CASPER, WY - The Natrona County High School ROTC Mustang Battalion holds an open house for alumni Friday celebrating 100 years of service.
"It's like a hundred years we have had cadets here and they have been here continuously in service to the community, to Casper, to Natrona County High School. We have been here growing young students to be citizens," said NCHS Senior Army Instructor Peter Schmotzer.
Each ROTC member has worked hard to see the battalion grow over the years
"Since I've started we've really been working on growing the program and getting our name out into the community. Really trying to put a good front for ROTC. It’s the best battalion that I've seen so far,” said Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Morgan Wood. “We've really been trying to focus on growing the battalion and getting people to know about us.”
Returning vets say ROTC benefited them after high school.
"I had no confidence before ROTC at all, especially going from middle school to this,” said Cadet Alumni Wesley Knop. “Just getting to know everybody helped build my confidence. Actually, if you need something to say you can have the confidence to say it,"
Even current members look back in confidence, with big plans in their future.
"I'm going to go on and become an officer in the military. Just learning that ability and learning how to grow myself in that way. That was honestly my favorite part," said Wood.
This is the first alumni night in years and some cadets are coming back and seeing brand new information from their past.
“I’m seeing a lot of pictures and a lot of films from people I knew in school and people I knew in ROTC and people from ROTC here that didn’t come back from Vietnam. It's been a pleasant time of reminisce," said 1961 ROTC program graduate Donald Cooper.
All cadets are trained to become leaders and to understand the core values within the US Army, so when the time comes to act they will be ready.