JCHS Students Participate in Ceremony from Space

A few JCHS students and future Army soldiers were able to participate in a one-of-a-kind historical event on February 26, 2020.  The US Army conducted it’s very first mass swearing-in of new recruits – and they did it from space. The US Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) arranged to have new Army recruits participate in a Skype call with a soldier in space and reaffirm their Oath of Service. 

Colonel Andrew Morgan is a US Army Soldier, a Doctor, and a NASA Astronaut.  He is currently aboard the International Space Station, where he works with other astronauts to conduct experiments in space.  Col. Morgan’s resume is impressive.  He is a combat veteran, he has been a Ranger, a member of the Airborne parachute team, a diver, and has conducted 7 spacewalks to date.  He is happy to share with the world that he is very “Army Proud.”

Col. Andrew Morgan speaks to new recruits from aboard the International Space Station.

Col. Morgan was honored to participate in this historic occasion.  The USAREC arranged for this event to be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube and had several new recruits in Space Center Houston to participate.  More than 800 new recruits were available to participate nationwide, and more than 1000 locations watched the live streamed event. 

Lt. Col. Hodges is a retired Army soldier that runs the JROTC program at JCHS.  He was happy to help facilitate and host the reaffirmation ceremony for several local recruits.  He arranged to have the live stream available for watching, ordered pizza, and ensured that there was plenty of space for everyone coming to participate. 

There were two future graduates of JCHS, one recent graduate, a recruit from the island of Martinique, and a 37-year-old Coast Guard transfer that were all present to reaffirm their Oath of Service. The local USAREC office in Manhattan also sent several representatives to support the new recruits in this momentous occasion.

Army Recruits take the Oath of Service

Among the recruits were:

Nathan Brannon, JCHS class of 2020, who plans to report for Army basic training on June 2nd, after he graduates.  After basic, he will go to school for training in a career as an Army Aviation Operation Specialist.

David Zuk, also JCHS class of 2020, will report to Army basic training on June 8th.  His specialty will be in tanks, as an Armored Crew Member. 

Joseph Mercado is a JCHS graduate from the class of 2019.  He will report for Army basic training on March 16th.  He will be training to be a Transportation Specialist.

Akima Green is from the island of Martinique.  She leaves for Army basic training on April 7th.  Akima is trilingual, as she speaks English, French, and Creole.  She will be training to become a Linguistics Specialist.

Stephen Hester is a 37-year-old that spent 10 years active-duty in the Coast Guard, and several more in the Reserves.  He is transferring into the Army and will leave for Army basic training on March 2nd to become a member of the Army Infantry. 

The new recruits watched on a large screen from JCHS as the Deputy Commanding General of Army Operations, Brigadier General Patrick Michaelis, spoke to the nation about the important of this event and the future of the Army.  Then, a NASA team facilitated the Skype call to space with Col. Morgan.  Col. Morgan spoke a few encouraging words to the new recruits before he performed the ceremony, and afterwards, he took questions from groups around the nation that were participating in the Skype call. 

This event was a unique way for the Army to show how important technology is to the future of our nation and to show the amazing possibilities that technology provides for our country.