Teamwork and physical fitness are two of the fundamentals of JROTC training. A year’s worth of training is put the test annually at Field Day hosted by the Jaguar Battalion at Port St. Lucie High School. During Field Day, the three companies battled each other in several different sports and athletic activities to determine the best unit. Battalion Field day is about saying goodbye to departing seniors. The Booster Club’s parting gift to the year’s seniors was a challenge coin commemorating their years spent with the Jaguar Battalion. Many seniors had several words to say about their experiences in the battalion, thanking the cadets and instructors within it for some of their greatest memories of high school.
Every year, the Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion conducts service learning event designed to serve the community and teach the cadets valuable life skills. This year’s Service Learning Project supported the Relay for Life, which is an organization that supports the American Cancer Society in the fight against all cancers. Cadets set up luminaries around the track, which are bags of sand with a single, lit candle inside, recognizing those fighting or those who have fought cancer. Four cadets, pictured from left, cadet First Sergeant Timothy Kroell, cadet Captain Devynn Rhodes, cadet Corporal Chaz Pollino, and cadet Master Sergeant William Benagh, also conducted a color guard which led the way for the first lap of the relay.
Members of the Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion conducted a color guard for the Young Floridians Scholarship Award Ceremony at the McAlpin Fine Arts Center on the IRSC campus recently. The cadets presenting the colors were, pictured, from left, cadet First Lieutenant Andrew Miller, cadet First Sergeant Timothy Kroell, cadet Master Sergeant William Benagh, and cadet Corporal Chaz Pollino. Many of our community’s leaders such as President of Indian River State College, Dr. Edwin Massey, Superintendent Mike Lannon, Port St. Lucie High School principal Dr. Mark Rendell, and several Chamber of Commerce members were present for the color guard. Members of the Jaguar Battalion that participated in both the color guard and honor guard did so with pride.
On Saturday, November 10, 2018, our male and female Raider Teams competed at South Fork High School Area 3 Regional Raider Meet. Each team competed in all five events including rope bridge, obstacle course, cross country rescue, tire flip, and team run for the male and female teams.
Area 3 Regional Raider Meet is the biggest Raider Meet of the season; it determines which team moves on to the FL State Finals. In the team run, our male team placed third; in rope bridge, we placed second; in cross country rescue, we placed first; in obstacle course, we placed second; and in tire flip, we placed in second. In team run, our female team placed first; in rope bridge, we placed in second; in cross country rescue, we placed in first; in the obstacle course, we placed in second; and in tire flip, we came in second. Overall our male and female teams both ranked in second place out of the eleven local schools that attended.
On Sunday August 20, 2017, the Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion Commander cadet Lieutenant Colonel Travis Cetin supported William at his 13th birthday party at Superplay USA.
William is on the autism spectrum, and he has experienced bullying. For his birthday, all William wanted was for his friends to show up to his party.
To his surprise, over 1,000 people showed up to celebrate his birthday. Battalion Commander cadet Lieutenant Colonel Travis Cetin wanted to show that not only his community supports him but the Jaguar Battalion supports him. The birthday bash was a joyful event with friends, family, and community members.
The Port St. Lucie High School JROTC contains many hard-working cadets that go the extra mile on their road to success. One of the most notable cadets is cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson. He recently earned the Good Citizenship Award, sponsored and presented by the Saint Lucie River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution organization. The earning of this award recognizes his outstanding demonstration of honor, service, courage, and everything within those characteristics. In addition to the award, the organizations presented him a $1000 scholarship. Congratulations to cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson, and we applaud the excellence he’s displayed throughout his life. Pictured, from left, are Matthew Jacobsen and Montrell Pruitt of the DAR.
Every leader has to start somewhere and Girls State has been the starting point for many successful young students. The Girls State program is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by the American Legion for High School students between their junior and senior years. Port Saint Lucie High Jaguar Battalion’s Cadet Captain Kaylee Zuidema was one of this year’s representatives.
During the program, the participants are first divided up into subgroups referred to as cities. The citizens of each of these cities elect mock municipal officials and representatives to the mock state legislature. The cadets get the opportunity to receive high school and college credits while learning about government and politics of Florida. Overall, it is a great experience for the cadets, and Port Saint Lucie High School appreciates the continuous support of the American Legion Post 318.
The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 318 had 80 entries from three different schools for the “Americanism Essay” contest. The topic was “What freedom do I enjoy most?” Port Saint Lucie’s Mauricio Campos wrote about the first amendment and won the local essay contest; he received a certificate and a $50.00 check. The winner of the American Legion Department of Florida state level contest is Port Saint Lucie’s Joshua Ryun writing about the right to bear arms; he received a medal and certificate from the American Legion. These cadets show the pride of the Jaguar Battalion, Congratulations cadets!
Americanism Chairman Rita Woodburn and Josh Ryun
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion held its second quarter Outstanding Cadet Board recently. The Outstanding Cadet Board is a competition between cadets on two different levels. One level contains junior cadets, and the other is comprised of the program’s NCO corps. Throughout the competition, the cadets are asked various questions pertaining to JROTC, the Army, the JROTC curriculum, and current events. The winners of the board were cadet Private First Class Zhane Simmonds, pictured right, and cadet Sergeant Arlene Mabry. Congratulations to the two cadets, and good luck to cadets during the third Outstanding Cadet Board!
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion held its annual Military Ball recently. The Military Ball is an event which cadets participate in a formal dining in, followed by an informal dance. Cadets attending were greeted by the cadet leadership in the receiving line, led by cadet Lieutenant Colonel Jacobson and cadet Command Sergeant Major Propst. Many speeches followed, and the grog bowl ceremony took place afterwards. The informal portion of the event followed the dinner. All of the cadets that attended had an outstanding time. Most cadets say the Military Ball is more enjoyable than prom! Once again, cadets had a safe and entertaining night, and we look forward to next year’s ceremony.
Port St. Lucie High School’s Jaguar Battalion took an educational, but exciting field trip to Patrick Air Force Base. The cadets experienced how the men and women of the U.S. Air Force live and work. They were able to view a standard dorm room for an enlisted member of the Air Force. The cadets went to an active fire station, ventured to the education center to learn about some of the programs the Air Force offers, and travelled to an active security forces station where cadets used the firearm simulator to test their skills on different scenarios. We look forward to the next opportunity to participate in another fun event. Pictured are the cadets inspecting the U.S. Air Force’s Stryker fire fighting vehicle.
The Port St. Lucie High Jaguar Battalion Color Guard presented the colors at Northport K8 School’s holiday concert performed in the high school’s auditorium. The ceremony was presented by Northport’s department of instrumental music. The Color Guard gave a professional presentation of the colors to begin the ceremony. Pictured are Cadet Command Sergeant Major Chaz Pollino holding the national flag, Cadet Major Kayla Figueroa carrying the state flag, and Cadet Second Lieutenant Cole Herndon and Cadet Captain Anissa Cruz posted as the guards. All who attended greatly appreciated the superior performance by the Jaguar Battalion Color Guard. Photo by James Williams.
TC-MOAA 5K Run-Walk
By: Sarai Narvaez
The Treasure Coast Military Officers Association of America (TC-MOAA) conducted a JROTC premier 5K race and walk. The purpose of this event was to promote excellence in JROTC programs in St. Lucie and Martin Counties, community involvement, Veterans programs, and membership of the TC-MOAA. Three of our cadets participated in 5K race and walk. Eleven JROTC high schools competed in the race which were Fort Pierce Central, Fort Pierce Westwood, Port St. Lucie, Centennial, Treasure Coast, Jensen Beach, Martin County, South Fork, Lincoln Park Academy, and John Carroll. Joshua Gonzalez came in 3rd place. This premier race which is expected to become an annual event was a safe and enjoyable for community participants. It consisted of successful planning, preparation, execution, and close out of all race events and tasks. We would like to thank retired LTC Bobbie Williams for making this event possible.
Four cadets from Port St. Lucie High School’s Jaguar Battalion presented the flags for the dedication ceremony of the United States Federal Courthouse in Ft. Pierce. The ceremony was a major event in our community whose audience included prominent public figures like Senator Bill Nelson and various congressmen, including Honorable Thomas Rooney. Participating in the Color Guard were cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson, cadet First Lieutenant Andrew Miller, cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon, and cadet Corporal Chaz Pollino. The cadets spectacularly presented the flags during the ceremony, and they received numerous accolades from the spectators. We appreciate the opportunity to execute a Color Guard for such a monumental ceremony and anticipate future chances to participate in ceremonial events. Pictured is cadet First Lieutenance Andrew Miller.
Port Saint Lucie High School’s JROTC took first place in four out of five events, and placed second in the fifth, at the recent annual Treasure Coast Drill Meet hosted at their school. Participating were Okeechobee High, Fort Pierce Westwood High, Treasure Coast High, Fort Pierce Central High, and Port Saint Lucie High schools. The competition consisted of five events: Male Unarmed Squad, Female Unarmed Squad, Male Color Guard, Female Color Guard, and Mixed Unarmed Platoon. The Jaguar battalion took first place in each event except for the Female Color Guard, in which they placed second. Pictured is the team.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion showed their pride at the recent annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day parade in Fort Pierce. The battalion formation was led by the Jaguar’s Color Guard led by Cadet Second Lieutenant Cole Herndon carrying the national flag. Cadet Staff Sergeant Crystal Ortiz carried the state flag and Cadet Second Lieutenant Glynn Auger carried the Jaguar Battalion Flag. Cadet First Lieutenant James Williams and Cadet Second Lieutenant Taylor Chaney posted as Guards. Following behind the Color Guard was the Battalion Staff and shortly after that, the company formations. The cadets preformed with the utmost excellence showing the heart and pride of the Jaguar Battalion. Also pictured are Cadets Ryan McCarthy and Jaclyn Yearta carrying the battalion banner. Photo by Clay Lesniak.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion presented the colors for the season opener for Jaguar softball at its district game against Westwood High School. The Color Guard was led by cadet captain Ashlee Seipel carrying the national flag. Cadet captain Allison Miakisz carried the state flag while cadet second lieutenant Cole Herndon and Jaffrey Murankus posted as their guards. The Color Guard gave a great presentation for the opening ceremony. Great Job cadets! Pictured, from left, are Jaffrey Murankus , Ashlee Seipel, Allison Miakisz, and Cole Herndon. By Catherine Zukowski.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion Color Guard opened the school baseball team’s first season game, presenting the flags during the National Anthem. The Color Guard was led by cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson, accompanied by cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon, cadet First Sergeant Troy Conover, and cadet Corporal Robert Hobkins. A moment of silence was held during the presentation to honor the late Mr. Mike Picano, one of the original Jaguar teachers, who recently passed away. Following the baseball game, the Color Guard presented the colors during the National Anthem for the Jaguar Softball Team. The cadets performed outstandingly in both events, demonstrating a reason why the Jaguar Battalion has always been a successful unit.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion once again displayed its prowess for ceremonial color guard events during a ceremony for the annual Caribbean American Festival held at Sportsman’s Park recently. The festival is a friendly competition between Caribbean-American residents in Port St. Lucie. The color guard, led by cadet 1st Lieutenant Andrew Miller, consisted of cadet Corporal Robert Hopkins, cadet Corporal Chaz Pollino, and cadet Corporal Tyrone Salazar. The Caribbean American Festival’s participants greatly appreciated the excellent performance by the Color Guard and anticipate next year’s event.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion School presented the colors during the National Anthem to open the Jaguar Baseball Team’s first game of the season. Assistant principal April Rogers threw out the first pitch opening the game for the season. The Color Guard was led by Cadet Major Devynn Rhodes, who was accompanied by Cadet Second Lieutenant Tyler Lynn, Cadet Second Lieutenant Ashlee Seipel, and Cadet Staff Sergeant Allison Miakisz. These cadets displayed outstanding professionalism and have done an amazing job. We wish the best of luck to the baseball team as they journey on into their season. Pictured, from left, are Cadet Second Lieutenant Ashlee Seipel, Cadet Major Devynn Rhodes, Cadet Staff Sergeant Allison Miakisz, and Cadet Second Lieutenant Tyler Lynn.