First Year JROTC Program Yields Big Results For Mililani


Special to Central Oahu Islander

Mililani High School provisionally activated its U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program July 1.

After a year of new faces and new challenges, the battalion made an unrelenting mark as cadets reflected their many accomplishments this year.

“The Trojan Battalion started really well,” said Senior Enlisted Army Instructor First Sgt. Reinaldo Gonzalez. “In the beginning, we weren’t expecting that many cadets to sign up, but we had 140 and we have performed just like a battalion that has been around for many, many years.”

JROTC keeps cadets busy throughout the school year, with community service projects, drill and color guard competitions, parades and special ceremonies, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. The beauty of JROTC is that it encourages students to participate, even though they are engaged in other activities as well. For the ones who have time, the teams are ready for determined cadets who want to be challenged.

The first event of the school year was Organization Day, sponsored by the Hawaii Army National Guard.

Organization Day is a fun day, allowing schools to compete in several events to bond with other cadets and other JROTC programs. The Trojan Battalion practiced for two weeks in several events, finishing first in the Ghost in the Graveyard and Football Throw events.

Overall, the Trojan Battalion was awarded 11 trophies and was recognized for three significant titles.

Because the program is new, the cadets were hesitant about the success they may have.

“My expectations were not this high – I was expecting to do well but not as well as the cadets did,” said Gonzalez. “So they have taken the program to heart and they’ve done well at all the competitions. They have done really well in the classroom and, actually, they have done better than programs that have been around many years.”

Much of the leadership for the program came from its new battalion commander. It was a role the student leader embraced.

“Being the first battalion commander was a lot of stress and pressure for me,” said Cadet Lt. Col. Gi-Hyun Kim. “Although it was stressful, overall, I really enjoyed the position as the battalion commander.”

Senior Army Instructor Lt. Col. Tim Schiller and Gonzalez confirmed Kim was the most mature, responsible and trustworthy cadet for the job.

“[Kim] commanded the battalion very well, so I think the two incoming battalion commanders for the first and second semester have some big shoes to fill,” said Gonzalez.