CLINTON – Local officials gathered Monday morning on the front porch of the Anderson County Courthouse as County Mayor Terry Frank proclaimed Monday, November 13, 2023 as the Second Annual Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Day in Anderson County. Frank’s proclamation honors the service and dedication to community of the three high school JROTC units at Anderson County, Clinton, and Oak Ridge high schools.
Attending the recognition event were cadets from Anderson County High School’s Navy JRTOC unit, Clinton High School’s Air Force JROTC unit, and Oak Ridge High School’s Navy JROTC unit. The cadets stood in formation on a blocked-off Main Street in front of the Courthouse while remarks were made.
Mayor Frank, Lt. Governor Randy McNally, State Representative John Ragan, himself a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and keynote speaker Jason Deel (retired, U.S. Army) all gave remarks before Frank, McNally and Ragan presented the formal proclamations to the cadet commanders of each school JROTC unit.
Lt. Governor Randy McNally said he recognizes and commends the dedication and commitment among the members of a JROTC unit. “I was a member of the ROTC at Memphis State. It’s a great way to grow as a individual and serve the community.”
“Each cadet participating in these programs is on a journey of personal growth and transformation, and the impact they make extends far beyond the confines of the drill field,” Deel said. “Citizenship is a cornerstone of the JROTC experience. Cadets, I want to personally thank you for leading your school and classmates in community service projects. The importance of giving back cannot be stressed enough and contributing to the greater good will lead to success in your future.”
Deel said his high school in Haysi, Virginia, did not have a JROTC program. So, he entered the ROTC program at East Tennessee State University under a scholarship in 1997. “Much of my success is from the training and discipline I received in the ROTC program,” he said.
Cadets from JROTC units at each of the high schools in Anderson County participate in numerous community and school events throughout the year, from presenting the colors at school ball games or marching in local parades, to volunteering regularly at the monthly Anderson County Veterans Appreciation Breakfast.
Anderson County High School’s Navy JROTC Program has 48 cadets participating this year. Clinton High School’s Air Force JROTC Program has 100 participating cadets, and Oak Ridge High School’s Navy JROTC Program has 94 participating cadets.