"We put so much into this because we wanted to do great. We were striving for success, and we did. It ended up paying off beautifully."
The Dalton High Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) Catamount Battalion recently renewed their accreditation as a "Honor Unit with Distinction" based on AdvancED's Standards for Quality.
Public Affairs Officer C/MAJ Alejandro Rosas said the selected cadets arrived at 6 a.m. on Feb. 2 to undergo the virtual accreditation process.
"The JPA (JROTC Program Accreditation) inspection consisted of seven events, including the drill event, color guard event, continuous improvement briefing, service learning project briefing, cadet portfolios event, unit report and the Instructor portfolios event," Rosas said.
Battalion Commander C/COL Lisette Hernandez said JPA happens every four years when the Battalion is graded and inspected by assessors from AdvancED — the same organization that accredits primary and secondary schools throughout the United States.
"Preparation for our JPA inspection took a lot of time," Hernandez said. "We've been preparing this for the last three years."
Battalion Executive Officer C/LTC Lorena Francisco said the experience was unifying for the Cadets. She also shared that balancing the preparation with her academic load was not an easy task.
"This whole thing really did bring all of us together," Francisco said. "Keeping up with our classes as well added stress, but [JROTC] did help us manage our stress and time."
Battalion Command Sergeant Major C/CSM Breeanna Chandler said the team invested in their success through hard work and by relying on one another.
"It was a difficult process," Chandler said. "It was really hard academically. We put so much into this because we wanted to do great. We were striving for success, and we did. It ended up paying off beautifully. Through JPA, we have learned how to better manage our time."
The battalion scored a 97.5/100 on their 2021 JPA inspection, maintaining their "Honor Unit with Distinction" title and outdoing their 2017 score of 96.5/100.
"This proves that with hard work, perseverance, motivation, teamwork and determination, anything can be accomplished, no matter how hard of a challenge and goal there is to meet," Rosas said.
The DHS JROTC program focuses mainly on leadership and teamwork. Under the guidance of Senior Army Instructor Command Sergeant Major Heriberto Vazquez and Army Instructor First Sergeant Dr. Eugene Jackson, the Cadets work together to develop interpersonal and professional skills.To learn more about the program, visit their website.