By Jeff Keeling
Science Hill High School’s Army Junior ROTC program recently conducted its annual change of command during a banquet at the school. Cadet Lt. Col. Braden Trent, a senior responsible for 170 cadets, passed the mantle to next year’s leader, Cadet Major Brian Holt II.
Trent, whom ROTC advisor Col. Mike Johnson called “highly motivated,” is a member of Science Hill’s Showstoppers theater group, swam for the Hilltoppers for a year, and was on the ROTC drill team and its academic bowl team that ranked in the top 4 percent in the nation. Last summer at Boys State, he was selected as adjutant general and put in charge of a formation of about 600 cadets.
Trent has applied for the West Point and the Naval Academy, and received official nominations for both. “He’s made a pretty tough cut,” Johnson said. “He’s totally dedicated to mission accomplishment, and if you want it done right the first time, you give it to him.”
Holt, a rising senior, was promoted from among a large class of cadets. “Our classes are full,” Johnson said of the ROTC program.
Holt was on the same academic bowl team as Trent. He has discussed potentially joining the military, Johnson said, and is characterized by, “attention to detail and a commitment to excellence.” He, like Trent before him, was selected based upon his academic accomplishment, physical fitness and leadership credentials.
“A scholar-athlete-leader may be a good catch phrase for those selected to positions of senior leadership,” said Johnson, who selects leaders along with Sgt. First Class Roger Cole. The pair also selects roughly 20 subordinate commanders each year.