Over 900 cadets, instructors, parents, school administrators and other invited guests converged at the Jackson Convention Complex Friday, December 19, 2014, for the 3rd Annual JPS JROTC Annual Consolidated Military Gala.
The guest speaker for the event was Gerald E. Harmon, MD, a family medicine specialist for more than 25 years in coastal South Carolina. Dr. Harmon has served over 34 years in the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force, and he recently retired with the rank of Major General.
In addition, Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a featured speaker at the event and provided musical entertainment.
"We're very proud of the efforts made by our instructors, school administrators and cadets from all our high schools over the several months leading up to this event, as they demonstrated the highest levels of teamwork and cooperation to ensure a successful Gala," said JPS JROTC Director Colonel (Ret.) Paul Willis. "We're extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we continue receiving from our parents, school officials, former cadets and many others in our community."
According to Colonel Willis, the JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school. Included in his remarks were some outstanding outcomes for graduating cadets.
"The average annual graduation rate for JPS JROTC cadets is 95 percent. The percentage of JPS JROTC graduates who are formally accepted to post high school institutions of higher learning has steadily increased each year, reaching 99.1 percent last year. Our goal is to attain and sustain a 100 percent acceptance rate for our graduates," stated Col. Willis.
Additionally, the graduating cadets earn an average of $3 million in scholarship offers annually.