“The Grog of JROTC” by Kiera Kavaky

February 25, 2019.

At Palmetto Ridge, the JROTC program is a well-known component to the student community. JROTC is a military-based course aimed towards teaching students’ discipline and leadership skills. Through this course, cadets have the opportunity to volunteer for school and community events for rewards, experience, and a chance to build upon their character. However, some of these JROTC events are mandatory. During the school year, activities such as parades and award ceremonies must be attended by everyone within the battalion. 

This February, JROTC is falling through on their “grog” tradition. Every year, JROTC hosts a dining in. According to Major, this event used to be a dining out, meaning people from outside the program could attend, yet now, by calling it a dining in, only JROTC cadets can take part in this glorious tradition.  

The dining in is a quite formal event to which all the members of the program must show up to in full, prestigious uniform. In the beginning, the room is highly serious, and must follow strict rules. These rules include addressing officers by specific titles, only talking when a light is on, and eating all the food presented to them. 

This is where the excitement begins. “The dining in is a fun JROTC event every year where we make other cadets drink grog” -Sophomore Brandon Grillo. The rules are so strange and strict that it’s comical, but that’s just part of the fun. After the food is all over and done with, cadets will be able to accuse other cadets of basically anything they may have done wrong, such as not eating all their food, or displaying PDA in uniform.  

When a cadet is charged with a “crime,” evidence of some kind is usually required. Yet, Peyton Mantell, the battalion CSM, is completely in charge of who is to be punished for their charges, and who won’t be. Therefore, anything can go, and being on his bad side certainly won’t help those that are accused. 

Cadets Mantell decides to punish are then subjected to standing in front of the entire battalion and drinking the infamous grog. “I hate the dining in because of the grog alone”-Sophomore Livey. The grog is a vile drink put together every year that is the true definition of disgusting. The exact ingredients are unknown. All that is known, is that it makes kids throw up…often. 

Overall, the JROTC dining in is a formal event, with an exciting twist that makes it one of the most memorable parts of the JROTC program.