New leadership for the JROTC


Cooper Lieberknecht

NEW COMMANDER: Daniel Cardenas promotes James Dick to commander.

Cooper Lieberknecht, Digital Staff

The JROTC has worked with Bowie for many years, and once every 6 months their leadership changes command from one student to another. The position of leadership in the JROTC is very hard to get. Only two people get to hold the position a year and getting selected is a difficult process. JROTC is led by both Lieutenant Lauren Owens and Lieutenant Frank Rich. Lieutenant Owens is combat veteran who worked in the pentagon for Many years said.

“So last year, seniors, they had a chance to kind of give us names of people that they thought they thought possessed the qualities to be a good commander,” Lieutenant Owens said. “Me and Lieutenant Rich served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. So I think we have a pretty good eye to not only see leaders but see leadership qualities in people.”

The JROTC is primarily a student run organization with little adult interference during day to day activities so a strong leader is much needed. But who would that leader be? Senior James Dick was the man for the job. Dick has been in JROTC for 3 years and has been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time, but this year he’s facing some challenges he didn’t foresee.

“We are still recovering from COVID, so this year our biggest goal is increasing our membership levels and deciding  what message we want to put out to get our membership up to where we would like it to be,” Dick said.

The JROTC is at about 60 members at the moment while before COVID they had almost 150, but Dick feels like he’s more than up to the task given to him by Lieutenant Owns.

“I’m more excited to be developing new procedures and new teams into the program,” Dick said. “There are some things that we’ve had in the past that we lost over COVID new and our freshman year, and I really want to bring some of that back because I think that really enriches our camp.”

But Dick isn’t without help in his journey into this new position as Commander. Senior Daniel Cardans, who’d served as commander until now, is highly respected by his peers and officers. Cardan’s years of dedication to the JROTC program was paid off earlier this year when he was chosen as a commander.

“My biggest struggle would probably be being able to live up to the expectations,” Cardans said. “We’ve had some good commanders in the past and it’s just being able to live up to that expectation.”

JROTC is mostly a group learning project where kids have to work together to solve problems they face, instead of it just being a military program. As JROTC counties recover from COVID-19, Dick, Cardan, and many others are working hard to help motivate the future generation of JROTC members and ensure that cadets are able to function as a team.

“I’m just excited to help develop this program and help it grow,” Dick said. “It’s important for new cadets to feel comfortable.”