The Purple Heart: Morgan West

Ashley Jackson, Journalist

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Sophomore Morgan West with her awards given to her from the JROTC program

Morgan West, a sophomore here at Ripon, is among the handful of students where the word ‘accomplished’ seems to fit them just right. However, how many in that group can say they’ve been a captain and a sergeant?

   West moved to Ripon 14 years ago, and currently enjoys video games, soccer and music in her spare time. She’s also a very active member of our high school’s JROTC program, as well as our Ripon Explorers program with the police department. She’s been with JROTC since freshman year, and this summer will mark her third year as an explorer.

   For those who are unaware, the Explorer program is one for teens and young adults (ages 14-21) to teach them about the inner workings of a police department as well as train them in many law enforcement aspects. You might recall seeing some of our explorers as some events like our infamous Almond Blossom festival or one of our many parades. This year, West is a sergeant and runs a squad, as well as some other ones as she’s the only sergeant in the program at the moment.

    As for her involvement with JROTC, West’s hard work and dedication to the program has allowed her to earn multiple awards such as The Military Order of the Purple Heart National Leadership award and Drill Captain of the Year Award among others, as well as help shape her high school career.

“JROTC has taught me leadership and management skills, better organization, how to work with various types of personalities, and that there are many different ways you can go about addressing something,”  West said.

JROTC has taught me leadership and management skills, better organization, how to work with various types of personalities, and that there are many different ways you can go about addressing something”

— Morgan West

Freshman year, West was a Cadet Private First Class, and this year she’s a captain and a company commander.

“In her company it’s been a rough year,” says freshman Karis Chapin,”but she’s a really good leader and it’s made this year all in all, way better than it probably would’ve if we had a different CO.”