The current instructor 1st Sgt. Rufus J. Moore has been promoted to the Senior Army Instructor. He has been teaching Junior ROTC for 16 years and working on his fifth year at Pinon High School.
“I have seen many changes to this school and the students, all of which are positive,” said 1st Sgt. Moore. “The cadets/students are now really into Junior ROTC, we have had as many as 180 cadets enrolled in Junior ROTC. With my new partner, the fine touches can be added, and I can proudly sit back and watch our cadets lead themselves.”
Pinon High School Principal Chuck Grant listed several strengths of the program.
“The high school’s Junior ROTC program offers an opportunity for our students to develop self-discipline, leadership, values and to improve their understanding of the importance of team building strategies,” Grant said.
He said he’s excited to have a new facility for the students and staff to conduct the Junior ROTC classes.
In addition to this new facility, Grant said he and the staff are pleased to welcome a new Army instructor to the program.
“We believe he and 1st Sgt. Moore possess the skills necessary to have a successful program that will grow in strength and numbers,” Grant said.
The staff and faculty are also unique in that there are many returning. Teachers from the Valley are coming to Pinon Unified School District #4 for employment and said they are happy to be at this school. The pay and benefits are very competitive to other schools.
U.S. Army Junior ROTC is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishments, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork and self-discipline.
The mission is “To motivate young people to be better citizens.”
The program has great success in promoting graduation from high school, and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community, the Navajo Nation and the United States.
U.S. Army Junior ROTC leaders have selected several curriculums that have been developed to national standards and are recognized as being of exceptional quality and relevance to today’s high school students. Prime examples are the High School Financial Planning Program, You the People and We the People, Winning Colors and Unlocking Your Potential.
Mandatory training consists of the following seven units:
• Unit One—Citizenship in Action introduces cadets to American symbols, customs, and tradition and the history and purpose of Army Junior ROTC.
• Unit Two—Leadership Theory and Application introduces cadets to basic leadership concepts (principles, styles, values, planning process, decision-making problem solving techniques and supervision.
• Unit Three—Foundations for Success introduces cadets to the essential skills in applying theory and techniques to improve study, communication, teaching, and planning skills. Social responsibility, conflict resolution and service learning opportunities provide further cadet development.
• Unit Four—Wellness, Fitness, and First Aid develops cadets’ appreciation for the importance of physical fitness in maintaining good health and appearance. Cadets participate in the Army Junior ROTC physical fitness test called the Cadet challenge.
• Unit Five—Geography, Map Skills and Environmental Awareness introduces cadets to components of the globe, map reading skills and land navigation skills.
• Unit 6 is Citizenship in American History and Government introduces cadets to the values and principles that underlie good citizenship.
The Junior ROTC program has its own after-school sports programs. However, these programs are only open to students enrolled in Junior ROTC. Pinon High School U.S. Army Junior ROTC offers the Color Guard and Marksmanship program, and with approval has requested the Raider/Physical Fitness Teams, the Honor Guard, the Male and Female Drill Teams and finally the Parade Team.
The Color Guard Teams carries, presents, and posts the national Colors, the State of Arizona Colors, and the Navajo Nation Colors at high school, community, and the Navajo Nation special events.
The marksmanship team shoots a high-powered 4.5-millimeter air rifle. The marksmen are instructed in weapons safety, procedures and shooting techniques. They shoot in the prone (laying), standing and kneeling positions.
The Junior ROTC Program also has a new Army instructor. We have always heard of his accomplishments, both on and off the reservation. Unlike many Junior ROTC instructors he has taught on the two different Indian reservations. He is currently training for and in the running for a very prestigious and select U.S. Army award. We will introduce him to the people outside the Pinon community in the future.
The new battalion staff officers this school year are: Battalion Cmdr. Lt. Col. Ellen Gishie, Battalion Executive Officer Maj. Shannon Henry, Battalion Command Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Anthony Peterson, Battalion Administrative Officer (S1) Charmaine Jim and S1 Assistant 1st Lt. LaFonda Johnson, Battalion Publicity Officer (S2) Capt. Emiley BeTonie, Battalion Operations Officer (S3) 2nd Lt. Mayfa Yazzie , Battalion Supply Officer (S4) Capt. Candeleria Lake and S4 Assistant 2nd Lt. Danny Herder.
The Battalion staff is the catalyst for the Eagle Battalion. In many Junior ROTC organizations the Senior Army Instructor or Army Instructor mandate the cadets to do what they want them to do. At Pinon High School U.S. Army Junior ROTC, our battalion staff decides on what they believe the cadets are interested in doing and then have the cadet’s vote.
The Eagle Battalion has already created its yearly training calendar with events scheduled locally, the Navajo Nation area, the northern Arizona area, then the metro Phoenix area and the California area.