As you all know, I am a product of High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (HS ROTC). When my dad, “Buck” West, challenged me to be the first military officer in our family, my quest started in the JROTC program at Henry Grady HS in Atlanta. It was there that my instructors, all combat veterans from Korea and Vietnam, LTC Pagonis, Major Heredia, MSG Buchanan (a Vietnam POW), and SFC McMichael instilled in me the foundations of leadership that I carry to this day. They are the reason why I will always be a staunch supporter of HS ROTC programs.
Because of the great impact on my life, since relocating to Dallas, I have sponsored the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) JROTC Academic Awards. Each year the Senior Army Instructors (SAIs) and their Cadets have their programs evaluated on these criteria:
a. Cadets that receive college acceptance letters (Ratio: Cadet Seniors / Cadet that receive a Letter)
b. JLAB Academic (SAT / ACT) participation and advancement to, or beyond level 2
c. College credit earned while in High School (Dual Credit).
d. Senior cadets in the National Honor Society (Ratio: Cadet Seniors / Cadets active in the NHS program)
e. Cyber Patriot (STEM) participation and advancement.
f. JROTC Essay entry done to the standard of MOI (Duty, Honor, and Country)
What has been very telling is that at past Dallas ISD HS ROTC academic awards presentation, the Dallas ISD Superintendent has never attended. Additionally, there has never been any media coverage. Why? Why is it that when we have these future American leaders, they receive no attention deserving of their achievements? Yes, the winning school hosts the event, and their principal and leadership are in attendance . . . it only takes up about 30 minutes. But when I am there and look out into the eyes of those young men and women, it warms my soul. Somewhere in that gathering may be the next me.
Well, when you think that the future of America is lost because of what the media shows us of young people today, think again. There is still a bright shining light, an example of resolute Patriots being born and raised in America. And just to give evidence of such, I want to share with you, the winning essay for this years Dallas ISD HS ROTC Academic Achievement competition.
I challenge you, find an HS ROTC program in your community and support it. These are young men and women who are being taught and mentored by those men and women who represent the best of our nation. They continue to serve, sacrifice, and commit themselves to our nation. They are those instructors who are developing the next generation of American leaders based upon their leadership experiences, and service to America in uniform.
Take time to read the attached essay from senior Cadet Anthony Moncivais of Skyline HS and know that we are still producing exceptional and quality young men and women in America.
Steadfast and Loyal!JROTC Essay - Skyline HS
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.