On Friday, Nov. 2 four members of the Tecumseh High School Cadet Program were promoted to the rank of Private First Class. To be eligible for promotion, learners had to to be willing to serve in a leadership position within the program, submit a resume and letters of recommendation. These four cadets will become the three squad leaders and platoon leader for the rest of the cadets.
In a brief ceremony held at Tecumseh High School, the cadets were joined by family, TPS staff and members of the local VFW to receive their promotions. Seniors Austin Frazier and Cade Wilhelm, and Sophomores Devin Macomber and Noah Peters were recognized.
Peters was encouraged to apply for the promotion by Nick Benschoter, who teaches the class of 20 cadets.
“Mr. Benscoter wanted me to step up. He handed me the application and told me to get it done,” Peters said. “Since I have now been promoted I have to run my squad of eight cadets. There will be three squads and a platoon leader.”
The Cadet Program uses many of the core values emphasized by the military and focuses on leadership, citizenship and teamwork.
"The program teaches leadership, and skills that would be helpful if you wanted to join the military or an ROTC program in college,” Peters said. “It’s a good program and you learn a lot. You will always be physically and mentally prepared for anything that comes next.”
While it is not a recruiting program, many of the learners involved are interested in a career within the Armed Forces. Cadet Gabrielle Halliwill has always wanted to serve and sees this class giving her a head start.
“I have always wanted to join the National Guard,” she said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was very little and I wanted to pursue that dream.”
Cadet Brooklyn Tuzinsky, a learner in Tecumseh Virtual Academy gravitated to the program to prepare for her future as well.
“I am actually leaving for the US Air Force in August of 2019,” Tuzinksy said. “I wanted to start getting trained now.”
Tuzinsky said she is looking forward to advancing within the program and plans to apply for promotion at the next opportunity.
As the promotion ceremony ended, the cadets cleared the room of all the chairs set up for their guests and got right back down to business, preparing to work on some drills in the time they had left in class. With Veterans Day coming up they have a lot to prepare. They will host breakfast for local veterans and participate in the annual Veterans Day ceremony with the Tecumseh VFW Honor Guard at Brookside Cemetery.
Cadets will serve breakfast starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at Tecumseh High School, Room D-107. Veterans and their immediate families are encouraged to RSVP by Friday, Nov. 9 to Nick Benschoter or 517-423-6008 ext. 7555.