(WLOX) - A total of 154 cadets officially became members of the cadet corps in a meaningful ceremony at Biloxi High School on Wednesday. The students took an oath of allegiance to the Junior Air Force ROTC program.
University of Southern Mississippi Air Force ROTC member Laura Coutee returned to her alma mater to give an oath to the new members.
"I was in this program, I was their leader. It means a lot to be here and explain how much program can do for you," said Coutee.
Biloxi High School senior Kiersten Miller performed the national anthem during the ceremony. She and other students look forward to hearing cadets take the oath each year.
"It's a great experience. Last year I was down there with them, I was in ROTC. It's a great experience taking the oath, because it's true and something you should live by," said student Chadene Shelly.
Biloxi High Junior ROTC instructor Kenneth Melton says the mission of the group is character development.
"When I did Junior ROTC, I realized I was good at it. It gave me a place to be, and a sense of purpose bigger than myself. In college, I said I know what I want to study, but what do I want to do - and it just happened. I decided I love military life, and the people it creates. This is what I want to do with my life," Coutee added.