Travis High School’s Marine Corp JROTC ended their second year of operation by celebrating their accomplishments. Headed by Senior Military Instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bagnato, the cadets completed a successful year of military competition and service to the community.
The spirit of volunteerism was strongly felt among cadets as they donated their time and resources throughout the school year to support volunteer efforts in the Fort Bend, Katy and Houston communities. The cadets volunteered at the Wings over Houston Air Show, The Catholic Charities of Houston, Wounded Warrior’s Clay Shoot fundraising event, Homes for Our Troops fundraiser, and various other community events, earning more than 2,000 hours in community service.
Travis cadets also earned several top awards at military competitions throughout the school year. Their competitions and team awards included:
• Clements Drill Meet (September 10, 2011) – 2nd place, Color Guard
• Bush Drill Meet (October 22, 2011) – 1st place Overall in the Service Division (All USMC)
• Willowridge Drill Meet (December 3, 2011) – 2nd place, Armed Exhibition
• USMC State Drill Competition at Hays High School (March 3, 2012) – 2nd place Female Color Guard Exam and Armed Drill Inspection, 3rd place Overall in Female Color Guard, and 3rd place in Unarmed Drill Commander, Unarmed Drill Inspection, Armed Drill Commander and Armed Drill Regulation
• Montgomery Military Skills Competition (April 14, 2012) – 1st place in Biathlon, ½ Mile Run, Academics and Individual Academics; and 3rd place in Maneuver Course and Orienteering Course
• Youth Physical Fitness Test (USMC-Wide) – 2nd place Overall for Male PT Team
The MCJROTC unit also celebrated the success of 2012 graduates:
• Cadet Commanding Officer James Eckles – appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland (He plans to pursue a career as an elite Navy SEAL.)
• Cadet James Simiskey – accepted to the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M and recipient of the annual Rotary Club scholarship for leadership and volunteerism
• Cadet Paul Boddeker – accepted to Ole Miss University in Mississippi (Boddeker will enter the Army ROTC program and enlist in the Mississippi National Guard.)
“The hard work of our cadets, school and district administrators, and parents has proven very successful for our program,” said Lieutenant Colonel Bagnato. “We will continue to build upon the strong foundation we have created during the first two years of operation and look forward to even more successes in the years ahead.”