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JROTC Picnic Welcomes New Cadets and Reunites Old Friends

Trophy winners
Pt. Loma HIgh cadets celebrate.
More trophy winners
Cadet staff – leaders from their schools – examine trophies.
Scripps Ranch cadet
A Serra High cadet enjoys the day.
More than 1,100 cadets from the San Diego Unified School District Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) units gathered at Admiral Baker Park for their annual “Welcome Back” Cadet Picnic. The intent of the event each year is to foster an atmosphere of teamwork and esprit de corps, as well as increase participation and morale within all district JROTC programs. An additional highlight of the day was the welcoming of the new cadets from University City High School, which started its Marine Corps JROTC program this school year.

Throughout the day, the 13 high school programs participated in numerous fun and athletic activities which included relay races, sack races, basketball hotshots, and tug of war. For many, the best part of the day is the “dance off competition” during lunch, where cadets relax, dance and enjoy the music.

“With most of our events throughout the school year always being more competitive in nature, I enjoy the Cadet Picnic because it gives us an opportunity to be more like a family gathering,” said Manoli Dawson, a senior at Patrick Henry High School.

"Although some of the picnic games seemed competitive, in the end, the cadets laughed and enjoyed their time together," said Lt. Col. (Ret.) David Guzman, Program Manager for San Diego Unified's JROTC. "It was a great way to start the new school year."

San Diego Unified School District has JROTC programs at most of its high schools. It has units from all the services represented: Army, Lincoln, San Diego High, Hoover, Kearny, Morse, Madison and Crawford; Navy, Pt. Loma, Serra and Patrick Henry; Air Force, Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa; and Marine Corps, University City.

For more information about JROTC, please contact Guzman at (858) 496-8203 or dguzman1@sandi.net.