Taylor Johnson is only the second female to ever be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in SCHS’s JROTC history.
Taylor Johnson’s dedication and determination have allowed her the honor of being Strawberry Crest High School’s JROTC’s second ever female Lieutenant Colonel.
Ironically, Johnson first joined JROTC as a way to avoid having to take the HOPE class at SCHS. Her brother
had gone through the program and she decided it was worth trying out. What she wasn’t expecting was to fall in love with the class.
“It kind of was a shock, but I really fell in love with the program,” Johnson said. “I learned all types of leadership skills and became a confident public speaker. I’ve also built friendships and became more involved with school. Getting involved here helped me excel in multiple aspects of school outside of just the program.”
On top of her extensive list of leadership positions in JROTC Johnson is also team captain for the varsity cross country and track teams, team captain for Chargerthon, a member of National Honor Society, president of the National Technical Honor Society and treasurer of Impact Club. Johnson dual enrolls at HCC and plans to attend the University of North Georgia with the goal to become a Corps Cadet.
Johnson has been breaking ceilings throughout her high school career. In addition to being the second female ever promoted to Lieutenant Colonel at SCHS, she also holds two school records for the track team. She was also the first female at Crest to be on the male drill team.
JROTC taught her that giving less than her all was simply not on the table and soon she found herself breaking out of her shell and tackling leadership positions that seemed far out of her league years prior.
“Johnson is great with working with people,” Destiny Cattery, fellow JROTC member, said. “She’s a leader, but she makes sure we know how much she cares and supports us. She’s very organized and no matter what she never stops.”
Times are changing and Johnson said she fully expects to see many more women taking on leadership roles throughout JROTC programs nationwide. At SCHS she said she was lucky enough to never have felt like she was different or tackling an unobtainable goal due to her sex.
“Females really are getting more involved in the program,” Johnson said. “People I think used to look at the program and think that it was inherently masculine, that it wasn’t for females. But that’s changing. I never really looked at it as a female to male thing. You become a leader if you participate in a lot of things if you prove you can take charge and be the support and leader your team needs. Whether you’re female or male, those qualities don’t change.”
Everything relies on teamwork and without her group of supportive peers and mentors, she said she never would have been able to have the opportunities she’s had. When stress inevitably comes she’s learned to have a strong team at her back to ensure they get through it and come out even stronger on the other side.