On a federal level


Tanny Khun

Junior Jessica Lemons (left) and sophomore Julionna Meade space themselves to prepare for uniform inspection

The SHS JROTC group are a test case for a program being brought into their JROTC group. A program called Military Emergency Management Special, or MEMS, is a program the Military and its Armed Forces all go through. MEMS is being introduced on a federal level to the members of JROTC at SHS, meaning that they are the only ones nationwide adopting the program.


The sponsor for JROTC at SHS is art teacher Bruce Thompson. He has been sponsoring for the past four years. According to Thompson, who is a MEMS trainer for the Indiana Guard Reserve, he contacted the national office with the idea to bring the basic MEMS to SHS, and they agreed. 


SHS is the only school nationwide that is doing this program at their level. The MEMS program is first going to start off as a couple basic classes and then turn into practices. As of right now, a regular practice will incorporate drill. Drills included physical activities like push ups, sit ups, running laps around the school. Drills also consist of training marching and perfecting walking with rifles and flags. All costs are paid for, including the students’ membership to the State Guard Association, awards and certificates.  


 “They will be nationally recognized and certified,” Thomspon said. “They’re going to be the ones associated with the army.” 


Other resources are available to train the cadets and help them be the best versions of themselves possible. For example, there is a camp in the summer where they are taught how to hold and handle different types of guns. Activities such as search-and-rescue games give them a sense of reality without the danger. It provides an experience that they need in order to further their training. Also, they are given opportunities to go and volunteer their time, which can help them earn high ranks. 


For the 30 students participating, this program is likely not to be taken lightly. After completion, the students included are all going to be certified are able to be used by the military when help is needed in times of crisis. They’re going to be a line of support and on their feet to give help where it’s needed. Thompson has plans for the students that finish the program to be given their awards and their recognition in front of the Indiana state governor, Commanding General of the Guard Reserve and if possible the Indiana Military General. He’d also like to see news coverage of the event. 


Junior Jessica Lemons is an officer of JROTC. As a leader of the cadre, she is left in charge of paperwork, roll calls and roster checks. Roll call is the reading of the names on the muster roll and the responses, to determine who is present. She has been a part of the group all throughout her high school experience. After high school, she plans to join the military or work closely with the military. In terms of experiencing the MEMS program, she loves the energy and the feeling of being a part of something much bigger.


“I think that it is so cool and great opportunity because we’d be a leader in the other JROTC programs in the country,” Lemons said.


Lemons honored to get a chance to be a part of the first year when MEMS is introduced to JROT. As classes end and the real training begins, she hopes to be able to take part in leading her school in this new program. 


Tanny Khun
Freshmen Matthew McDonald and Jai’Maury Williams in the process of getting inspected by chaplain Jack Brown.

Senior Zach Faulker, also a member of JROTC, knew exactly when he joined the program what he would want to use it later on. As he does not always do well in school, he says he’s looking forward to graduating and actually joining the Army. Though he led a rough childhood, Faulkner found relief in the JROTC program.


“Life is not always candy coated, sometimes you’ve got to put up with the crap thrown at you,” Faulkner said.