by Jeremy Reyes | staff writer
While most of us will have the day off for the “Battle of the Flowers” parade, 40 Johnson JROTC cadets will be marching in the first of three big parades downtown for the big celebration on April 27. One of the cadets, Dylan Taylor, will not only be marching in the parade he will be performing with the Johnson JROTC Drill team.
“I thought it would be an incredible opportunity to be able to march with our battalion and also the battalion at Texas A&M,” Taylor said.
Since this parade is San Antonio’s big event, the eyes of the city will be upon Taylor as well as everyone who will be marching.
“I think it’s great, I don’t feel nervous at all, maybe I should but like I said I think it will be an incredible experience,” Taylor said.
Whenever JROTC does an event, whether it’s a competition or a march, they have uniforms. The one most cadets will being wearing is the Class B, the nice uniforms you see around school on Wednesdays. For cadets like Taylor, they will be wearing a special kind of uniform.
“Well, I’ll be wearing the exhibition drill uniform because both of our drill teams will be performing a separate performance than the rest of the battalion,” Taylor said.
The drill battalions will be performing in front of a large amount of people while being in front of the other cadets.
“Our two drill teams have put together a combined performance, five armed and five from the unarmed. We will be marching side by side in front of our battalion doing various different performances throughout the parade,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor it is important for JROTC to be out and about in the community doing events like this.
“That’s the whole point of JROTC is to teach people to be better citizens. I would totally encourage our cadets to do stuff outside the classroom,” Taylor said.
This whole parade and other JROTC events like it wouldn’t be possible without the coordination of the instructors. Major Thomas Groggett, the senior army instructor or JROTC is getting the Johnson Battalion ready for its first time ever.
“The distance the cadets will be marching may not seem very far but when everyone is watching you, it could feel like the march can go on forever. They’re going to go two and a half miles and we’ll be part of three prades that day, for Battle of the Flowers. The very first parade is what’s called the Vanguard Parade, only JROTC units can march in that parade, so there’s twenty three other schools that will be marching with us. Each unit that will be marching to represent their school and typically the Drill teams perform along the route for the crowds,” Major Groggett said.
The cadets that will be marching to represent Johnson High School will meet here bright and early on the 27th before heading off to the parade.
“We have to meet here at six because we have to leave on the bus at six thirty. We have to check in at and report in at the start of the parade route by The Pearl by seven,” Major Groggett said.
Keep an eye on the back because that’s where the Jaguar Battalion will be.
“We are going to be the twentieth unit, three nineteen other units ahead of us,” Major Groggett said.
The first unit will began the parade at nine in the morning. The Johnson JROTC Jaguar battalion will start between nine twenty and nine thirty.
“They try to put a buffer between each unit and give a little bit of space, we are the first parade that day so after we go they want to get us going because the area that we’ll form up at is where all the bands and floats and all the other marchers of the day parade, they’ll form up as we leave,” Groggett said.