Killeen High School JROTC gets immersive college tour experience

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Texas A&M University - Central Texas hosted a large group of junior cadets from Killeen High School’s Junior ROTC program.

The college said it not only wants to show these cadets what its ROTC program, but also the value of furthering their education.

44 students from the JROTC program were able to get an immersive college experience so they could determine their next step.

First on the agenda was senior ROTC training, where the junior cadets got a firsthand experience at training like a real soldier. The senior Army instructor that oversees these students said one of their main focuses in the classroom is learning what makes a good leader and then instilling those qualities into his students so they can achieve their maximum potential.

“The same things I am teaching them in high school, realistically, if they master that in high school, they can come over here and perform well at a senior ROTC program,” said Jimmy Stewart, the senior Army instructor at Killeen High School.

Major Kyle Surridge is hoping this experience will give students a better understanding of what pursuing this program really means.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to get out here and kind of put the misconceptions aside and answer their questions directly from the source about what they want and what the military is and what the army is all about,” Major Surridge explains.

He adds that by doing the ROTC program through their university, these students will walk away with more than a degree.

“When they’re done here at Texas A&M, we commission them as second lieutenants in the United States Army. So not only are they getting a college education, but they are also becoming commissioned officers and then we send them out into the active Army,” Major Surridge said.

It was more than just training, students were also able to meet with administration and the history department so they could ask any question to help guide them. It is something that the university says they hope to do more of in the future.