WAYNE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL JROTC CADETS PERFORM WELL AT JUNIOR CADET LEADERSHIP CAMP 2022
With school ending for the summer on May 27th, it wasn’t just the last day for classes. It was the first day to begin a new adventure for Wayne County High School JROTC Cadets Summer Canseco, Tiffany Damian, Elijah Kidwell, Robert Bob Lewis, Amelia Ramsey, Amber Russell, Deborah Sexton and Roscoe Steiber who were traveling to Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, KY, as advanced party to begin five days of Junior Cadet Leadership Camp (JCLC).
It was a day of anticipation and excitement as they would begin their adventure and help prepare the camp site for the expected sixteen other schools who would arrive on Saturday morning May 28th. For the first time in more than two years, JCLC was held without the restrictions of Covid-19.
As the cadets awaited the unexpected challenges JCLC would bring - it would be like a new beginning for everyone attending JCLC 2022. New cadre and cadets who haven’t experienced JCLC due to the Covid restriction imposed beginning in 2020 and continuing through 2021. “We weren’t sure the U. S Army Cadet Command would even fund a camp this year but we got word back in February this year that camp was a go,” said JROTC Instructor 1SG George L. Snyder. “We were certainly pleased to hear the good news as JCLC offers our great cadets an excellent opportunity to work in a new and unfamiliar environment with cadets from other area schools. It gives them the chance to demonstrate their communication, cooperative and leadership skills as well as their physical abilities. It also provides opportunities for the cadets to experience activities they would not be exposed to at home.”
JCLC is designed to present cadets with unique and challenging leadership roles in a safe learning environment. Cadets participate in many academic and physically demanding activities which test their leadership knowledge and ability to work with other students they are not familiar with. Cadets make the decisions during camp and must be in top shape mentally and physically to be successful. Cadets are expected to successfully complete all phases of training, which include: Drill and Ceremonies, Physical Fitness, Rappelling, Rafting, Land Navigation, Survival Skills, Water Survival, Swimming and a cadet favorite the High Ropes Course at Eastern Kentucky University. All this combined with serving in important leadership roles can make camp a little stressful but certainly fun.
“It’s always difficult for any cadet to be placed in a critical leadership role at camp,” said First Sergeant Snyder, but that’s what JCLC is all about. “Operating in an unfamiliar environment camp can really bring out the cadets leadership ability.”
To culminate the JCLC 2022 training activities and to reward those cadets who had successfully completed all phases of training, cadets took part in the Silver Musket Award ceremony. This year’s award ceremony was held in conjunction with the Battalion Awards Ceremony. With school flags flapping, each company marched to a designated point in the Battalion training area. After all companies were in position, instructors from each school attending the camp were then given permission to pin the Silver Musket Awards on their cadets.
Senior Army Instructor CW 4 (R) William J. Sands had the distinct privilege of presenting the Silver Musket Award to all eight Wayne County cadets for completing every phase of JCLC 2022. These cadets gave 100 percent effort to earn their Silver Musket.
Instructor Sands said, “we are very proud of their contributions not only during camp but also in all they do for the Cardinal Battalion.”
Also, during the Battalion Awards Ceremony individual cadets are recognized for their significant contributions in leadership, teamwork and character. Cadet Amber (A.T.) Russell earned the Alpha Company Leadership Award, one of the highest awards given at JCLC and one of the most prestigious awards given for Company Leadership. This marked the seventh time that a Wayne County Cadet has earned a Battalion or Company Leadership Award at JCLC.
Cadet Roscoe (R. J.) Steiber earned the very prestigious squad peer leadership award as voted on by members of his squad for significant contributions to his squad during the camp. Cadet Deborah Sexton and Cadet Amber Russell also earned squad awards for their squad’s placement during the one rope bridge competition and boat operations.
“All of our cadets performed exceptionally well in every phase of camp considering their LET level,” said 1SG Snyder “We always bring motivated and dedicated cadets to camp and they always seem to set the example and lead the way in all they do. They made up a great team of young men and women from the Wayne County Cardinal Battalion.”