Brooklyn Johnson described herself as “quiet as a mouse” when we she joined Mary G. Montgomery’s JROTC program as a freshman. But JROTC helped bring her out of that shell and four years later, after taking on more responsibility each year, she took the next step into a countywide leadership position.
Johnson was named Brigade Commander for JROTC programs throughout Mobile County, as the 2017-18 Brigade Command was announced Friday during a ceremony at MCPSS’ Central Campus.
“To be promoted to Brigade Commander is something I never thought to be possible. It’s a great honor to me,” Johnson said. “I think it’s going to be a new challenge that I’m ready to face head on.”
Col. Bob Marshall, JROTC instructor at Mary Montgomery, said Johnson is a great example of how the program instills leadership qualities in its cadets. Johnson, who said she “didn’t talk to anyone” when she arrived as a freshman, quickly established herself as a leader, he said.
“She came in four years ago and has been a leader the entire time,” Marshall said. “In the four years, she has never lost focus and kept performing at a high level.”
The full 2017-18 Brigade Command:
- Cadet Colonel Brooklyn Johnson (Mary G. Montgomery HS), Brigade Commander
- Cadet Command Sergeant Major Jayuanna Harris (Murphy HS), Brigade Command Sergeant Major
- Cadet Colonel Christopher Willhite (Baker HS), Deputy Brigade Commander
- Cadet Colonel Jordan Jones (Murphy HS), Deputy Brigade Commander
- Cadet Colonel Joseph Kelley (Bryant HS), Deputy Brigade Commander
It is a strong group of students — two have ACT scores of higher than 30, two will leave high school with a large number of college credits already earned, one is an Azalea Trail Maid, two plan to enter medical professions, one plans to study engineering and one wants to be a U.S. Army Ranger.
“When people talk about the Mobile County Public School system, this is what it can produce and all of us should take a lot of pride in what we see here today,” said Lt. Col. Frank Barrow, who oversees JROTC programs in Mobile County.
All 12 MCPSS high schools have JROTC programs.
“JROTC is a fantastic program,” added MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek. “I have really seen it change the lives of young people in the Mobile County Public School system. I say this often: If we had the resources, I would like for every student in the Mobile County Public School system to go through JROTC. ”
“It’s a total program that makes a difference, that builds success and that truly is the essence of college and career readiness.”