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Changing of command for EU High JROTC
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East Union High junior Carin Martz needed help from her father, Greg Martz, and JROTC instructor Karl Knutsen on getting her promotional pin of cadet lieutenant colonel at Thursday’s Change of Command ceremony. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Stephen Loro is a retired helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army.

Affectionately known as “Chief” for the past 12 years to those involved in the East Union High Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp., he’s stepping down once again, taking advantage of the school board-approved Public Retirement Agency Services, an early retirement program.

“This is the longest I’ve worked in one place,” he said at Thursday’s annual Changing of the Command / JROTC Awards Presentation.

Loro addressed the cadets, saying, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve with you.”

Clifford Amick, who, as lieutenant colonel, was the highest ranking cadet in the Lancer Battalion, turned the command over to Carin Martz.

“JROTC has had a big impact on my life,” he said, looking fondly back at the events of the past year.

Besides Martz, Brannon Friggle (cadet / command sergeant major), Luciano Delorea (second lieutenant), and Reanna Brewer (cadet / major) were also promoted.

“The change of command dates back to early history,” instructor Karl Knutsen said. “At East Union, we’ve been doing it for 13 strong years and we’re hoping to keep it going year after year.”

Award and honors were distributed to various members of the Lancer Battalion, with the event capped off with somber flag retirement ceremony.

Knutsen, as part of the ceremony, used scissors to separate the blue part of the flag with the 50 stars from the symbolic 13 stripes.

The portions of the flag were placed into a fiery caldron as second Lt. Derek Davis performed “Taps.”

He’s played the somber tune every year since he was a freshman.

Davis proudly performed the number for one last time.