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Troup JROTC cadets hosts annual ball

On Friday night, cadets in the Troup High School Air JROTC program hosted their annual military ball. 

“The cadets plan this, raise the money for it and put it all together,” said Major David Frick. “It is an opportunity for them to have a very formal event. The cadets have to coordinate everything, from the caterer, the DJ to the facility.” 

Frick said that it teaches the cadets teamwork, and it is also a part of the curriculum. 

“We do this every year and the formal events like the dining in, dining out are a part of their teachings,” Frick said. “This is them enacting the curriculum and living it.”   

Troup County School System Superintendent Dr. Brian Shumate spoke to the 105 Flying Tiger cadets Friday night. 

“I’ve always been fortunate to be around JROTC programs, and I’ve always been a great 

supporter and admirer of those programs for what they bring for kids,” Shumate said. “Kids engage in a mission driven pathway with like-minded kids, meaning they’re around peers who have similar interests, with caring adults, teacher sponsors, parent boosters, administrators and so forth. The icing on the cake are things to look forward to after school, on the weekends and during the summer.” 

Shumate said the program helps students advance in high school and graduate at a high rate. 

“We want every kid to have that kind of experience,” Shumate said. “Whether it’s in the arts, or pure academics or CTEA programs and so forth. ROTC is a great example of what we want to be able to offer to any kid that walks in the door.” 

The theme of the night for the GA-20053 troop was ‘Looking forward to a brighter future. Remembering the days’ past.’ 

“ROTC is not a military recruitment device, although sometimes kids do go in the military, but it’s really about teaching self-discipline, leadership, physical fitness and belonging to a team,” Shumate said. 

Additionally, on Friday night, princesses were crowned for the underclassman grades, and a queen for the seniors. The color guard team, Dillian Potts, Vincent Davis, Zachary Bagley and Austin Williams also recognized POW/MIA soldiers during the event by setting the traditional   round table that is never occupied. The significance of the POW/MIA table was called to attention during the toast of the evening. 

“This year they’ve worked really hard to put this together,” Frick said. “I’ve been teaching here for almost four years now. Each year, it just gets a little better in how these things are put on.”