Cadet Lt. Col. Grant Lloyd took over as battalion commander of the Elkin High School JROTC during a change of command ceremony in the gymnasium Wednesday.
Maj. Roy J. Ferguson, senior Army instructor for the JROTC, thanked “all teachers, students, faculty members and of course the cadets for taking time to be here and to honor this tradition.”
“Today we celebrate the promotion and the assumption of command by Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Grant Lloyd,” he said. “Cadet Lloyd today will become the next battalion commander for the Elkin High School JROTC. He also will be promoted to the rank of cadet lieutenant colonel in order to fulfill his duties and obligations.”
The military tradition represents the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commander to another. Lloyd takes over the command from Aaron Sturdivant, Ferguson said, “who has since graduated, gone to App State and is doing good things.”
“Battalion commanders are selected based on their past performance and demonstrated potential for leadership in the future,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson recognized Lloyd’s parents, Pam, who works at the school, and Jimmy Lloyd. “I know you are very proud of the things that he has accomplished,” he said.
Before starting the ceremony, Ferguson also recognized Sam Bishop, the leader of the Captain Mark Garner VFW Post 7794, a loyal financial supporter of the JROTC. The drill meets, raider meets, rappelling trips to Raven Knob and community service events the JROTC participates in all require financial support, Ferguson said, “and the VFW post has been good about providing it.
“If you don’t know it, Mark Garner was one of the cadets when this program was first started,” Bishop said. “He was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, and we honored him by renaming our VFW post the Captain Mark W. Garner VFW Post. It makes us real proud.”
Bishop contributed a $500 check to the JROTC.
Ferguson also recognized another $500 contributor, Gary York, owner of the WIFM radio station. “WIFM is an advocate for making a difference in the lives of others,” York said, “especially young people.”
Before starting the official ceremony, JROTC Cadet Master Sgt. Laken Lloyd, the sister of Grant, sang the National Anthem. Like her brother, she started in Elkin High School’s JROTC program as a freshman.
Cadet Giuliana Pallotti read the assumption of command orders and promotion orders for Cadet Lloyd, and Pam and Jimmy Lloyd pinned the rank on their son’s uniform.
Afterward Command Sgt. Maj. Amy Javier directed the color guard to begin the presentation of colors. “Give our color guard a hand,” Ferguson said after they were finished. “Don’t they look sharp?
“I’ve got to brag about them because they’ve won a bunch of trophies and plan on winning some more Oct. 3. We’re going to have a drill meet right here, and we’ve got seven other high schools coming to challenge us so if you have a chance, come and watch the drill.
“We would appreciate it, and I know you’ll have a good time.”
Wednesday’s change of command ceremony ended with Sgt. Kenneth Abrams conducting a drill and ceremony with the cadets. Ferguson explained the purpose of the drill and ceremony “is to develop camaraderie and teamwork in the unit because the soldiers are going to go and fight together and they’ve got to first learn to train together.”
Afterward, the cadets participated in a drill and ceremony game called “Knock Out.”
“The drill continues as cadets who make a mistake in formation are removed from the game,” Ferguson said. “When they make a mistake, they fall out. The last person standing is the one who made no mistakes.”
The last person standing Wednesday was Cadet Karla Romero, who received a pin for winning.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 336-258-4058.