Entering into its second semester, the Boonslick Technical Education Center JROTC Program has doubled in size – now with 46 enrolled.

According to BTEC Director, Cody Bashore, the students are already engaging in the community and posting the colors at events, including those at the Boonville High School.

“The cadets are very proud of their program and they have been putting a lot of hours in doing the Color Guard at the home football, softball and soccer games,” Bashore said.

Cadets could also be seen this year at the Festival of Lights in downtown telling residents and visitors what the program is all about.

This program comes after years of waiting. Originally, the program was going to begin several years ago, but budget cuts nationally, pushed the approval off for a couple years. It was not until the start of this year, the program was given the green light and students were able to join.

“I continue to hear nothing but great things from both parents and students about how wonderful the program is and how they or their student has benefited by participating.  Both (leaders) CPT Elliott and SGT Straw have done a wonderful job recruiting students for the program this year and one of their greatest marketing tools has simply been word of mouth.  When other BHS and BTEC students see cadets in uniform three days a week and hear the cadets talk about all of the fun things that they get to be involved in while being enrolled in the program they start to become interested in hearing more about the program.  I think one of the greatest things about this program is that it not only focuses on how to improve each individual student, but also gets them involved with the community and provides them with the opportunity to become better citizens,” Bashore said.