Going up the Ranks


Junior Jahayra Lopez, continues her ambitions to excel in NJROTC hoping to Becoming Commanding Officer in Taft’s NJROTC.

Melissa Parra, Reporter


Junior Jahayra Lopez (Div. 021) placed fifth as the commander of the Taft unarmed regulation drill team in a citywide competition at Carver Academy on Dec. 8.

Lopez has been in the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) at Taft for the past three years, actively partaking in activities with the mindset of going as far as she can. For her, becoming a commanding officer holds new challenges and responsibilities that she is ready to face. Other than being the Operations officer, she also holds a position being a member of the City Corps staff.

“She [Lopez] took an interest in it and she was offered the position as the leader of the drill team. As the leader to the drill team, we are very proud of her, and since she is a junior, we have her for another whole year and I think that will be really great for our drill team,” says Captain Mark Jenkins.

For Lopez, memorization and leadership are just some of the core aspects that were tested. Even though she endured hour long practices every day in the mornings, there was still a lot of preparation ahead.

“This was my first competition I commanded for. I have been to many competitions but never commanded a team. I constantly go over the drill cards. There are 48 commands to call and I have to learn them, if I mess one up I get points taken off at the competition,” said Lopez.

Lopez looks “forward to being the commanding officer of Taft and JROTC,” as ranking up is important to her for the “higher the rank I am the more heard I will be. It’s also got me closer to my goal position in the future.”

Lopez will continue to engage in many more competitions with another year ahead of her. We hope to see more of her leadership skills in action.