The Livingston High School Navy JROTC held their Military Ball last week, the Big Cat Battalion and guests observed several traditions during their formal event.
Each guest was introduced as they passed through the receiving line (arc sabers) before being seated for the banquet. Cadets conducted the Battalion Change of Command. Cadet Command Master Chief passes Battalion Colors to outgoing Battalion Cadet Commander Sonja Wiley, who relinquishes her command authority and responsibilities of the battalion back to SFC Tinker, who secures the battalion colors and passes the colors to incoming Battalion Commander Cadet LCDR Samantha Rodriguez, who assumes command authority and responsibility for the Big Cat Battalion. SFC Tinker provides authority to Rodriguez to represent, lead and care for all the battalion cadets. Rodriguez then passed the battalion colors back to Cadet Command Master Chief Skylar McAdams to secure and maintain the LHS Big Cat Battalion Colors representing the pride of LHS NNDCC/NJROTC.
The “fallen soldier table” was set and consisted of items representing fallen, missing or imprisoned U.S. military service members. The honor guard folded the flag to add to the table. The colors were posted by the color guard, the rifle corps conducted their drill, and formal celebration toasts were made.
The guest speaker was Major Charlie Hester, who was the first JROTC instructor for Livingston High School in 2007. Hester expressed how proud he is of the growth in the program at LHS. Hester shared stories, the importance of brotherhood in the service, and how lifetime friends are made by serving your country.
Awards were presented by members of the Hale Sellars Post 312 American Legion. Retired Air Force Major Jeanette Jackson and Kathleen Metzger to Lieutenant Leah Robeson and Cadet Lieutenant Commander Rodriguez, who then presented medals to the cadets who participated in the Join Leadership Academics Bowl. Team members include Skylar McAdams, Tyler Uvalle, Sonja Wiley, Chelsie Bullock, Enrique Tellez, Gabriella Woychesin, Jase Whiteside, and Leah Robeson.
“The Joint Leadership Academics Bowl is a competition including every branch of the JROTC, not just Navy,” Tinker said. “In 2019, we competed for the first time and our team scored a 19. This year, LHS was represented by two teams and they scored a 93 and 96 and advanced to the second of three rounds. I am so proud of the leadership of our battalion and it amazes me to see the growth of these students each year.