As is the case with many clubs and organizations in local schools, the North Surry High School JROTC is starting anew with the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
To kick things off, the club recently held a ceremony to celebrate the changing of the guard.
Each semester brings leadership changes for the corp, though this year there was a twist — the corp commander, Cadet Lt. Colonel James Reid Walker, was handing the reins over to his twin brother, Louis Quinn Walker. Both are seniors this year and both have been in the JROTC for all seven semesters leading up to this point in their high school careers.
First Sergeant Ken Goetske, aerospace science instructor at North Surry High School, began the program with a few words about the the North Surry program and the ceremony. He was followed by Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Olivia Mauldin, who delivered the invocation. She serves as the group’s chaplain.
Lt. Colonel John Bowes, senior aerospace science instructor, spoke to cadets and guests about the importance of the ceremony. He had high praises for the outgoing spring commander, Reid Walker. Bowes commented that what impressed him most was Reid’s willingness to step up and lead a group of cadets getting ready to go to the Citadel this summer, even though he was not going to be able to attend himself.
“He cared more about the individuals than he did about himself and this spoke to his maturity,” Bowes said.
He said that the brothers have different leadership styles. “Reid has more of a fighter pilot arrogance about him. He instills a bit of fear into the new cadets. Quinn is not as bold but every bit as effective. They have both been go-getters since day one,” he said.
Other leadership changes included Cadet Major Christian Vazquez, who will be director of operations; and Cadet Captain Gary Brown, who will hold the title of guidon bearer.
The ceremony concluded with the traditional Sabre Cake Cutting ceremony. The outgoing and incoming commanders cut a cake with two younger cadets. Freshmen recruits Weatherly Reeves and Lucas Hawks were chosen for this honor because of their performance on a recent basic knowledge exam.