BIO'SColonel James E. Lackey retired from the U.S.. Army after 30 years of service in 2013. He began his duties as the Senior Army Instructor at Hillcrest in July of 2013.
First Sergeant Walter Davis retired from the U.S.. Army after 23 years of service in 2015 and began his duties as a JROTC Instructor in January 2016.
History Brief - Hillcrest High School JROTC
The JROTC program at Hillcrest High School was established in 1993 and is well known throughout the Southeast for its strengths: in Academics and its Physical training teams, both of which consistently place 1st in competitive events.
The Academic Team is formed by one representative from each LET level. Practice sessions will be conducted using the LET level manuals and the LEAD package. The Academic Team will participate in drill meets with other schools, and if possible, hold internal competitions.
The Color Guard is made up of many members and competes in competitions with other schools at drill meets. The Color Guard also presents the colors at home football games, basketball games, and other special events.
The Drill Team is made up of many members and competes in competitions with other schools at drill meets. The drill team also participates in special events such as parades, ceremonies, and other events.
The Orienteering Team is normally part of the Raider Team, as the raider team consistently practices using a compass, map, and orienteering techniques while on exercises. If a cadet outside of the Raider team wishes to apply for the Orienteering team, he or she should notify the Captain to arrange a tryout. Usually the team participates in at least one official meet during the year. If no external meet is available an internal meet may be scheduled.
PHYSICAL TRAINING (PT) TEAM
The PT Team participates at drill meets with other schools. Teams will be formed by the highest score. Normally a team of four personnel are selected for competitions. No need to try out to get on the P.T. team. Just show up for P.T. every Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The Hillcrest JROTC Raider Team is an outdoor special team. Often, members of this team have overnight exercises in one of the many local states parks, such as Desolate, Bankhead, Lake Lurleen, and Cheaha. Their activities include camping , hiking, and rappelling. Members of this team need to be in good physical and mental shape for the demanding terrain and exercises.
The Rifle Team is made up of teams determined by the SAI. The Rifle Team participates at drill meets with other schools. The Rifle Team also participates in postal competitions. To become a member of the Rifle Team one must inquire about tryout dates and shoot an acceptable score at the tryout.
Highlights - Hillcrest JROTC Cadets
2014- Cadet Jessica Coulter selected as the best cadet in West Alabama by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Cadet Corey Fryer selected as the first recipient of the HHS JROTC Leadership award. HHS JROTC Physical Fitness team goes undefeated during SY 2013-14 competition. Physical Fitness team members were: Team captain, Corey Fryer, Tyler Colburn, Chris Huggins, Antonio Thomas, and Jagory White.2015 - Cadets Jessica Coulter and Corey Fryer earned scholarships to attend Marion Military Institute. Cadet Jessica Coulter was selected as the outstanding senior cadet. Cadet Micaela Tierce was selected as the outstanding junior cadet and she was also selected as the Hillcrest High School representative to Alabama Girls State where she was selected by her peers for state level office. Cadet Mills Harrison was selected as the outstanding sophomore cadet and Cadet Ke-Anna Rich was selected as the outstanding freshman cadet. The JROTC Physical Fitness team remained undefeated in competition during SY 2014-15. Team members were Corey Fryer, Antonio Thomas, Cory Facio and Ebony Rice. 23 JROTC cadets were on the schools academic honor roll during the school year. The JROTC program was also inspected during the school year by United States Army Cadet Command and was designated a "Program of Excellence". Only five percent of the more than 1550 Army JROTC programs nationwide are designated a "Program of Excellence".2016 - Cadet Micaela Tierce was awarded a national Army ROTC scholarship and chose to take it to the University of North Georgia. She was also awarded the Tuscaloosa Character Council's "Champions of Character" scholarship, UNG class of 1957 scholarship, UNG Foundation scholarship and the UNG Leadership scholarship. Micaela was selected as a "top senior" by the Hillcrest faculty and Academic All-Star for excellence in academics. She was also the first JROTC student from Hillcrest HS and the state of Alabama to be a national JROTC Essay contest winner. Micaela was also selected as a national scholar/athlete and she served as the captain of the school's Cross Country team. She was also awarded the AUSA outstanding cadet award as well as the MOAA and Cadet Command outstanding cadet awards. Cadet Melody Ashcraft was awarded a Presidential scholarship to the University of Alabama where she was accepted into the school's, Honors College. She was also selected as a "top senior" by the Hillcrest faculty and Academic All-Star for excellence in academics. Melody was also awarded the American Legion award for Scholastic Excellence. Cadet Mills Harrison won the local American Legion Oratory contest and was selected as the outstanding junior cadet in the JROTC program. Cadet Ke-Anna Rich was selected as the outstanding sophomore in the JROTC program and Cadet Caitlyn Lewis was selected as the outstanding freshman in the JROTC program. The JROTC program's Fitness team remained undefeated in competition for the third year in a row. Team members were Austin Nelson, Micaela Tierce, Jordan Melton, Cory Facio and Caitlyn Sanders. For the second year in a row the Fitness team won the 5K JROTC Team competition hosted by the West Alabama Marine League. Team members were Austin Nelson, Micaela Tierce, Cory Facio, Austin Wright, Jordan Melton and Caitlyn Sanders. Cadets Mills Harrison, Dillon Baker and John McDonough were selected to attend Alabama Boys State in summer of 2016.2017 - Cadet's Mills Harrison and Dillon Baker were named the program's top JROTC seniors. The program's Fitness team remained undefeated in competition for the fourth year in a row and the Academic team advanced to the second round of the national JROTC Academic bowl competition. For the third year in a row the Fitness team won the 5K JROTC Team competition hosted by the West Alabama Marine League. JROTC students spend many hours in our Tuscaloosa community performing Community Service and our Service Learning Project greatly aided in increasing awareness of Neurofibromytosis a debilitating childhood disease. Many of the program's students received scholarship opportunities and several enlisted in the military.2018 - Cadet's Ke-Anna Rich, Katelynn Arns and Jordan Melton were named top JROTC seniors. In the junior class Cadet's Preston Reynolds, Caitlyn Lewis and Jacob Fitzpatrick were named top juniors. For the sophomore class Cadets Case Jacobs, Jacquelyn Samuel, Trey Little and Shamiyah Smith were the top students. While in the freshman class Hayden Oliver and Sarah Falls were the top students. The Drill, Academic, Color Guard, Rifle and Fitness teams were all highly successful in competitions throughout the year, highlighted by the Fitness team winning the 5K JROTC Team competition for the fourth year in a row and the Academic team advancing to the second round of the national JROTC Academic bowl competition. As always our JROTC cadet's remained heavily involved in Community Service in our Tuscaloosa Community. The highlight of the year was the visit to our school by Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Captain Mike Rose. Our students in partnership with the Association of the United States Army planned and executed a luncheon and program in downtown Tuscaloosa honoring Captain Rose. Many of our seniors earned scholarships and several enlisted in the military. Another great year for the Hillcrest JROTC program
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