Thursday, September 20, 2012

District JROTC Director Honored by Army Cadet Command

Lt. Col. Guzman
David Guzman, Program Manager of San Diego Unified's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program, has been selected Director of Army Instruction of the Year by the Army's Cadet Command based at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

As program manager, Guzman oversees the JROTC programs at Crawford, Hoover, Kearny, Lincoln, Madison, Mira Mesa, Morse, Patrick Henry, Point Loma, San Diego, Scripps Ranch, Serra and University City high schools. The program is part of the College, Career and Technical Education (CCTE) program.

"It's an honor to serve these young men and women," said Guzman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and a veteran of Afghanistan. "I'm proud of our 2,500 JROTC students in San Diego Unified and the students in the 1,700 programs around the world."

Guzman was recognized by the Army command for his outreach to and involvement with not only the school district but also local colleges and universities, Boy Scout troops and other civic organizations. As Director of Army Instruction for the district, Guzman is the overall JROTC leader, overseeing the quality of classroom instruction and integrated-curricular activities.

"I feel like this is the place I was supposed to be," said Guzman. He took the post following the retirement of Jan Janus in 2010, moving over from Madison High where he had been working as Army JROTC coordinator since 2008. While he has a background in civil engineering, Guzman spent several years while on active duty running the ROTC program at San Diego State University from 2000-05 and retired from the Army in 2008. At Madison, he also coached the varsity basketball program and was Teacher of the Year in 2009.

JROTC helps students focus on their education and physical fitness, with programs such as the academic league and community service.

"Our cadets are more than just cadets," he said, noting that about 10 percent choose a career in the military.