When it comes to character and citizenship education, Lamar Consolidated High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program “exceeds standards.”
That’s the word from the U.S. Air Force, which recognized the program and 119 others across the country “that have performed well above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force JROTC citizen development mission for America.”
The mission, according to the Houston Chronicle, is “to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill responsibility, character and self-discipline through character education; and to provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.”
The recognition for Unit TX-172 – which includes cadets from Lamar and George Ranch high schools - is based on a formal unit evaluation in December that pointed to the “dynamic and supportive learning environment coupled with an excellent community outreach” under the leadership of Maj. Jeffrey M. Shelton and Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey T. Moffet, the Fort Bend Independent reports.
“The instructors provide outstanding leadership in administering the cadet-centered citizenship program,” which led to cadets who “performed exceptionally well and took great pride in leading and accomplishing their unit goals,” according to the news site.
“The Lamar Consolidated High School Air Force ROTC citizenship program is making a positive impact on the cadets, the school and the community.”
According to the Air Force, “Air Force JROTC is located in close to 900 high schools across the United States and at selected schools in Europe, in the Pacific, and in Puerto Rico. Air Force JROTC enrollment includes more than 120,000 cadets who do over 1.6 million hours of community service each year.”
Lamar Consolidated JROTC’s recognition for exceeding the standard is a timely reminder of the nature of morality.
James Davison Hunter, founder of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, writes in his book the “Tragedy of Moral Education in America”:
Morality is a vision of moral goods shared by a community; the attitudes, aspirations, sensibilities, and dispositions that define its highest aspirations for itself, and how those moral goods find expression in every situation in daily life.
Virtue Insight, a blog by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, takes a deeper look at the virtues that support strong moral character - primarily temperance, courage, justice, and practical wisdom – through the observations of priest and theologian Aquinas.
University of Chicago professor Candace Vogler explains how “living well within reason” relies on applying practical knowledge through habitual virtuous activities.
“For those of us interested in thinking about the ways that virtuous activity allows reason to effectively guide us in leading better and more fulfilling lives, work on cultivating virtuous habits just is work on learning to live wisely,” Vogler wrote.