The process to become corps commander is rigorous, said Major Lisa Rodriguez, a Jr. ROTC Instructor. This student-cadet must demonstrate great leadership, academic achievement, an outstanding community service record and must undergo an interview.
Senior Angel Mariscal is this year’s corps commander and junior Seth Rakowitz will take the position next year. “We usually choose one person to lead them all cadets throughout the school year,” Rodriguez said. “It involves a lot of planning, a lot of dedication. This is a very, very important task and this is a very important ceremony that symbolizes that take over.”
As a freshman, Angel was shy and bashful but the Jr. ROTC program helped him be more confident in his leadership abilities. For Angel, the Jr. ROTC program was a stepping stone to the Army. He has now enlisted and will be joining the Army in July. “It’s very emotional,” Angel said. “I pass the torch to the new corps commander — I know he will do well.”
Like Angel, Seth also hopes the program will help him gain leadership experience that could lead to the Coast Guard Academy.
“The program has given me a lot of confidence,” he said. “It’s just been building throughout the years — building leadership. It’s put me here today.”