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JRTOC cadets attend leadership symposium
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A team of four Army JROTC cadets from Bradwell Institute is one of only 36 chosen to attend the third annual George C. Marshall Junior ROTC Leadership Symposium on the campuses of Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., from Oct. 11-13.
The 144 team members participating in symposium activities will represent nearly 286,000 students presently enrolled in 1,645 JROTC units throughout the United States and overseas where our military are stationed.
The U.S. Army Cadet Command, headquartered there, will host the event with the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington.
Marshall, namesake of the symposium, was the top cadet leader at VMI during his senior year and began his distinguished Army career after being commissioned a second lieutenant in 1902. He served in both world wars, most notably as chief of staff of the Army in World War II, as secretary of state after that war and then secretary of defense during the Korean War. He is perhaps best known for developing the Marshall Plan that ensured the economic recovery of war-devastated Europe. For this work, Marshall became the first career soldier to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
The theme of this year’s symposium is “The George C. Marshall Principles of Leadership-How They Apply to My JROTC Unit, School, Community and Life.” Symposium organizers use Marshall’s selfless service and leadership as an example for participating cadets.
Team members were selected based on how well they did in competition, in which they answered questions about leadership and leadership scenarios on line. Those who scored in the top half went on to compete at the second level. Runners-up will be recognized in their geographic regions.
Besides hearing from prominent leaders during interactive presentations that sometimes put them in leadership roles, participants will tour several local attractions. Each will earn one college credit hour in leadership and community service.
The Bradwell JROTC team includes seniors Alexandria Sletten, Mitchell McKnight, Justin Leachman and Daniel Reynolds. Sletten, the JROTC regiment commander, also commands the unit’s unarmed female drill team and is a member of the Beta Club. McKnight, who serves as the unit’s executive officer, is the captain of the school’s cross-country track team and is an eagle scout.
Leachman serves as the operations officer in the unit and is the captain of the rifle marksmanship team and is a member of the Beta Club.
 Reynold’s serves as the personnel officer in the unit, is on the color guard team and is a member of the Bradwell Quiz Bowl team.
JROTC has a mission to motivate young people to be better citizens by teaching leadership skills and encouraging community service. It is not a recruiting tool for the Army and is open to all students in high schools that have a program.
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