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The Battalion

Buena High School JROTC History

In November of 1979, plans were made to establish an Army JROTC unit at Buena High School. In 1980 the program was admitted and the first class was in August of 1981 where two-hundred cadets would become the foundation of what is now an established part of the Sierra Vista Community. The Army JROTC program and the first class of cadets were welcomed by the school system and the non-JROTC students. Things may have been a little shaky getting off the ground but with the initiative of both the instructors and the Cadets an excellent program came to fruition. 

Over time, JROTC cadets have excelled in their classes and community.  The cadets have annually taken between fifty to sixty percent of the scholarships awarded to Buena High School graduates.  Starting with the SAI LTC (Ret) David Sanquist,  the instructors, as well as the cadets, have always encouraged each other to be the best at what they do.  Achieving in academics as well as after-school activities is an important characteristic of the Army JROTC cadet.

Among the will to exceed, cadets are taught that personal appearance is important. Every year in stepping up to conduct the annual formal inspections cadets did extremely well, often receiving commendations from inspectors. They said that, "Buena's cadets preformed in the day better than active units," during all phases of the inspection. Keeping the gold start was a highlight every year with the cadets. Even today cadets find the way they present themselves to be important. 

Something JROTC stressed to cadets is not only leadership, but team work. Being part of JROTC's numerous teams is a great example of how cadets work together. Even during earlier years Buena took part in such sports as Drill Team, Rifle and Orienteering. One year at an orienteering meet, two cadets were running neck in neck to the finish against another high school. Though they came in second place they were not upset. They had a good time, and that what mattered. It isn't just about winning and awards it isn't worth it if you aren't happy, or you don't have fun, JROTC cadets understand that. They can be professional, but can also enjoy themselves while doing it. 

JROTC was an important part of daily life for cadets, and it still is. Previous cadets, though gone from school, still show the qualities you expect to see in a cadet they are respectfulness, they are role-models, and they show civility in everything they do. 

By C/2LT Fetzer. 

Special thanks to Lieutenant Colonel (RET) Henson