Story by: Sgt. Alex Romey, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

Fort Hood, Texas – Junior Reserve Officer Corps Cadets from Hightower High School in Missouri City, were hosted by the 1st Cavalry Division so they could visit several facilities, to learn more about the day-to-day activities of Soldiers here on Fort Hood, on Feb. 10.

Cadets in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps are given a demonstration from Troopers at the 2-227 General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, on the functions of a H-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter on Fort Hood, on Feb. 14. (U.S. Army photo by: Sgt. Alex Romey)

“The young men and women that our recruiters bring into the Army Team form the bedrock of tomorrow’s readiness. The First Team is committed to building trust and confidence with the American public so that young people are eager to serve and continue to safeguard American democracy,” Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV said, the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division. “Highschool outreach programs are crucial to sharing our experience and educating the leaders of tomorrow on the value and benefits of Army service.”

The JROTC visited is one of many outreach programs that the First Team is conducting in order to reach the Soldiers of tomorrow. Maintaining the relationship that the 1st Cavalry Division has with the American people is one of the top priorities of the unit.

“We brought Hightower Highschool out to experience some of the opportunities that the Army has as far as jobs,” Sgt. 1st Class Mark Littlejohn said, a recruiter for the Houston Recruiting Battalion. “We also brought them out here so they can experience some of the things younger Soldiers experienced as far as gunnery, and that there are more than just combat jobs in the Army.”

Troopers from the 3d Cavalry Regiment gave JROTC cadets from Hightower high school a tour of how an M1126 Stryker Armored Personal Carrier on Fort Hood, Feb. 14. (U.S. Army photo by: Sgt. Alex Romey)

In close cooperation with the recruiting battalion, they were treated to breakfast and lunch at the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team “IRON HORSE” Dining and Eating Facility, while also receiving several tours of III Armored Corps and 1st Cavalry Division workplaces on the installation.

“We’re not trying to tell them that they have to join the military, but we want them to understand that they have options,” Pfc. Breyanna Victorine said, a split option program Soldier who is the current JROTC Battalion Commander. “I want them to understand that there is always a place for you within the U.S. Army.”

During their visit, cadets were able to capture a glimpse of the day-to-day operation of a Stryker range hosted by the 3d Cavalry Regiment, the daily activities at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, and aviation simulations at the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade “Air Cav”.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Martinez, a recruiter for the Houston Recruiting Battalion, visited the installation with his son Adrian, a high school senior who is currently enrolled in the JROTC program and is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“I want my son to take away what a day is like as a Soldier,” Daniel said. “Seeing him grow all these years, anticipating the day I get to meet the man he becomes, and for him to tap into his potential makes me extremely proud.”

The visit was just one of the numerous occasions in recent months where the First Team is reaching out to younger audiences to demonstrate the options young Americans have if they were to serve. The 1st Cavalry Division is committed to bridging the gap between simple awareness of the Army and giving people opportunities to consider joining.

Cadets from the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, their chaperones and 3d Cavalry Regiment Troopers pose for a picture in front of a M1126 Stryker Combat Vehicle on Fort Hood, on Feb. 14. (U.S. Army photo by: Sgt. Alex Romey)

“The 1st Cav visit to my program meant a lot to my students and receiving feedback from specific musicians on their instruments and getting constructive feedback from someone other than the normal fare.” Daniel Galloway said, the director of bands at Jordan High School in Katy, Texas. “The image of the Army was much better after the visit, the kids never had seen Army Soldiers who were also musicians. They also saw that the Army entails many different disciplines and careers.”