The state's top military leader spoke to a gathering of Jr. ROTC students in Hattiesburg Friday night. Mississippi Adjutant General Augustus L. Collins gave the keynote address at an annual military ball for the Tiger Battalion at the Sherrill Community Center.
More than 100 students are enrolled in Jr. ROTC at Hattiesburg High School.
Collins was appointed to his position by Gov. Phil Bryant last January.
"This program teaches them discipline, it teaches them leadership, it teaches them character and a lot of the young men and women who go through this program in high school will end up joining one of our military services," said Collins. "But even if they don't, they've learned those traits that's going to help them be successful in the business world," he said.
"The fact that he was willing to come down here to talk to us is a pretty big deal and it's a really nice feeling that he cares enough to come to talk to us," said Hayden Chapman, cadet Lt. Col. and commander of the Tiger Battalion.
"It's very inspirational because we have all these cadets that he can influence to either join the service or whatever, so it's good, it's very inspirational," said Kaylyn Lewis, the cadet command sergeant major for the battalion.
Seniors were given special recognition during the event.
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