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Connellsville's JROTC to hold 1st military ball

| Saturday, April 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

More than 300 people are expected to attend Connellsville Area High School's Junior ROTC's first military ball, set for Saturday.

The ball is for cadets, parents and special guests.

The JROTC is in its first year at Connellsville.

The ball will be held at Lakeside Party Center in German Township.

Col. Ulysses R. Winn, senior Army instructor for the program at Connellsville, said a number of traditional ceremonies will be performed including, but not limited to, the singing of the National Anthem and the playing of taps to honor troops past and present.

Seniors will be honored by the Sabre Team. Several cadets will read poems, prayers and give speeches. Chosen cadets will be presented with various awards and scholarships, Winn said.

Winn said representatives from national, civic and fraternal organizations will be in attendance.

Over the course of this first year, the JROTC Color Guard has presented the colors at a variety of places, including a Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce luncheon, a veterans luncheon at a the National Guard Armory and at the Booster football championship game. A small group of cadets attended a drill team competition at Preston High School in West Virginia. A second group of cadets attended a Raider Competition at Slippery Rock University in March.

“We have 170 cadets in the program, which is an outstanding number for a first-year program. Next school year, the numbers are projected to be higher. Our cadets are very interested in community service, including assembling packages with the CAHS Patriots to send to our troops at Christmas and Easter,” Winn said.

“I was interested because it was an opportunity to learn about a new, first-year program and I thought I would like to be involved,” said Harrison Pritts, a CAHS junior.

Students learn mission, purpose and outcomes with intensive training designed for leadership.

The requirements for students to enroll in Army JROTC include they must be 14 years of age in a grade above the eighth grade during the school year of enrollment. They may enroll from grades ninth through 12th. They must be within the Connellsville Area School District. Conduct and character are important. Cadets must maintain an acceptable standard of conduct. Those in leadership positions are expected to demonstrate high personal standards in order to set the example. They must be able to participate in the physical education program in the school. Finally, the cadet must agree to wear the Army JROTC uniform one school day per week.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Cordier, Army instructor, is also with JROTC at CAHS.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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