JESUS CADETS' EARLY HISTORY
The vision for Jesus’ Cadets was that of Rev. N. Jerome McClain, Sr. After seeing the decline in participation from the youth in Sunday School and church; and the ever increasing statistics of youth entering the court system or meeting with an early death, it became clear that there was work to be done to meet the needs of our youth. After looking at a number of youth oriented programs, it became clear toRev. McClain that putting God first and keeping Him in the forefront was an essential element that was missing in the organizations that he looked at.
Jesus’ Cadets International has as its guiding manual the King James (1611)version of the Bible for English speaking Nations. The slogan adopted for Jesus’ Cadets International makes it explicitly clear the governing belief of this organization:“In God we trust everything else we check.”The J-Dets Oath, J-Dets Law, J-Dets Motto and J-Dets OutdoorCode are all reflective of keeping God first in all that we do.
The developmental phase of Jesus’ Cadets was begun in 2008 by Rev. McClain. Individuals within the church were tapped to bring ideas and organizational structure to Jesus’ Cadet International. The manuals for the cadets and staff were written by Rev. McClain and copyrighted in 2009. The initial Jesus’ Cadets Kick-Off was January 31, 2009. There were eighteen exhibitors with representation from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, five of its divisions, Fire/Rescue Department, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Martial Arts, Meteorology, Landscaping, Snake Bites, and Trauma 1 just to name a few.
The first membership for Jesus’ Cadets began as Julington Cadets. As the vision began to materialize it became clear that youth everywhere could benefit from the training and conditioning that J-Dets would provide. It was after the initial projection of J-Dets to the Julington All-Church Fellowship Dinner of October 2008 that Reverend McClain initiated a change in the organizational structure to accommodate the chartering of J-Det organizations internationally.
The first membership for Julington Cadets totaled 30 cadets. The first staff for Julington Cadets consisted of: N. Jerome McClain, Sr., Commandant, Thomas Staples, Vice Commandant; James McKenzie, Assistant Commandant; Wanda Austin, Secretary, Richard Stewart, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff; Lonnie Morton, Chief of Staff; Steven Robinson, J-Det Master; Assistant J-Dets Master Terrance Palmer & Associate J-Dets Master, Marsher Boyd, Patrol 1; Assistant J-Dets Master, Sidney Jennings , Associate J-Dets Master, Eliza Scott, & Associate J-Dets Master, Joyce Parks, Patrol 2; Assistant J-Dets Master, Yvonne Staples, Associate J-Dets Master, Jackson, & Associate J-Dets Master, Kim Palmer, Patrol 3.
During the first quarter of 2009 Reverend McClain introduced the vision of expanding the ministry of J-Dets by proclaiming the J-to represent “Jesus” instead of Julington. It was at this time that the vision began to take shape towards the initiation of the worldwide ministry of J-Dets International. To help facilitate this vision Reverend McClain removed himself from the active administration of Jesus’ Cadets Julington by appointing Reverend Thomas Staples to the position of Commandant (The highest position of a local J-Det Charter). Reverend Samuel Seward became the Vice Commandant, and Reverend James McKenzie would later serve as the Director of Drill and Ceremony International.
April of 2009, the operating manual for the Jesus’ Cadets Council was completed. The Council is the non-uniform side of Jesus’ Cadets and provides general assistance to Troop Operations by managing all of J-Dets resources and equipment. The Council is responsible for managing the budget and clerical responsibilities, thereby relieving the Troop of duties that could be distracting from the primary responsibility. There are ten positions on the Council:
Chief of Council,
Troop Advancement Coordinator,
Camping Logistic Specialist,
Aquatic Guard Specialist,
Outreach Service Specialist,
Troop Activity Coordinator,
Troop Historian Director and
Troop Marketing Specialist
February 6, 2010 was the second celebration/recruitment for Jesus’ Cadets International. Letters were mailed to over fifty churches inviting them to come and view the Jesus’ Cadets program in operation and visit the exhibits and speakers on hand for our 2010 Jamboree celebration. Jacksonville Sheriff Department was a major participant again this year. A full medical team from Naval Air Station Hospital did basic medical screenings. A power point presentation was running concurrently and provided an operational overview of the Jesus’ Cadets International Organization. The cadets demonstrated various skills they have mastered as a result of their training.
Jesus’ Cadets International has recently received its incorporation status. As we continue to move forward, we continue to be prayerful in all that we do, and we thank Him for every Blessing that he has provided for us.