Posted in Military Training and JROTC

Rich History of JROTC at Central

In anticipation of World War I, Central’s Principal Ziegler and faculty requested a military training program in 1916.  The program was approved by the Hamilton County School Board, preceding JROTC at Central.  On December 29, 1919, the first Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) unit in Tennessee activated at Central.  The Principal’s vision, preparedness for junior military training, and the fine reputation Central held in the State undoubtably were factors in Central’s choice as one of the first 30 pilot JROTC units created by Congress and the War Department in 1916 for the United States.

In 1927, the United States Army instituted Honor Unit (later renamed Honor Unit with Distinction) awards.  The Central Unit has been an Honor Unit with Distinction since 1927.  Further, it has been continuously in operation since 1919, making it the longest continuously operating unit in the South.

An average of 185 cadets graduate annually, approximately 16,000 since 1919.  Many have gone on to serve as commissioned and noncommissioned officers in one of our Country’s military services.  If you are one of them, please share that with us by clicking on comment and telling us about your military service.  If you know of Centralites who died in combat, please help us identify and honor them.


Graduated from Central in 1965. Had the honor of being Mr. Central 1965. Started on the Central Basketball Team for three years and was a member of the Track Team in my senior year. Shared command with Bryant Millsaps of the Central JROTC unit in my senior year. Other activites at Central are documented in the 1963 -1965 Champions. Received an athletic scholarship and played Division I College Basketball for four years. When I graduated from Auburn in 1969, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corps and served 25 years on active duty, retiring in 1994. Some of the military awards I earned include the Legion of Merit, one Meritorious Service Medal for Achievement, six Meritorious Service Medals for Service, Joint Service Medal for Achievement, two Army Commendations Medals, and Viet Nam Service Medal. After retirement in 1994, I became a Real Estate Broker until my second retirement in 2010. I am passionate about Central History and am pleased to be Administrator of this Blog/Site.

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