Mission CISD (Consolidated Independent School District) officials have received communication from the Department of the Army indicating that the JROTC program at Mission High School (MHS) will be allowed to remain open.
The school was surprised by a notice to terminate the program that was received in late July. District officials immediately began to make alternative plans, and to see what could be done to keep the program open. During that time, Army officials further investigated the current state of the MHS JROTC program. The district was permitted to begin the school year with a substitute instructor while efforts were made to employ the required permanent instructors. The new instructors will begin their duties at MHS on September 30.
“I would like to thank U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar and his staff for their invaluable help in addressing the concerns we had over the possible closure of the Mission High School JROTC unit,” said Ricardo López, superintendent. “We also appreciate the US Army officials involved for helping find a workable solution to the situation. I also salute the MHS cadets for fighting for their program and in helping address any issues that could impact the unit’s future.”
According to the U.S. Army Cadet Command, the MHS Eagle Battalion will remain open, but will stay on probation for the next six months. In the next 90 days the 5th Brigade Area of Operations leadership will make an unannounced visit to the school to verify the district is staying within the contractual agreement for hiring required instructors. The MHS unit would be removed from the probation list after the visit and the six-month timeframe, which would fall in mid-March 2014. The district has been informed that should one of the JROTC instructors leave their position with the district, the school be given 30 days to hire a replacement. The cadet command also indicated that the program could be closed next year should the district not meet the obligations required to maintain the unit according to guidelines.
López said this reprieve allows the MHS JROTC program the break it needs in order to recruit others who might have avoided joining due to the unsure future of the program. “I feel confident we have found qualified and dedicated individuals who will lead the JROTC program and help it rebuild. I look forward to seeing the students continue to excel in their duties as cadets in their JROTC battalion.”