Coral Gable High School senior Jaime Said has done the near impossible. He jumped five ranks to become the battalion commander for the JROTC. He didn’t join ROTC until his sophomore year and climbed the ranks quickly.
“I went from nothing to two ranks up,” he said. “Then I ranked up twice to sergeant. Then I ranked up three times to first sergeant.”
His rapidfire march through the ranks came because of his participation on a number of drill teams
“I was able to handle eight teams myself,” he said. “I commanded two teams my first year. I was given my chance by my Army instructor. My second year, I was a first sergeant. I was in charge of a company full of 30-35 cadets.”
He became the battalion commander in just his third year in JROTC.
“That’s never happened in the Coral Gables program,” he said.
As battalion commander, he’s in charge of 300 students.
“I motivate them and teach them to be leaders,” he said. “I organize events.”
The events he organizes include trips to Orlando for drill team competitions.
“There are 40 cadets,” he said. “We march concise steps. We’re practically like robots.”
Last year, Said took third place as the color guard commander for a drill team.
To achieve such honors, Said said he has to stay after school from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. for drills. “ROTC teaches you how to handle these things and time management,” he said. “It’s a great thing not only for high school but for life.”
Outside of school, Said is involved in his church.
“I go to church every Sunday and I go to parks and we donate Bibles,” he said.
His time in the JROTC has helped him decide on joining the Marine Corps after college, so he can go in as an officer. He’s considering attending FIU, UF or UM.
“I’m planning to go to medical school,” he said, adding he wants to be a pediatrician.