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Lakes High School AJROTC earns coveted Honor Unit of Distinction award

LAKEWOOD, WASH.— Lakes High School’s Lancer Battalion Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AJROTC) cadets and their instructors, First Sergeant Raul Munoz and Lieutenant Colonel Allen E. Patty, earned the coveted Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD) rating during their US Army Cadet Command JROTC Program for Accreditation (JPA) inspection this month.

The (JPA) inspection occurs every three years. Programs that fail the inspection are placed on probation and risk cancellation or movement to another school. Instructors also risk decertification if units fail or miss Army standards.

The Lakes Battalion undergoes the JROTC Program for Accreditation process, beginning with the in-ranks inspection. AJROTC focuses on instilling the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and personal responsibility through education and mentoring in high school students.

“The Lancer Battalion has been extremely busy with many conflicting requirements,” Lt. Col. Allen E. Patty, Ph.D., senior Army instructor of the battalion. “Therefore, although we didn’t think that we’d fail, we were unsure of how well we’d do.”

The JPA began with an in-ranks inspection and Color Guard performance assessment. Then, cadets presented their continuous improvement project (ELA and math improvement) and briefed inspectors on their service learning project. Selected cadets underwent portfolio and interview inspections. Finally, the battalion’s organizational compliance and supply checklists were inspected to evaluate their operations in accordance with Cadet Command and US Army regulation requirements.

The battalion has been wearing the Blue Star as an honor unit for many years. Units must score an overall 95percent through the inspection to qualify for the highest designation, HUD, and the Gold Star, placing the unit in the top ten percent of the 1,741 Army JROTC programs worldwide.

“For the past five years, First Sergeant Raul Munoz has been tireless in the amount of passion, commitment, and endurance he personally invests into this program,” stated Patty. “The cadets follow his lead. They also worked long hours after school, during spring break and on weekends to prepare. Although the cadets and cadre were working very hard, we knew that most units just hope to pass the inspection standards, and that achieving HUD was going to be a struggle,” he continued.

Following the inspection on Tuesday, the battalion gathered in the conference room, where the inspectors had been preparing the final tally of results. They took the Lancer Team through the results of each inspection element.

“The battalion was elated when they announced the final score of 96 percent,” Patty said. “The whole team celebrated, knowing their commitment and teamwork had led them to achieve this high mark,” he continued.

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