The students of Kaiserslautern High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps received the spirit award while competing in a drill and ceremony competition March 14 in the Ramstein High School gymnasium.
After months of training, the KHS JROTC team finally had the opportunity to apply what they have learned from their mentors — senior noncommissioned officers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
The cadets placed second in the inspection category in addition to receiving the spirit award, which was given to the school with the most enthusiasm and motivation. The award was presented to KHS at the end of the ceremony.
The 21st TSC and KHS signed a proclamation announcing a partnership in October, allowing Soldiers to mentor students during the duty day.
“We owe it to them as our children to support them in everything they do,” said Sgt. 1st Class George Isla, a communications plans NCO with the 21st TSC. “It feels good when we give back to the community the same way our leaders and peers have been giving to us.”
The NCOs and cadets have put in extended hours preparing for the competition and have seen the results of their hard work. The former drill sergeants’ experiences were a catalyst in the success of the drill team.
“I was really confident during my performance. They helped us a lot and are always there for us when we need them,” said Julian Evans, a student on the KHS JROTC drill team.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them. They did an outstanding job,” Sergeant Isla said. “All the hard work paid off with their performances today.”
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Short, a 21st TSC support operations ammunition and logistics NCO said he thinks the students got something out of the experience.
“I believe it’s a must that other NCOs foster a relationship within their communities,” he said.
Sergeant Isla said that setting the example will lead to other NCOs volunteering within their communities. The mentoring program is critical to the students being successful in high school and beyond.
“When local, active-duty military are involved with our young people, it really enhances our ability to encourage our students to get involved in the community,” said retired Air Force Col. Leon Stamm, the senior aerospace science instructor at KHS.
“Having the opportunity to have an impact on a young person’s life in a positive way means a lot to me as a parent, a Soldier and a man,” Sergeant Short said.