JPS JROTC Cadets Celebrate End of Semester with Premier Formal Event

posted Jan 21, 2016, 5:24 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 21, 2016, 5:24 PM ]

JPS JROTC Cadets Celebrate End of Semester with Premier Formal Event 
January 15, 2016


Erik Mallett
Errika Mallett, guest speaker for the 4th Annual JROTC Military Gala

Jackson Public Schools JROTC hosted the 4th Annual Consolidated Military Gala on Friday evening, December 18, 2015. A gathering of nearly 1,000 cadets, instructors, parents, school administrators and other guests dressed in formal attire convened at the Jackson Convention Complex, to socialize and celebrate the holiday season and the completion of a successful first semester.

"We were honored and grateful to have the president and several members of our JPS Board of Trustees, our Superintendent, Dr. Cedrick Gray, Mayor Tony Yarber, Police Chief Lee Vance, representatives from Jackson State University, William Carey University, Millsaps College, business and church leaders, and a host of supporters and well-wishers come out and support one of our premier events," said Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director of JPS JROTC. "However, we were most proud of the exceptionally professional manner in which our cadets facilitated the program, as well as the respectful and dignified behavior demonstrated by all throughout the entire program."

Guest speaker Errika Mallett delivered an inspirational and empowering message, highlighting the lucrative benefits as well as the need for more diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. Mallett is an industrial engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology with consulting, marketing and executive management experience in the technology industry. She is currently the Vice President of Operations and Partnerships for the Gifted Education Foundation.

JROTC Military Gala Group
JPS Supt. Dr. Cedrick Gray (center) joined Board members, school administrators, and more than 900 guests for the JROTC Military Gala held in December 2015.

The mission of JROTC is to Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens. 

The JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school. The average annual graduation rate for JPS JROTC cadets is 98 percent. Cadets are also expected to continue their education after completing high school and the JROTC program includes components that assist with preparing cadets for higher education. 

The percentage of JPS JROTC graduates who are formally accepted to post-secondary institutions of higher learning has steadily increased each year, reaching 99.1 percent.  Additionally, the graduating cadets earned an average of $3 million in scholarship offers annually.

"The planning and execution of the military gala was nothing less than outstanding," said Col. Willis. "It is a great testament to what our young people are capable of—the level of cooperation, fellowship and esprit de corps—when placed in a positive environment and allowed to be creative."

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JPS Salutes Hundreds of JROTC Cadets at Military Gala

posted Jan 26, 2015, 5:16 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 26, 2015, 5:19 PM ]



JPS high school JROTC cadets dressed in their best formal attire for the Annual Military Gala held in December.
Program guests included Gerald E. Harmon, MD, and Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray
(From left) Dr. William Merritt, CAO; Dr. Lorene Essex, Dep. Supt.; JPS Supt. Dr. Cedrick Gray; Dr. Josephine Kelly, CAO; and Dr. Michelle King, CAO

Over 900 cadets, instructors, parents, school administrators and other invited guests converged at the Jackson Convention Complex Friday, December 19, 2014, for the 3rd Annual JPS JROTC Annual Consolidated Military Gala.

The guest speaker for the event was Gerald E. Harmon, MD, a family medicine specialist for more than 25 years in coastal South Carolina. Dr. Harmon has served over 34 years in the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force, and he recently retired with the rank of Major General.​

In addition, Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a featured speaker at the event and provided musical entertainment.

"We're very proud of the efforts made by our instructors, school administrators and cadets from all our high schools over the several months leading up to this event, as they demonstrated the highest levels of teamwork and cooperation to ensure a successful Gala," said JPS JROTC Director Colonel (Ret.) Paul Willis. "We're extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we continue receiving from our parents, school officials, former cadets and many others in our community."

According to Colonel Willis, the JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school. Included in his remarks were some outstanding outcomes for graduating cadets.

"The average annual graduation rate for JPS JROTC cadets is 95 percent. The percentage of JPS JROTC graduates who are formally accepted to post high school institutions of higher learning has steadily increased each year, reaching 99.1 percent last year. Our goal is to attain and sustain a 100 percent acceptance rate for our graduates," stated Col. Willis.

Additionally, the graduating cadets earn an average of $3 million in scholarship offers annually.

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JROTC History

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Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)

Col. Paul Willis, Director
2221 Boling Street • Jackson, MS 39213
Phone: (601) 987-4931 • Fax: (601) 982-2470


The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp Program in Jackson Public Schools has been developed over seven decades. The first JROTC program in Jackson Public Schools was started in Central High School on 1936, and transferred to Lanier High School in 1971 after the program at Central was phased out. Today the Army JROTC Program is alive and well in all eight JPS high schools. Since the program began, thousands of students have been exposed to the ideals of leadership, character development, and citizenship training provided by JROTC.


JROTC staff are committed to establishing a legacy of excellence as they strive to accomplish their mission- "to motivate young people to be better citizens." They prepare high school students for responsible leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens. The program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school, and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community, and nation.


The objectives of JPS' Junior ROTC program are to develop students/cadets who are:

  • Aware of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship
  • Prepare to be good leaders; willing to show initiative and take charge
  • Able to think logically and communicate effectively with others, both orally and in writing
  • Committed to improving physical fitness
  • Committed to living drug-free
  • Instilled with self-discipline and positive self motivation
  • Aware of the historical perspective of the military services
  • Aware of the importance of teamwork
  • Imbuled with the core character traits/values for successful living
  • Aware of their strengths and weaknesses
  • Aware of the problem solving/decision-making process for resolving issues
  • Adaptable and confident
  • Prepared for successful living upon graduation from high school

JPS JROTC Cadets Go to National Flight Academy

posted Sep 16, 2014, 12:34 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 16, 2014, 12:36 PM ]


JROTC NFA Participants

Participating in the NFA program were (standing, from left) Jaquan Walker, Jim Hill; Vivian Sandifer, Murrah; Chelsea Dortch, Murrah; Haley Rucker, Murrah; Marquez Wilkerson, Wingfield; Aya Johnson, Jim Hill; Meshanna Marzette, Jim Hill; Mya Brown, Jim Hill; and Allen Cooper, Wingfield; (sitting, from left) Estrella Bucio, Jim Hill; Te'Ravius Wiley, Wingfield; Nwaynah Littleton, Jim Hill; Raquan Young, Wingfield; and Denisse Bucio, Jim Hill.

A group of 14 JPS JROTC cadets successfully completed the National Flight Academy's AIR Ambition program conducted at the Pensacola (Florida) Naval Air Station from May 25 through May 30, 2014.

The National Flight Academy (NFA) is designed to address the serious concerns of declining Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills and standards in our country. The Academy's mission is to inspire students who subsequently return to their original schools and seek out the more challenging courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Disciplines include aerodynamics, propulsion, navigation, communications, flight physiology and meteorology, along with core values, teamwork, and leadership skills development.

The cadets successfully met challenges in mathematics related to navigation and flight planning. They also applied principals of physics and aeronautical engineering to manage aircraft simulators in performing difficult tasks. The cadets exercised communication, collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking skills to plan, control and execute highly complex missions under stressful conditions.

Cadet Allen Cooper, a rising senior at Wingfield High School, elaborated on his experience at the National Flight Academy.

"I learned a lot about aviation such as movements and terminology. I got the chance to fly a simulator of an experimental jet. It was very exciting learning to control the jet."

Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director, JPS JROTC, was very proud of these cadets and their accomplishments.

"To my knowledge, these are the first JPS JROTC cadets to attend this course and we certainly intend to provide this opportunity to more cadets in the future," said Col. Willis. "This is part of our continuing effort to expose our cadets to meaningful experiences, which enhance their personal development and academic skills."

The course costs $1,250.00 per student, however, students could apply for scholarships. All JPS JROTC cadets attending the course in 2014 applied for and received scholarships to cover the full cost of the course. 

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