JROTC wraps up the last camp in Mobile

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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Greenville High School’s JROTC was on the move again. This time, the group attended

the STEM Leadership Academy, held in Mobile on July 10-15. The camp focused on maritime industries, implementing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The camp is designed to groom the JROTC students into future employees in the regional STEM workforce.

GHS sent eight cadets to the program. In total, 54 JROTC cadets from around the state participated in this fun and interactive camp.

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Spring Hill College in Mobile hosted the cadets.

“Science and Math teachers from around the area came in and worked to help make this camp a success,” Colonel Alan Hester, JROTC director at Greenville High School.

The cadets enjoyed rappelling, physical training, visiting the local industries, and exploring everything science and technology offer.

One of the more interesting training exercises for the cadets was the drownproofing training.

The cadets learned how to turn a pair of pants into a flotation device by creating an air pocket inside the folds while treading water in the pool.

The camp helped cadets focus on exploring the many different workforce positions in the maritime industry.

One of the places they visited was Austal USA, a ship manufacturer headquartered in Mobile, one of the safest shipyards in America.

They build the U.S. Navy LCS ships (littoral combat ships) there.

The USS Augusta (LCS-34) was built at the Mobile shipyard. This ship is the 17th of 19 Independence-class ships that Austal has been commissioned to build for the U.S. Navy. It was authorized in 2019 and was launched on May 23, 2022.

Another exciting experience for the cadets was the three-hour river tour. The cadets boarded the Delta Explorer and headed up and down the Mobile and Tensaw rivers. They had a bird’s eye view of the waterway and a great perspective of the Port of Mobile.

The cadets also got a chance to visit the USS Alabama, a proud staple of tourist destinations in our state, and the Gulf Quest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hester said one of the highlights of this camp was the great motivational guest speaker series. He said the speech by Navy Lieutenant Castillo from the Hospital Ship Comfort was inspiring.

But the best by far was when Cadets Terry Johnson and Angel Simpson both earned Cadet of the Day honors.

Next year, Hester hopes a STEM camp will be established in the Troy area. Troy University will host the camp. Hester said this camp would encompass the Wiregrass region from around the Greenville area to the Dothan area.

It will offer the same great experiences as the other camps, but with a Wiregrass twist closer to home.

Hester believes his cadets continue to not only impress the current organizers of these events with their abilities and heart, but they continue to make the people of Greenville proud. As Hester said, “Go Tigers!”