Setting higher goals and exceeding standards has led the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students at Benton High School to earn another prestigious award. Benton High School’s Army JROTC battalion earned the rating of Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD) following a recent evaluation of the program. “Earning Honor Unit with Distinction is evidence that our cadets are completing their mission and living up to their vision,” commented MSG Billingsley, who serves as a JROTC instructor at Benton High School.
Demonstrating great courage, skill and strength, the JROTC students proved their capabilities once again to achieve excellent results. LTC Timothy Farmer, the Senior Army Instructor for the program, stated, “I’m extremely proud of their effort and dedication. Our Cadets have worked hard, and, in many cases, devoted extra hours after school to achieve this honor.”
Every three years, each JROTC program goes through an inspection of a JROTC unit’s instruction and performance by the Junior ROTC Program of Accreditation (JPA). According to LTC Farmer, the inspection is paramount to the success of the program. Failing to meet established standards can result in probation and the risk of having the program disbanded.
Honor Unit with Distinction is the highest of three ratings a JROTC program can earn. Programs that meet the minimum standards are rated as “Proficient,” whereas an “Unsatisfactory” rating means the program is below the minimum. In order for the program to earn the HUD rating, it must achieve 95% or greater of the total points available in the inspection. LTC Farmer was thrilled for the BHS program to be recognized as a unit that has demonstrated exceptional performance in all areas of program operation. “HUD units,” he noted, “are the top 10% of the approximately 1700 plus JROTC units across the nation.”
The JPA inspection process is rigorous and demanding. The process has five major areas, but two are extremely important. The Battalion Continuous Improvement Plan Briefing (CIP) and the Service Learning Project Briefing (SLP) are critical components of the inspection.
Billingsley explained that during the CIP, the cadet battalion command and staff must present a continuous improvement briefing, which utilizes data, a nine-step planning process, SMART goals, continuous reflection, and modification of the plan to demonstrate continuous improvement to the battalion. “Our cadets began working on the CIP at the beginning of school and sacrificed a lot personal time with friends and family as well as employment opportunities to ensure its success,” commented Billingsley.
The SLP combines the JROTC curriculum with service to the community. It includes a minimum of 10 hours of lessons; intense research and use of data; and meaningful service to the community. Additionally, all cadets participate in a personality assessment relevant to the project. Cadets use the data from the personality assessment to develop a personal growth plan/goal that both before and after the SLP.
So what does earning Honor Unit with Distinction mean for the cadets? “First, it earns them the reputation and pride that goes with this great honor and that is highly motivating. Next, our Cadets get to wear a Gold Star on their uniform, which lets all other JROTCs know our battalion is an Honor Unit with Distinction. Additionally, cadets from Honor Units with Distinction also have an advantage when applying for ROTC scholarships during the college application process. Leaving the most important benefit for last, LTC Farmer explained, “The Senior Army Instructor can recommend and provide a Cadet from their program a nomination letter to one of the military services academies (West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy), if they are otherwise qualified. This is equivalent to a recommendation from a Senator or Congressman.”
The BHS Archery team competed at the state tournament after placing 3rd at the regional tournament. Austin Prichard shot a score of 289-300, which placed him 4th out of 288 archers. He received $1,000 from the Arkansas Game and Fish, $15,000 in scholarships from Bethel University, and qualified to compete at the national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Congratulations, Austin!
The following students were winners of the Poets' Roundtable of Arkansas's Sybil Nash Abrams Memorial Student Contest for 2018. All winners have been invited to attend the Poets' Roundtable of Arkansas Dr. Lily Peter Spring Celebration on April 14 to read their winning poems and to receive their prizes. Congratulations!
Naomi Morriw "Longing for knowing of happiness unknown" 2nd Honorable Mention
Beth Freudensprung 2nd Prize - "Dewdrop"
Evie Kinsey 1st place - "If I could say one thing, it would probably be"
Benton Middle School's 6th Grade Quiz Bowl team earned first place at Dawson Coop's competition on January 29, 2018, at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. The students competed against teams from Bauxite, both Bryant Middle Schools, Arkadelphia, Malvern, Lakeside, and Lake Hamilton. Congratulations to team members Tanner Holden, Olivia Kreulen, Grace Kreulen, Tyler Durling, Olivia Atkinson, Natalie Williams, Rachel Dudley, Libby Golleher, Paisley Garcia, and Coach Kim Cole.
The 5th Grade Quiz Bowl team won the Dawson Coop Quiz Bowl Tournament. This is the second year in a row for this team to claim this title. The tournament included teams from Arkadelphia, Bauxite, Bryant, Fountain Lake, Lake Hamilton, Lakeside and Malvern. The BMS team went undefeated and dominated the tournament, winning its matches by an average of 240 points! Congratulations to the team and coaches, Anne Felan and Morgan Roseberry. Team members are Elle Bolding, Luke Helton, Hailey Judkins, Olivia Judkins, Caleb Lopez, Noah Midkiff, Landon Rasburry, Tucker Roseberry, Sarah Tucker, Abi Ward, and Gabriel West.