Jr. ROTC corps commander passes the flag in change of command ceremony

Change in Command

(Medina Valley High School — March 29, 2023) — Emotions were high as the Jr. ROTC corps commander handed a flag to a cadet — the passing of the flag signifies a transition in command.

More than 100 cadets, family and staff attended the change of command ceremony March 29 at Medina Valley High School. Senior Angel Mariscal was this year’s corps commander and junior Seth Rakowitz will take the position next year.

AngelThe process to become corps commander is rigorous, said Major Lisa Rodriguez, a Jr. ROTC Instructor.

This student-cadet must demonstrate great leadership, academic achievement, an outstanding community service record and must undergo an interview.


“We usually choose one person to lead them all cadets throughout the school year,” Rodriguez said. “It involves a lot of planning, a lot of dedication. This is a very, very important task and this is a very important ceremony that symbolizes that take over.”

For Angel, the Jr. ROTC program was a stepping stone to the Army. He has now enlisted and will be joining the Army in July. 

“It’s very emotional,” Angel said. “I pass the torch to the new corps commander — I know he will do well.”

Jennifer Sistos said holding this position was an important achievement for her son Angel.

“He did it,” Sistos said through tears. “This program helped him grow as an individual.”

As a freshman, she said, Angel was shy and bashful but the Jr. ROTC program helped him be more confident in his leadership abilities.


Seth“This brought out the best in him,” she said. “It brought out leadership skills. He also was eager and motivated to pass that on cadets and show the cadets that it’s a good program and it’s going to help them grow.”


Just like Angel, Seth also hopes the program will help him gain leadership experience that could lead to the Coast Guard Academy.

“The program has given me a lot of confidence,” he said. “It’s just been building throughout the years  — building leadership. It’s put me here today.”