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