Hiram Johnson cadets serve color guard duty at 49ers-Raiders game

e-Connections Post Hiram Johnson
Cadets get ready before the game

Cadets from Hiram Johnson High School’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) served color guard duty before thousands of football fans at the December 7 “Battle of the Bay” between the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers.

December 7 was also on the 73rd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought America into World War II. Pearl Harbor survivors participated with JROTC cadets in a commemorative ceremony before the playing of the National Anthem.

None of the four cadets chosen for color guard duty had ever attended a professional football game before the “Battle of the Bay,” said Hiram Johnson JROTC teacher Sgt. Jim Rost. “This is a really positive event for us — a win-win,” he said. “The cadets are standing a little taller and prouder.”

The cadets also received seventh-row game tickets behind the Raiders’ bench courtesy the Air National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command. In addition, they were interviewed for a story by KCRA.

The teens selected to carry the flags were chosen because they maintain 3.0-plus grade point averages and work hard in the program, Rost said. “They’re at school at 6:30 a.m. when I show up. These are legit students that deserve to go.”

Hiram Johnson maintains an award-winning JROTC program focused on citizenship and six core values: Tenacity, integrity, courage, patriotism, confidence and service. Young adults in the program come from low-income communities and many have challenging backgrounds, Rost said. “But if teens can believe in themselves, they can get out of their situation.”