The 2018-2019 school year for Daniel High School’s SC-941 “Flying Lions” Cadet Corps was a uniquely challenging, yet extremely productive year across the board.  But the best thing about last year may be that it has positioned Daniel’s AFJROTC unit for one of its best years this year.  A quick summary of what the Cadet Corps accomplished in 2018-2019 makes a strong case.  According to AFJROTC Headquarters’ database, Daniel’s Cadet Corps completed over 2,053 community service hours in accomplishing 163 separate community service events during the year.  Additionally, the “Flying Lions” provided 50 color guards for various civic, memorial, and sporting events.  Cadets also competed in numerous competitions in the three separate categories of Competitive Drill, Raiders Events, and a new pursuit known as JLAB – a nationwide competitive circuit of traditional Academic Bowl events.  Of course, anyone who attended any football event at Daniel’s Singleton Field knows that the Cadet Corps plays a huge and pivotal role in everything from managing paid Booster Club parking, to Color Guards, Saber Arches, full stocking and staffing of all concessions, and stadium cleanup after every event. But it may be that the AFJROTC program’s biggest impact on Daniel High School is its annual management of the Daniel High School Recycling Program.  Over the course of last year, the Cadet Corps managed 36 separate recycling days in which we collected all materials, sorted and prepped by category, then for each of those days, Major Childress transported the material to the Pickens County recycling center for delivery.  This amounted to over 5,000 pounds of materials recycled during the year – a huge service to the school and the environment.

     The good news is all indications suggest the 2019-2020 school year may be even more successful.  Major Childress and Chief Preisch began working during their summer break to prepare for the biggest event any AFJROTC unit faces – a Unit Evaluation, or “UE.”  Once every 3 years, every AFJROTC unit receives a day-long visit from AFJROTC Headquarters and every single aspect of unit operations is evaluated to the finest detail.  In 2017, the last time the “Flying Lions” were evaluated, they received the highest possible rating, and were identified as one of the top 3 units in a region comprised of over 67 units.  Shortly thereafter, the “Flying Lions” were named the Outstanding AFJROTC Unit in South Carolina, and were presented the prestigious “Sword of Excellence” to mark their State Championship.  In fact, very soon you’ll be able to see the latest Daniel High School State Champion Banner take its place among the others in the Daniel Gym as the AFJROTC State Championship Banner is installed.  And it’s that 2017 series of events the “Flying Lions” feel poised and prepared to recreate this year.  The Unit will be evaluated in March and if all goes as planned, they’ll once again receive the highest possible rating, which will set them up for a strong run at yet another State Championship, which would be the Unit’s 6th title since its establishment in 1994.

     Regardless of what happens with the Unit Evaluation, and no matter if the Unit earns another State Title, there is no doubt that Daniel High School’s “Flying Lions” Cadet Corps will continue throughout the 2019-2020 year to live out their mission statement of “Developing citizens of character, dedicated to serving their nation and community.”   


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