Muscogee County School District hosting weeklong JROTC Cadet Challenge

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:14 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Hundreds of Junior ROTC cadets from area high schools in Georgia, Alabama, and even the Virgin Islands are pushing themselves in ways they haven’t before at a week long camp.

Nearly 200 cadets from 18 different high schools are finding out their weaknesses and learning how to be better together at the Muscogee County School District’s Lighthouse Brigade JROTC leadership challenge or JCLC.

“At JCLC, everybody is together,” says Lamar County High School senior, Tamia Jones, “We are one together, we move together, we talk together, we eat together, we sleep together.”

“If I can lead in JROTC, then I can lead in the big world out there,” says Woodlande Lunidi, senior from Charlotte Amalie High School in the Virgin Islands.

Monday, the cadets sharpened their courage on a confidence course facing different obstacles. That’s where Lamar County High School student, Evelyn Taylor learned something about herself.

“I sat back and I took a moment, and I was like you know there’s also other people that can’t do it and that just gives me room for more improvement. That just gives me a goal to reach, so that I can symbolically and actually get over that wall,” says Taylor.

Tuesday, cadets reached new heights and as they repelled down Eagle Tower on Fort Moore.

“Our whole mission is to motivate them to be better and that’s in every aspect of their life that they could possibly be better in; whether they’re out in the classroom, out in the streets, or even ten years from now, ” says Major Alexander Branch, JCLC public affairs officer.

Wednesday, the cadets navigated through land and water including a pool training.

Smiths Station High School cadet Jamez Whitaker is already thinking about how to take what he’s learned beyond this week.

“Some of the people I’ve met now, and now that I’m halfway through the week, I feel like I’m going to miss them once I leave. I feel like the leadership that I’m going to gain from here I can take back to my school and lead people there,” says Whitaker.

The camp isn’t only challenging, one instructor says the week is also rewarding.

“At the end of the day you see kids overcoming their fear of heights, overcoming their fear of being in a group, the peer pressure, standing out in front and taking charge, giving commands, and not only giving commands but receiving commands and working together,” says Roderick Johnson, JROTC instructor from Jeff Davis High School.