DVIDS – News – Camp Zama JROTC cadet grateful for essay writing experience, ranks third out of 106

CAMP ZAMA, Japan (February 24, 2020) – Cadet Master Sgt. Michael Manangan is proud of his results in this year’s US Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps essay contest, but the writing experience has even greater meaning for him.

Manangan, a senior from Zama Middle High School, said this year’s topic, “Challenges of Online and In-Person Learning in a Pandemic Environment,” got him thinking hard about the topic and what learned about himself as a student during the pandemic.

“While writing this, I realized that I’m actually quite outgoing,” Manangan said. “I’m at my best when I have my peers and everyone around me, so writing this essay, placement is cool and all, but actually writing the essay [on this] subject allowed me to learn more about myself.

Mananagan’s trial came third out of 106 entries in the JROTC trial competition from the 8th Brigade, U.S. Army Cadet Command, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, retired Lt. Col. Doug said. Fields, the Army’s lead instructor for the school’s JROTC program, who added that he was extremely proud of his cadet’s achievement.

“It’s huge,” Fields said. “For that to happen, it’s really amazing.”

The essay was originally a JROTC class assignment, but Manangan’s end product was so phenomenal that Fields suggested he enter it into the contest.

The Army JROTC program has an annual requirement that cadets improve their written communication skills, so awarding the test was a natural fit, Fields said.

Most years, the command sends the top three trials to compete nationally against the other seven JROTC brigades, but this year, because of COVID-19, officials are only sending the top two, Fields said. . More than 1,700 Army JROTC programs worldwide participate in the annual U.S. Army Cadet Command Essay Contest.

The 8th Brigade, also known as the “Viking Brigade”, is responsible for overseeing JROTC and ROTC programs in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and American Samoa. The brigade includes more than 20,000 cadets.

In his essay, Manangan recounted how school administrators sent students home for online learning on Friday, March 13, 2020, “a day associated with fear, bad omens and a global shutdown of classes in because of the threat of a global pandemic”.

The students were happy at first, but that feeling faded when they realized they weren’t going back to school in person soon and what they had thought was a “skinny flu mutation” was much more serious, wrote Manangan.

“After two months, the walls that once brought comfort to students have become the walls that kept them isolated,” Manangan wrote. “COVID was more than lean flu; it had turned into a severe educational obstacle for students and teachers. It had become the wall I couldn’t break.

Although Manangan appreciated the flexibility of online school, it was not as engaging and challenging as in-person school, and he was happy when students at Zama Middle High School returned to in-person learning. in September. The experience, however, taught him a lot.

“As I stand here after navigating through the troubles COVID has caused for students around the world, I look back with comfort on the conflicts I triumphed over and how they rekindled my enthusiasm to learn and grow in as an individual,” Manangan wrote.

Manangan said he spent more than two weeks working on the essay, which is over 1,000 words, partly because he planned to use some of it for a college admissions essay. .

Next year, Manangan plans to go to college and major in psychology and minor in sociology. In the meantime, however, he is grateful for the two years he spent as a JROTC cadet.

“I feel like it has, in general, made me a better person,” Manangan said. “It develops a community that everyone can turn to. That’s what I like about the program.

Date taken: 24.02.2021
Date posted: 24.02.2021 01:02
Story ID: 389667
Site: JP

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