Ball High School’s JROTC’s Army Unit has been a long-standing point of pride for the Tors, and now the program might have the opportunity to truly take advantage of its proximity to the gulf and establish a Coast Guard Unit.
Congressman Randy Weber represents Texas’ 14th congressional district, which includes Galveston, and he has personally put in a request to the USCG asking for permission to establish a unit at Ball High School. Right now there are only two such units at high schools across the country with two more scheduled to come on board. If Ball High School is granted this opportunity, it would become the fifth such program nationwide.
“When Ball’s JROTC was established in 1935 and through the war years when Army JROTC was your only option, it made sense to have an Army program,” explains Ball High JROTC Head Army Instructor Major Mark Knight. “In our urban coastal environment our needs have changed, but our lineage will continue.”
Knight says the goal is to have two programs, both the Army and the USCG, but if they are allotted only one choice then it makes the most sense to go with the Coast Guard program here on the island.
“There is a U.S. Coast Guard Station here on the island and Sea Star Base just blocks away giving our students plenty of hands-on access to real world technology,” adds Knight. “Maritime jobs are in high demand and giving students the opportunity to get experience and possibly earn certifications in that profession is something that would highly benefit our graduates.”
This is the first step in the process but Major Knight believes that the JROTC Coast Guard unit could be established as early as the 2022-2023 school year.