• 61°

ROTC given highest rating

The Air Force Junior ROTC program completed their Headquarters Junior ROTC Evaluation on Feb. 24.

The Evaluator was Col. Roger Vick, who was making his third trip to Bainbridge High School. Col. Vick last evaluated the GA-942 Unit in February 2007.

The colonel spent the entire day at BHS: touring facilities, talking with each JROTC class, reviewing all uniform and financial records, observing two drill demonstrations, and meeting with administrators.

The most important aspect of the evaluation was a briefing from the cadet staff led by Cadet Commander Erick Juarez.

The briefing and discussion convinced Col. Vick that the cadets were goal-oriented and that they were successfully “leading the cadet corps” in the numerous projects conducted each year.

All areas of cadet operations were rated as “Exceeds Standards” and that led to an overall rating of “Exceeds Standards.”

This is the highest rating possible and is the same rating the cadets received in 2007.

Col. Breedlove said, “We have tremendous respect for Col. Vick and he has a high regard for our cadets and our program. So, we very much wanted to ensure we would maintain that mutual respect and relationship.”

Col. Vick has been involved in JROTC for 18 years, and it’s rather tough to impress him, Breedlove said.

“However, our cadets did it very well. He was also very impressed with our new facilities and the obvious cooperative spirit of everyone on our campus. We made sure he was convinced that we have the absolute best faculty, administrative and community support of any program that he visits,” Breedlove said.

Col. Vick is responsible for 109 schools in Florida and South Georgia. Best of all, the seniors get to graduate with a big smile and a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Additionally, the “Exceeds Standards” rating gives the BHS ROTC program a good boost toward the seventh straight “Distinguished Unit Award.”

The program should know the results of that process by mid-April.

“I offer an enthusiastic congratulations to all our cadets who put forth the extra effort to prepare for this very significant challenge, and I want to thank our Bainbridge High School staff for their terrific support during the preparation for and conduct of the this evaluation,” Col. Breedlove said. “Many of our cadets worked really hard to get ready and two of them received special recognition from Col. Vick by the presentation of ‘Top Performer’ certificates and ribbons.”

A lot of cadets were worthy of recognition, but the award is limited to 2 percent of the enrollment. Cadets Tiffany Blocker and Stephen Dunn were the ones selected for this special recognition.

“Finally, I want to personally thank Mr. Tommie Howell for the staunch support he has always provided to the instructors and cadets of our Air Force JROTC program,” Col. Breedlove said “From day one, he has been totally supportive of our efforts and always the first to congratulate our kids on their achievements. We are very fortunate to have Mr. Howell as our principal. He is a true friend to GA-942.”