JROTC: a stand above the rest

Allison B. Hudson

Donaldsonville High School Air Force JROTC program is amongst one of the best programs in Ascension Parish for a number of reasons. Under the leadership and director of Major Donald Bailey who has received numerous awards and countless appreciations from the community for a great group of students.

In addition to their regular AFJROTC classes, cadets practice Color Guard and Saber teams on Mondays and Wednesdays, they attend and volunteer tutoring after school on Tuesday and Thursday. The program also has a goal of “Failure Is Not An Option.” Cadets must attend tutoring until all grades are 70 or above.  

During regular JROTC classes on Wednesday, all cadets teach the MADD, Protecting You/Protecting Me (PY/PM) to Donaldsonville Primary and Lowery Elementary students grades K-4.

In addition, Wednesday is optional Airman Battle Dress (ABUs) Wear for bonus points.  Thursday is regular blue uniform wear for inspection.

“We have 400 cadets who have worked over 1.500 hours of community service this year,” says Major Bailey.

Last week, Major Bailey and his cadets were busy preparing for a regular inspection from Col. Wolfgang Gesh. Cadets gave an excellent overview of their program and how they come up with their goals and ideas.

In attendance were Superintendent Patrice Pujol who stated, “this program can be summed up in one word, and that is excellence.” “Major Bailey and his cadets exemplify excellence with this program,” she added.

Cadets not only service the community but they are required to stay fit. The ROTC program participates in a Wellness Program. Cadets are required every Friday to run one and half mile, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and other exercises. Also as a requirement cadets are required to do certain exercised for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.

Cadets take time to visit various states and other countries without using school days.

Cadets take pride in their unit and it shows on a daily basis.