In a Change of Command ceremony held at the White Mountains Regional High School Feb. 15, Cadet Lt. Col. Amy Belanger relinquished command of the Army JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps) Spartan Battalion to Cadet Lt. Col. Jacob Lewis. Cadet Lewis is a second year JROTC cadet and attends school at Littleton High School. Referred to as "sending students," students from Littleton, Groveton, Profile and Lin-Wood high schools may also participate in the JROTC program at the WMRHS.
Lewis is the first non-WMRHS cadet to command the battalion in the 16-year history of the unit. He is an honors student and recent graduate of the American Legion Boy's State program. In addition to his JROTC commitments, he has a part time job at Bailiwicks in Littleton, N.H. Cadet Lewis has been accepted to Norwich University where he will pursue a commission as a US Army officer and a degree in criminal justice beginning this fall.
Over 300,000 students across the country participate in the Army JROTC program. The nationally accredited JROTC curriculum is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork and self-discipline. Students earn an elective credit for taking JROTC and also have the option of receiving their physical education credit. Additionally, cadets can receive up to 16 college credits in leadership through a program with Adams State College.
The JROTC Spartan Battalion is one of only two Army programs in the state of New Hampshire. The cadets participate in numerous community service projects including American Red Cross blood drives, the Adopt a Highway program, Memorial Day ceremonies, Veteran's Day parades, and flag education classes at local elementary schools. In addition, the JROTC program has six teams (Drill, Raider, Marksmanship, Color Guard, Leadership, and Academic), which compete against other JROTC programs located throughout New England and nationally.
Submitted by Cadet Lt. Joseph Dami.