FORT HOOD, Texas – Junior ROTC cadets experienced military
operations first hand during a visit to Fort Hood, Texas,
Waco High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp Cadets view
photos of Medal of Honor recipients in the 1st Cavalry Museum during
the WHS JROTC end-of-year field trip hosted by 3rd "Red Dragons"
Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,
1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, March 8, 2013. (Photo by
Army Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2BCT, 1st Cav Div PAO)
Approximately 70 Waco High School students enjoyed their
JROTC end-of-year field trip by visiting various sites
during the visit hosted by the 3rd “Red Dragons” Battalion,
82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st
Cavalry Division, said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Willie
Jones, WHS JROTC senior army instructor.
introduced to multiple weapon systems – the M240B machine
gun, M249 machine gun, .50-caliber Browning machine gun,
artillery equipment, the M109A6 Paladin, M777 Howitzer and
M992A2 FA Ammunition Supply Vehicle, 1st Sgt. Marty Kerekes,
Red Dragons Battery A first sergeant, explained.
After visiting Red Dragon soldiers, cadets had lunch at the
Black Jack Dining Facility followed by a visit to the 1st
Cavalry Division Museum, here, Kerekes said.
Dragons leadership) wanted to give the students a general
and fun overall view of military operations,” Kerekes added.
“We would like the cadets to take away a sense of pride for
themselves, their equipment and uniforms.”
said his confidence level in the subject-matter experts at
each display was high. He feels the cadets will see the
professionalism within his soldiers and want to emulate that
in their future.
“The soldiers were great, very
professional,” 12th-grader Alfredo De Leon said. “(Soldiers)
were very familiar with the equipment and weapons. I have a
better understanding of why the military is here and service
Having a better understanding of
military procedures is good knowledge for cadets, Jones
added. Cadets will take that knowledge and apply it to their
daily tasks, training and overall discipline.
“Soldiers are the professional influence the cadets need,”
Relationships between Red Dragons and
WHS were strengthened as well, Jones stated.
relations are the reason Fort Hood is a great annual trip
for JROTC classes.
“(Red Dragons) have a great
working relationship with WHS,” Kerekes said. “Our community
relations outreach is stronger with these types of events
and carries over into other adopt-a-school and
adopt-a-business programs we have.”
Jones said almost
50 percent of his cadets have claimed interest in joining a
branch of the U.S. military with several seniors already
enlisting into the Army National Guard or Reserves.
“Some are future soldiers and if not, JROTC will make them
better citizens,” Kerekes said. “We enjoyed having them here
and so did our soldiers.”
The cadets had strong
anticipation toward the trip and everyone seemed to enjoy
themselves, as Jones said, “They will be talking and telling
friends about this day for a long time.”
More photos available below
By Army Sgt. Quentin Johnson
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