Early each school day, JROTC cadets gather in front of Elkin High School in order to raise the American flag.
They will return that afternoon to lower the flag and put it away until the next morning. It is one of many duties the JROTC completes in the course of the day.
The mission of JROTC is to motivate young men and women to become better citizens. Students, formally known as cadets, learn many skills that will benefit them later in life such as teamwork, leadership, communications, and good decision-making skills. They learn about personal appearance, military traditions, customs and courtesies, rank and structure. They also study the constitution and the American way of life. Cadets participate in several “adventure skills” such as rappelling and orienteering and lead the student body of Elkin High School in a moment of silence followed by the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each school day.
The Elkin High School JROTC provides community service throughout the school year. Students present an annual Veteran’s Day program at the high school, work Elkin’s annual Pumpkin Festival, work for Habitat for Humanity, sponsor at least two annual blood drives for the Red Cross, work the fall and spring Chicken Flicken’ to raise money for charity, and provide food distribution support for the Elkin Post Office, Tri-C Ministries, and The Ark.
The American JROTC program was created in 1916. With the United States’ entrance into the First World War fast approaching, Congress passed a law to create a program to teach young men the skills needed to be a private soldier. Today, a JROTC program at a school can be supported by the United States Army, Air Force, or Navy. Elkin High School’s JROTC program, started on August 14, 1993, is supported by the United States Army.
When it was first started at EHS, Army Retired William ‘Colonel’ McGrew was the only JROTC instructor, and he plans to retire this year after twenty years of service. The tradition of JROTC excellence will continue through the leadership of his fellow instructor, Army Retired Kenneth ‘Sarge’ Abrams, who joined the staff in 1997, becoming the third instructor to teach at Elkin High School. “My favorite thing about being a JROTC instructor is watching young men and women excel, watching them mature from freshmen to seniors,” says Sgt. Abrams.
The JROTC offers excellent opportunities for leadership and community service and is open to all students for elective credits. Interested students are encouraged to sign up during spring registration at Elkin High School.
The Elkin High School JROTC will present a Veteran’s Day program in Dixon Auditorium at 10 a.m. on November 9. The public is invited to attend.
For more information, contact Sgt. Kenneth Abrams at 336-835-3858.