Pictured: Zachary Masuyama, 2022-2023 Hilo High School JROTC Battalion Commander.
By Jasmine Heaster
HILO HIGH, BIG ISLAND - Appointed Battalion Commander in May of 2022, Zachary Masuyama has always prioritized JROTC. The position of Battalion Commander isn’t a simple one; working all around the clock, Zach serves his corps passionately. To really live a day in his combat boots, KVIKS followed Zach around for a day.
Pictured left to right, Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Darrius Powell, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Masuyama, and Cadet Captain Kayden Yoshimura.
A typical Wednesday starts off at 8:00 AM, where Zach and a few cadets gather at the front of the school to prepare and raise the flag. Once reveille plays, a lively trumpet melody, the boys can raise the flag and then stand by saluting towards it. Once the sound stops, they all go off to their respective classes. This morning routine occurs daily.
Zachary in his period 2, Psych 100 class presenting.
Zach attends his classes as usual right after, with his college Psychology 100 being first.
“JROTC is all about building students to become better citizens. Responsibility is a key aspect in that goal. One of the ways I keep myself responsible is by taking full accountability for my academics.” - Zachary Masuyama
Since grade school, Zach has pushed himself academically and has held himself to a 4.0 standard, striving for A’s all across the board. By focusing on his academics, Zach is able to transfer the valuable skills he learned to JROTC work.
Zach drinking water.
“One of the key things I do during my day is to try to stay hydrated. Water is the most important thing you can pick up in the morning.” -Zachary Masuyama
Zach and other JROTC members having a weekly lunch meeting together.
Lunch is here already and it’s time for Zach to lead the weekly JROTC command and staff meeting. For the meeting, everyone wears their uniforms on Wednesday. During the meeting, they discuss the duties of each staff member for the rest of the week. This week, they discussed future fundraisers and making sure everyone keeps their work up to date. Everyone takes their turn speaking and updating their fellow JROTC members.
To end the meeting, the corps members salute.
Right after the meeting, the JROTC work does not stop. Zach sets up for his period 6 JROTC class where he coaches and supervises the new class leader in physical readiness training (PRT).
Once the bell rings for the end of school, Zach is still not finished. Wednesdays are staff work days, where the staff come back to the JROTC building and complete the tasks they discussed at the meeting.
Finally, 3 PM rolls around and everyone is relieved of their duties for the day.
“The JROTC program is an essential part of Hilo High School. It teaches hundreds of students the values of hard work, and discipline, and leadership, propelling them to become better citizens.” -Zachary Masuyama
Zach pictured with his beloved Big Mac.
To end his day, Zachary typically likes to stop by McDonalds’, his “favorite place in the world.”
I tried to get one last quote from him, but Zach was busy watching his favorite musical: Hamilton.
“I hope that.. I hope that…. Alexander Hamilton….HEY, HEY, HEY.” -Zachary Masuyama
Zachary breaks out into song.
That was a day in the life in Battalion Commander Zachary Masuyama’s combat boots.
Jasmine Heaster at KVIKS News Team signing out.