Crossroads High School recently implemented a JROTC program in support of preparing students for life beyond high school. The goal of the program is to develop character skills, including critical thinking, leadership, communication, and teamwork. Daily activities include lessons on life and citizenship skills as well as physical conditioning.

Career & technology education teacher Michael Veal, a 26-year Army veteran, will serve as the program’s instructor with oversight from Copperas Cove High School JROTC Senior Instructor Chief Warrant Officer III, retired, Enrique Herrera.

“JROTC teaches the values of the military. These are important because they create a sense of ownership and responsibility,” Veal said. “These students will take the first steps to reaching their full potential and increase their chances for success.”

Crossroads High School is an alternative school of choice where students work independently from their peers. The JROTC initiative creates a place for students to work as a member of a larger team. It also serves as a way for peers to keep each other motivated to keep working hard and stay on track for graduation.

Cadet Carson Falk says he joined JROTC without hesitation.

“Mr. Veal approached me about starting up the program and I was instantly interested,” Falk said. “I want to join the military when I graduate, and I feel as though JROTC will help me develop a foundation in fitness, leadership and discipline, preparing me for success in the military and in life.”

Clear Creek Meadows provided a $1,500 donation to purchase uniforms, flags, guidons and other items to implement the program. Art students and staff volunteered to build some of the needed equipment and created artistic representations of the unit’s insignia.

Cadet Paige Martin joined the program to develop better self-discipline and physical health.

“I also wanted to set a personal standard for myself and my peers,” Martin said.

Twelve students are currently enrolled in the program. Principal Pat Crawley said Veal recognized a need for the students to have access to a program like JROTC and the discipline that it encompasses.

“We want to see students improving self-discipline and physical health and ultimately students fulfilling their full potential and increasing their chance of being successful,” Crawley said. “Strengthening values of each individual and producing student leaders is our goal.”

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