cadet will wear on his/her uniform, there are other tangible benefits attached to the Honor Unit with Distinction ranking. All military service academies (West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy) receive orders each year identifying and validating the units who are ranked as an “Honor Unit with Distinction.” With this ranking, the Senior Army Instructor of the JROTC holding a HUD status can make a recommendation directly to a Congressman, Senator, or to the military service academy nominating a cadet for admission if they are otherwise qualified.
Command Sergeant Major Charles Duffee reflects on the day and the overall success of the GCHS JROTC unit. “Obviously I am extremely proud of our JROTC Cadet Corps for their exceptional performance on the Cadet Formal Inspection. The status as “Honor Unit with Distinction” is an accomplishment that compares with a State Championship, except you only have the opportunity to demonstrate your achievement once every three years. I am also proud of the outstanding teamwork and partnership that has been established between the Grant County educational community, the GCHS JROTC unit, and the US Army. Having worked in other JROTC Units and other educational districts, I can testify that the Grant County High School staff and the Grant County School District are, without exception, the absolute best with which I have had the privilege to serve.”
Congratulations to the Command Sergeant Major Charles Duffee, First Sergeant Donald Eynon, and Sgt. Roger Cole for their exceptional instruction and guidance, and to the JROTC Cadets for the maturity, discipline, and leadership skills they have embraced and now call their own!
You make us very proud!