Pressley Berger – JROTC Bronze Medal Winner for 2024

Pressley Berger – JROTC Bronze Medal Winner for 2024

Pressley Berger, a junior at Jefferson County High School, is the recipient of the JROTC Bronze Medal for 2024 awarded by the Martha Dandridge Washington (MDW) Chapter, National Society Daughters of American Revolution (NSDAR). Janet Guyett, regent of Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter, made the presentation at the JROTC awards ceremony on April 30, 2024, for National Defense – JROTC Bronze Committee Chair Karen Bible.

Berger received a certificate, a seventy-five-dollar check, and a bronze medal adorned with a red, white, and blue ribbon.

The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) is sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the U.S. Its purpose is to “instill in the students in secondary educational initiatives the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.”

Recipients of the bronze medal must be a junior or senior in a high school JROTC program or a junior college graduating senior in the upper 25% of their classes in both ROTC and academic subjects. They also “must have shown the qualities of dependability and good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership ability, and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.”

Berger was selected for the honor by Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Gregory K. Stephens, Senior Army Instructor.

When I started high school, I had never even thought about doing JROTC. After recommendations from friends about learning Raiders, the program’s athletic team, I decided to challenge myself and enroll in the class my sophomore year,” Berger said.

JROTC is important to me because it allows me to connect and become friends with other students, learn life lessons, and improve my leadership skills. Some things that make JROTC special are that the class has structure, discipline, and is mainly student led,” she added. “In a regular classroom, a teacher has control and does the teaching and instruction. In JROTC, LTC Stephens and Sargent First Class (SFC) Sims allow Company Commanders and other senior leaders to lead and relay information to their subordinates. LTC Stephens and SFC Sims do a great job of teaching all the cadets and creating a fun environment to get cadets ready for the military. But the most special thing about JROTC is the physical training cadets do on Fridays, which consist of various exercises such as pushups, sit ups, the mile run, or games such as Ultimate Frisbee. You don’t ever get to do fun things like that in any of your other classes unless you are in physical education classes!”

After graduation Berger plans are to apply for the East Tennessee State University Honors College Pre-Med program. She plans to attend Quillen College of Medicine for medical school and hopes to be a functional medicine physician or a stem cell regenerative medicine specialist. Pressley is the daughter of Matthew and Nicole Berger of Dandridge.

Source: Submitted by Linda Null Bonner, Public Relations and Media Committee, MDW Chapter, NSDAR