Crank Leads Cougar Battalion

Senior earns honor of being the highest ranked cadet


Since a freshman in high school, senior Jack Crank has been a part of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC).

Crank was inspired to join the JROTC program early on.

“I have always been interested in the military, and if I didn’t do the program, I would be zoned to go to Wakefield High School,” Crank said. 

Being one of the top three cadets comes with a lot of leadership and responsibilities. Crank hopes to be an inspiration to the cadets he leads.

As Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, he is the highest ranking cadet of the Cougar Battalion.  

“It’s a lot. We are always responsible for something and have to be cognizant of what is happening all the time,” Crank said. “I hope to make a positive lasting impact where I have shown people that you can do things differently than others. You just need to reach the same end result or a better end result.”

His duties also involve troubleshooting and problem solving. 

“I am in charge of all cadets in the battalion and responsible for everything they do or fail to do. Basically, I have to make sure that events go smoothly, and if they don’t, I need to find a way to fix it,” Crank said. 

Taking on such a large role, Crank has had to overcome many obstacles and challenges that have shaped him into the person that he is today.

“I have grown a lot since freshman year, especially in the program, as in freshman year I had no aspirations of having a high position in the battalion, and now I am in charge of it,” Crank said. “The most valuable trait I have learned is how to work well with others in various situations.” 

 Through the years Crank has learned how to use his strengths and weaknesses to his advantage to become a better cadet than he was before. 

“Some of my strengths that help me with this position is being flexible and understanding with people and trying to approach different topics from viewpoints other than my own,” Crank said.

The JROTC program is not all smooth sailing. The cadets have had to deal with many challenges and mistakes.

“I’ve overcome adversities of a lot of miscommunication or poor communication. I also have learned to represent better qualities in myself and bring out the best in others,” Crank said.

Being in the program for four years, Crank has been greatly impacted by the previous Battalion Commander. 

 “The BC before me left a lasting impression as she displayed many of the ideal qualities of a cadet and showed what a person can do when they do their best even in the worst of circumstances,” Crank said. 

The Command Sergeant Major (CSM) who leads the cadets in the program has been supportive to Crank.

“CSM Cribb has had the greatest influence on me as she always gave input on how to improve on what went wrong,” Crank said.

Since he has been in the program for all of his high school years, he has accrued much knowledge and advice that he plans to pass down to the younger members of JROTC.

“Don’t be scared about it. It basically becomes a massive family of cadets,” Crank said. “Use the resources available to you and not be afraid to mess up sometimes. That’s the best way to learn.”

The JROTC program has experienced many things together and has given the cadets many memorable experiences that they will never forget.

“The most memorable memory I have is from our Raider Team competitions where we go to other schools and compete in physical fitness activities,” Crank said.

After graduating high school, he plans to further his education, and he is debating on joining the Army in college or after he graduates.

“I plan on going to NC State for Mechanical Engineering. I can use the leadership skills taught to me to ensure I stay active in college and focused on getting my degree,” Crank said.