Greetings from Clinton High School’s Army JROTC Department.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your “cadet” to the Red Devil Battalion – Clinton High School’s Army JROTC program. Our program is now in its 27th year and we look forward to another great year full of fun and challenge.
It is a great honor for me, Major Joe Benson, and Sergeant First Class Anthony Adams to be part of the CHS teaching team and to serve the community by coaching, teaching and mentoring cadets. This is my 9th year with the CHS JROTC program. SFC Adams is in his 8th full year. SFC Adams and I have a total of 45 years of military experience between us. We take our work seriously, view this as a great opportunity, look forward to being part of the great Clinton community and especially look forward to working with your cadets.
The mission of Army JROTC is “to motivate young people to be better citizens.” The program does this by focusing on building skills in leadership, citizenship, life success, geography, and wellness in a structured and interactive environment. In addition, to classroom instruction, we encourage participation in a variety of co-curricular activities and community service projects. Cadets will have the opportunity to try out for the color guard, air rifle team, and/or Raider Challenge team. We will also conduct a block of instruction on marksmanship in which every cadet will have the opportunity to target practice with our Rifle Team Air Rifles and our Archery set. Additionally, we are in the process of planning a couple field trips. Lastly, the ever-popular Military Ball will be in March; in which all cadets are encouraged to attend. The focus of these activities is to improve leadership skills, teamwork and self -confidence. SFC Adams and I plan on having fun.
What do I expect from your cadet? I expect them to do their best to live by the JROTC Cadet Creed. They will memorize the creed and say it at the beginning of each class. When a cadet falls short of the creed or makes a mistake, I expect them to assume responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes.
Our program has been awarded “Honor Unit with Distinction”, the highest unit award available, but we still have much to do and look forward to the challenge and opportunity to excel. SFC Adams and I know your cadets do not know everything and may make mistakes. I suspect we will be doing a few pushups with the cadets when that happens. Yes, we will drop cadets for pushups for minor infractions. This is in no way demeaning and in my experience cadets are generally very good-natured about pushups and other work outs.
I would like to mention a few things that will be explained in detail to your cadets. Cadets will be required to 'properly' wear their cadet uniforms on designated weekly uniform days for the entire day. This is a graded event – Failure to wear the uniform will result in course failure. Additionally, all male cadets will wear regulation haircuts (facial hair) and female cadets will wear regulation hairstyles while in uniform. Among other specifics, regulation hair pertains to length and color. No cadet may have multi-colored hair nor can their hair be any color other-than a natural hair color while in uniform (color does not have to be their natural hair color). Modest highlights are acceptable. No exposed body piercing are allowed with the exception of certain modest earrings for female cadets – male cadets cannot wear any type of earring/exposed piercing while in uniform. Physical training is a mandatory component of the JROTC program. First year JROTC cadets receive a PE credit on their transcripts. That credit cannot be given unless the student is actually participating in the physical training in the proper uniform. Lastly, RESPECT is a cornerstone of JROTC. Cadets will be expected to treat everyone with dignity and respect. They will generously use Sir/Ma’am with the school and cadet staff and hopefully these habits will transfer over into their everyday lives (if it is not already). From the students that I have already worked with, and the great reputation of Clinton High School, I don't foresee any problems – only great opportunities.
SFC Adams and I both feel genuinely blessed to be working with the young men and women of Clinton High School. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Our office numbers are 938-1951 (SFC Adams) and 938-1953 (MAJ Benson). Email addresses can be found on the CHS website. Our desire is for all cadets and their families to enjoy a positive learning experience through the JROTC program.
A little about myself, I spent a little over 20 years as an active duty member of the United States Army. I am a graduate of Pickens High School, Pickens, SC; Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC, and Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. My undergraduate degree is in Social Science w/History and my graduate degree is in Education. As with many of my peers I have spent a large part of the last decade in and out of the Middle East and am very happy to have begun this new stage of my life. I am married to my high school prom date and we have 4 children. My wife also works for the school district, my eldest is a 2LT in the US Army, we have a senior and Junior at NGU, and my youngest is a sophomore at CHS. I would like to personally thank you for allowing me to have just a little influence on your child's life and future.