JROTC excels during JPA inspection

Cadets received an overall score of 97.5 percent from inspectors


Mayla Gilliam

JPA Representative addresses the JROTC leadership. These cadets led the brigade to a Gold Star rating.

Mayla Gilliam, Editor in Chief

The United States Army Cadet Command visited the Army JROTC program for an inspection this past December.

The inspection, which takes place every three to four years, follows the standards known as JPA, the JROTC Program for Accreditation, to determine whether or not a program can maintain its accreditation and funding.

Cadets used the criteria depicted in the JPA manual to guide the brigade in preparing for their inspection.

The program earned an overall score of 97.5 percent and gained their accreditation.

“The Army JROTC program is accredited by AdvancEd as a Special Purpose Program, and as such is committed to continuous improvement. AdvancEd requires that the Army JROTC program meet five standards of quality,” JROTC Instructor Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dimitri Belmont said. “The purpose of the school visits is to gather information and evidence to support the continuous improvement of teaching and learning in the JROTC program.”

Cadet officers, as well as the rest of the battalion, spent a lot of time preparing for this nerve-wracking inspection.

“It was kind of intimidating. We had to do a lot of prep for it, and it really pushed ourselves as leaders to come and work together to impress the other leaders’ standards,” senior Jennifer Nguyen, cadet battalion commander said.

Because of the lengthy preparation, senior Jonathon Hughes, executive officer cadet major felt confident about the outcome.

“I knew we were going to get it because we just put in a whole lot of work,” Hughes said.

Cadet CSM senior Thomas Ortiz also had expectations about the program’s status leading up to the JPA inspection.

“Definitely that we were going to do our best that we could and hopefully, if anything, get the blue star, which is second to the gold star. We actually did end up only getting 2 percent off the 100 percent so that was good,” Ortiz said.

The officers had their own successes during the inspection.

“Personally, I think keeping the battalion motivated, the top three working together to keep everything organized and on track. I was really proud of what we did there,” Nguyen said.

Ortiz believes that multiple factors played into the battalion’s success.

“Me personally? It wasn’t really something that I had to do, but it was a big team effort. I definitely gave the support that the battalion commander and the XO needed to be successful. If they needed anything from me, I was on the spot,” Ortiz said.

Hughes was impressed by some of the younger members of the battalion.

“Definitely a lot of the cadets, especially the freshmen and sophomores, came out and showed their participation and their time,” Hughes said.

Cadets began the process early to ensure success.

“The program as a whole definitely stayed committed to everything. We were always there, day in and day out. Even before school started, we had summer meetings to make sure we had everything that we needed and to make sure the planning was done,” Ortiz said.

The battalion’s actions leading up to the JPA inspection showed dedication, and helped the program receive the accreditation and funding they needed to continue growing.

Nguyen said, “I think what we really did well with was identifying our weak points, and we really improved on it and really prepared before they actually came, and we had a bunch of practice trials, and we just had a bunch of other staff members come and help evaluate us.”