2022-2023 School Year for Army JROTC

As we start the school year, the JROTC program will be welcoming in new changes. We’re so excited to bring the program back to its original structure the way it was 3 years ago. 

Many of you know that the past year, our Battalion had to say goodbye to Lt. Colonel Larry Hallstrom. He served 22 years in the Army. He soon retired to make the choice of working with our school, PCHS, as an instructor for over 10 years. We wish him well in his full retirement as he spends his time with his wife and kids!

Due to Lt. Colonel Larry Hallstrom leaving, we’ve gained a new instructor! We are delighted to welcome Sergeant Major (SGM) David Merritt as our new Senior Instructor. It’s been a little over a week since school has started and he’s already helping us improve the program and bringing it back to the way it was before Covid. We are grateful to welcome SGM David Merritt to PCHS. 

This will also be a welcome to all of our new freshmen who have signed up for JROTC. We are overwhelmed with how many students signed up and thrilled to see where they take us. As we know it everyone is motivated and ready to work hard! We can’t wait to watch the Class of 26’ grow and become better citizens!  

Moving on, we have quit a few of important events coming up this year (many are not listed as of now):

Later this year in March, we will be having a big inspection. The inspection is where Army Instructors come in and grade us on our Drill and Flag presentation. If we do well in our inspection we will get to keep our Gold Star (the gold star meaning “Honor Unit with Distinction”'). Let’s keep up the good work and keep our star!

Also, our JROTC Color Guard Team will be helping honor the American Flag on Aug. 26th to represent our school’s home football game. On top of that, on Sept. 2nd, they will be participating at the Popcorn Festival. We’re happy they continue to ask to participate and our Color Guard Team is excited. 

Our Honor Guard Team is proud to say we have some Honor Flights coming up. On Sept. 5th we will be at the Itoo Banquet Hall honoring our POW’s, MIA’s and so forth. We are appreciative to be invited to these events and are looking forward to doing many more!

In the upcoming weeks tryouts for Drill Team and Rifle Team, and the possibility of an Archery Team will be posted. Keep an eye out for dates in the near future! If you have any questions don’t be scared to ask, we will happily provide you answers!

We can’t wait for the school year to start up and get all of our activities going! Let’s have an amazing school year and keep things moving smoothly!


Our direct lines to our phones in our office are as follows:

1SG Julio Rodriguez at 309-477-4379 or jrodriguez@pekin high.net

SGM David Merritt at