JROTC Panther Battalion
Thank you Lieutenant General Maria R. Gervais for visiting RYSS Panther Battalion.
Lieutenant General Maria R. Gervais assumed duties as the TRADOC Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff on May 28, 2021. Prior to her assignment, she served in Army Futures Command as the first Cross-Functional Team Director for the Synthetic Training Environment located in Orlando, Florida. She received her regular Army commission in 1987 as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Lander College Reserve Officer Training Corps program in Greenwood, South Carolina, and assigned to the Chemical Branch. Her professional military education includes Chemical Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; Command and General Staff College; and U.S. Army War College where she received a Master of Military Strategic Studies. She earned a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Lander College. She served in a variety of command and staff assignments at every level including: Brigade Chemical Officer and Headquarters Executive Officer, 17th Field Artillery Brigade; Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, 11th Chemical Company; Battalion Chemical Officer, 1st Battalion, 227 Aviation Regiment (ATTACK), 1st Cavalry Division; Division NBC Element Director, Division Headquarters and Headquarters’ Company Commander, and Brigade Chemical Officer, 101st Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Joint Chiefs of Staff J5 intern, Policy and Strategy Directorate, Weapons Technology Control Division and Systems Integrator for Smoke and Decon Systems, Headquarters Department of the Army in the Pentagon; G3, DAMO-FDB; Executive Officer to the III Corps G3 and Operations Officer, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood; Logistical Planner and Chief of Operations, 21st Theater Support Command (TSC); Battalion Commander, 82nd Chemical Battalion and Chief of Staff, United States Army Chemical School and Maneuver Support Center; Commander, United States Army Environmental Command; Chief of Staff, Iraq Train and Advise Mission (ITAM) Director, Baghdad, Iraq; Division Chief for Full Dimension Protection, HQDA G-8, Pentagon; Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox; the 28th Chief of Chemical and the Commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School; and as the Deputy Commanding General Combined Arms Center-Training. Her awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Medal; five Legions of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, seven Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation medals, six Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, Southwest Asia Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Saudi Arabia Kuwait Liberation Medal, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Joint Staff Identification Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.
In 2022-23 our JROTC program continues to be among the best in Houston. Don't let the small charter school status fool you, our program is growing and continues to teach cadets leadership and the importance of academics. Our Panther Battalion is taught to face the challenges head on and provide them the qualities of leadership that will strenghten their lives as they face the real world. Every year our cadets have graduated among the top percent of their class and have been accepted to top colleges and universities. Our Panthers participate in summer and school partnership events with different organizations which develop their leadership skills and empower them to be more active in their communities and school. This year our cadets are competing in Physical Training and Rifle Team competitions with other JROTC teams in the city and state. We are proud of our Panther Battalion! If you are thinking of taking a challenge, join our TEAM! We highly encourage students to consider JROTC as an opportunity to succeed in school and life!
Major Shawn Morton (US Army, retired)
Major Morton retired from the Army in 2017. His career assignments include, Combat Medic, Laboratory Technician, Research Assistant, Combat Engineer, and Medical Officer. He served as Platoon Leader (Manager) for 25 men, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander of Basic Training (200 men), Battalion Executive Officer (5000 men) and Brigade Executive Officer (17000 men).
His education includes an A.S in Physics, B.S in Chemistry, B.S in Medicine and M.A in Homeland Security. He has also been involved in working alongside FEMA and the National Guard Bureau and holds accreditation as a civil affairs officer.
Maj Morton has a passion for teaching. He arrived at RYSS Early College T-STEM Academy in 2021. He now holds the position as the school’s Senior JROTC instructor for grades 9-12.
Command Sargent Major Michael Marquez (US Army, retired)
Command Sergeant Major Marquez was born in Douglas, Arizona. He joined the US Army right after high school and trained to become an Aircraft Structural Repairer. His first assignment was in South Korea. His military assignments included tours at Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Eustis, VA, Fort Campbell, KY, Honduras, Germany, and several tours to the Middle East. His most memorable assignments were with the elite 82nd Airborne Division where he earned his Master Parachutist Badge, three years as a Drill Instructor and Battalion Command Sergeant Major for both 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. While in the US Army, Sergeant Major Marquez earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Masters degree in education from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Sergeant Major Marquez has just begun his 20th year at Tejano Center.