Kapaa JROTC cadet places second in national essay contest
Kapaa High School junior Jacqueline Tacsiat placed second in the National Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Essay Contest for school year 2010-2011.
More than 300,000 students from more than 2,000 high schools competed in the national JROTC essay competition. Jacqueline’s essay on how “JROTC Differs from Other High School Courses,” earned her a $225 prize and presentation of a Hawaii State Department of Education coin from LTC Antoinette Correia, Director of Army Instruction, and Kapaa principal Daniel Hamada (pictured).
Correia said this is the first time a local cadet has placed in the annual JROTC essay competition.
“JROTC Differs From Other High School Courses”
By Jacqueline Tacsiat, Kapaa High School
In most high school classes, students would be reading from a textbook or listening to a lecture given by their teacher. However, in JROTC, students develop leadership skills, improve their physical fitness, and learn how to apply military values to their daily lives. In my other classes, these topics are not addressed; therefore, JROTC cadets get the opportunity to participate in a high school course that is unlike any other.
First of all, unlike other high school courses, cadets better prepare themselves for the future through practical exercises where they enhance their knowledge of leadership. From the knowledge they gain, cadets improve their leadership skills and are able to set a good example among their peers. Through service learning projects, teams, and battalion staff positions, cadets put their leadership skills into action and also become better citizens in their community.
In addition to enhancing their leadership knowledge, cadets also learn to improve their physical fitness. By doing weekly physical training, cadets prepare themselves for the cadet challenge, a test that shows how fit they are and what areas they can improve on. Also, they learn how to eat healthy and how to manage their own personal fitness plan. Besides cadet challenge, cadets apply their physical fitness to adventure training competitions where they compete against other schools and also bond with their fellow cadets.
Lastly, JROTC differs from other high school courses by cadets learning to apply military values to their daily lives. With the values of duty and honor, I have become more appreciative of my country by saying the Pledge of Allegiance everyday at the beginning of my JROTC class and learning proper flag etiquette. Because of personal courage, I have accomplished tasks, such as rappelling and stepping up to be a leader. With the remaining values I have become a better citizen in my school and community.
In conclusion, JROTC cadets improve their leadership skills, physical fitness, and learn to apply military values to their daily lives in just one class. These are the ways in which JROTC differs from other high school courses.
(Essay reprinted with permission of the author.)