PSJA ISD JROTC programs ranked among ‘Best in State’

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Texas Border Business

SAN JUAN – The PSJA Early College High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) Bear Battalion was recognized by district officials for earning the Honor Unit with Distinction designation after passing a rigorous inspection by the US Army Junior ROTC. With this Gold Star rating, the PSJA Bear JROTC is now the fourth high school program in PSJA ISD to be ranked among the best in the region and state. 

According to PSJA ECHS Senior Army Instructor Major Thomas Oaks, the PSJA Bear Battalion participated in the JROTC Program for Accreditation (JPA) inspection used to evaluate secondary institutions and instructors. The battalion composed of over 90 cadets was evaluated in six areas including: Continuous Improvement Program Briefing; Service-Learning Project Briefing; Cadet In-Ranks Inspection; Color Guard; Cadet Portfolio Review and Interview; and Instructor Portfolio Review and Interview. 

“I am extremely proud of the PSJA Early College High School JROTC cadets,” said Principal Dr. Alejandro Elias during a special ceremony held to honor the Battalion on Tuesday, April 16. 2019. “They all worked extremely hard all year to ensure they were prepared for this demanding and challenging inspection.” 


With the addition of the PSJA ECHS Bear Battalion, all four PSJA ISD high school JROTC programs now have the Gold Star rating and are ranked among the best in the state for passing the JPA inspection with a score of 95% or above. 

The PSJA ECHS Bear Battalion is led by Senior and Cadet Lieutenant Colonel & Battalion Commander Jessenia Cantu, who made it her mission to earn a score of 95% or above and earn the prestigious Honor Unit with Distinction, a rating attained by only about 60% of Army JROTC Units in the 11 state 5th Brigade area. 

“I have watched these underclassmen grow up with me throughout this whole experience. It has been life-changing,” said Cantu who will be graduating with an Associate Degree from South Texas College in May. “Earning this designation took a lot of hard work and dedication. I am so proud of our cadets.”

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