FORT BLISS, Texas - Director, Capability Package, Col.
Terrece Harris, System of Systems Engineering and
Integration team at Fort Bliss, took time off from
commanding the Army's integration team, to promote the
importance of leadership to students in the Marine Corps
Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Prep class at
Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas on November 5, 2014.
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Terrece Harris,
director, Capability Package, answers questions about life in the
military from students in the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers'
Training Corps Prep class at Coronado High School on November 5,
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Vanessa Flores)
Harris' leadership skills were recently put to the test
as he successfully led the Capability Package Team during
Network Integration Evaluation 15.1, which had concluded
just a few days prior to his school visit.
approached the school, he was greeted by Christopher
Hernandez, student MJROTC battalion commander, who led him
into a classroom filled with students standing at attention.
With eager eyes upon him, Harris was in his natural
environment of encouraging others to achieve their
"Discipline is doing what is right even
when you are not being watched," Harris said as he explained
the Foundation Leadership Pillars he has developed over his
He also stressed the importance of discipline
and decision making in everyday life. As the students
absorbed the information that was relayed to them about
real-life leadership, they engaged in the discussion and had
relevant questions, most pertaining to their lives beyond
high school and becoming a leader in the Armed Forces.
"It's lonely at the top, and when it's time for you to
make decisions not everybody's going to be on board with
it," said Harris. "But make those decisions. Be confident
about them. Just know not everyone's going to agree with you
all the time."
These students are no strangers to
leadership, Hernandez and his fellow classmates led the
initiative in bringing an MJROTC program to the school. In
fact, the students were conducting Drill and Ceremonies at
school functions and would run the flag up every morning on
their own, even before this class began. As a prep program,
Coronado is one of the few schools in the El Paso area
without a fully funded government JROTC program.
"Myself and a friend of mine noticed that there was no JROTC
program here, so we went straight to the principal to see
what we could do," explained Hernandez. "She told us get 100
signatures of people interested and we will think about it.
We were able to get 150 signatures."
interest in bringing an MJROTC program into the school was
apparent, administrators have been doing what they can to
get a full program developed. This leadership class is in
its first year and is the first step in getting a
full-fledged program into the school.
instructor of the leadership class said, "I'm a math
teacher, but I'm also a retired Major, so the school asked
me if I would come in and help the kids. I stay in the
background and let them get in the front and learn about
leadership. There's only 40 students, but it's structured
like a battalion."
The students follow the Marine
Corp JROTC Program of Instruction for the class. They are
taught about things like citizenship, patriotism and career
preparation. These topics go beyond the academic regimen,
but they are important for the students to learn as they
become members of society. The students have made it clear
that the things they learn in class and from leaders like
Harris will be applicable in their lives and take their
"In a leadership position I have
to set the example" said Hernandez. "It is really important
to make sure that I am doing good in school, being
professional and staying on top of my game. That way the
people I lead see me as the example and follow that."
By U.S. Army Vanessa Flores
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