SHS senior meets Eagle requirement with flagpole project

SHS JROTC instructor Sgt. Maj. Larry D. Daniels, left, and Cadet Sgt. Maj. Javan Collins raise the U.S. flag on a new pole Collins installed as his Eagle Scout Service project. ( Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Staff Writer

A Starkville High School student recently completed a service project combining the two organizations he loves most.

Senior Javan Collins completed his Eagle Scout service project by placing a flagpole in front of the Yellow Jacket Battalion Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Building
at SHS. Collins is both a member of Scouts BSA Troop 45 in Starkville and a cadet Sgt. Maj. in the Yellow Jacket Battalion.

“Today was the first raising of the American flag on my flagpole, which I made for my Eagle Scout project,” Collins said. “I put it in front of theJROTC building, because JROTC and Boy Scouts have both affected mea lot in my life so far.”

Collins said from the project’s conception to the flagpole going in took close to a year of work, including more than six months to receive approval rom the school board. He also said it was difficult to find a flagpole sized to 15 feet.

“The whole thing was a really good experience,” Collins said.

After graduating in May 2019, Collins will attend U.S. Army basic training in South Carolina, and attend Mississippi State University as an aerospace engineering major. He will be a cadet in the MSU Army ROTC Battalion, and serve the Mississippi Army National Guard as a pilot after graduation.

“It was a great dedication for this program to have this flag directly in front of the building,” said SHS JROTC instructor Sgt. Maj. Larry D. Daniels. “It will kind of give us a sense of importance, and for Collins to come up with the idea of dedicating that flagpole. It’s tremendous. It’s a great idea.”

Daniels said Collins was a model cadet and a good student.

“If Boy Scouts is any kind of reflection of what he’s doing in the JROTC program, he’s exceptional,” Daniels said. “He’s been in the program for four years, which is very rare for kids to stay in the program for four years.”

Troop 45 Scoutmaster Jason Tiffin described Collins’ time in Scouting. He said Collins had served in several troop leadership positions over the years.

“He’s obviously committed to Scouting, as well as to the JROTC, and it’s nice that he was able to kind of bring those two together for his project, with it benefiting JROTC as well,” Tiffin said. “I’m really proud of that and what he was able to accomplish. Obviously he’s well on his way to what seems to be a great military career.”

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank in Scouting. Only four percent of all Scouts will meet the requirements for the rank