The 126th Corps of Cadets prepares for Cadet Formal Inspection Annually, the St. John’s Military School Corps of Cadets undergo an extensive inspection known as The Cadet Formal inspection. Preparations are intense, as this is a landmark event for all Corps. The Senior Army Instructor invites an inspection team consisting of Army personnel from Ft. Riley and the Kansas National Guard. The inspection team evaluates cadet rooms, uniforms and personal appearance, cadet records maintenance, drill and ceremonies competency, Color Guard procedures, and JROTC curricular knowledge. They also receive, and evaluate, a formal briefing from the cadet battalion staff covering the daily life of a St. John’s cadet.
This year’s Battalion Commander, Cadet LTC Levi Harmon said, “They are going well, and there is a real sense of urgency as we get closer. It has been hanging over our heads all year, and now we are staring it in the face.” Preparations include practice for the pass-in-review, the development and practice of the Battalion Staff Briefing, shining boots and bills, Alpha uniform preparation, and studying for the JROTC question portion of the evaluation.
In an unprecedented move, Levi is having the entire Corps prepare for the JROTC questions. In past years teams of cadets were chosen to prepare for this portion of the inspection. “We have a very capable and high performing Corps. I want everyone to know the information and be prepared rather than placing the pressure on just a few.” The plan is to have the entire Corps in the Battalion Assembly Area, and allow the inspectors to select cadets randomly. “I want us all to own this”, said Levi.
Levi admits, “There is a lot of pressure. It is there every year and seems to grow every year.” Recent Corps’ performances have been outstanding, including a perfect 1000 last year. “We have a great Corps, and I am confident that our score will reflect our year-long success”.
First year cadet, SGT Sean Udofia admits to being anxious. “I heard about last year’s perfect score and hope that we can match it. If we don’t I want us to have a great score that is memorable.” As a Platoon Leader, Sean is responsible for preparing eleven cadets for the inspection. He feels like they are ready. “As a whole the platoon is doing well. We are managing things well and are down to focusing on the details.”
Although the Battalion Staff takes the lead in planning and executing preparation for the inspection, it is something that all cadets take responsibility for. Upon reflecting on preparations for the annual inspection during his first year at St. John’s, Levi said, “I was Squad Leader, and, at that point, it was about having my 10 guys ready for questions and personal inspections. It was very intimidating because, as a first year cadet, I didn’t’ know what to expect.” Now he has 120 young men to prepare. When asked if that is overwhelming, he said, “Knowing what to expect and having three years of experience has made it seem a little bit easier. The 126th Corps of Cadets has worked together quite well all year, and everything we have done has led to this point.”
Levi says, “We can’t exceed last year’s results on paper. They received a perfect 1000. We will strive to match that score, however, our goal is to end up with a score that all members of the Corps can take genuine ownership and pride in.”
St. John’s President, Andy England, said, “I am amazed at how much pressure the boys put on themselves as they prepare for the inspection, and, more importantly, how they respond. CFI is a source of great pride. It brings the Corps together like no other event during the year.” He also admits to a bit of anxiousness. “Every year I have been here, the Corps has matched or bettered their preceding Corps. That cannot always occur, and this Corps challenge is more daunting than ever. Whatever the result, the boys will perform admirably, and we will be so proud of them.”
This year’s Cadet Formal Inspection is scheduled for Monday, April 28th. Results of the inspection will be announced that day. For more information view our Military page here