Even though almost all of my batchmates and even some of my teachers loathe our Citizenship Advancement Training, I find it really important and purposeful. Citizenship Advancement Training, or simply C.A.T., is a mode of educating 4th year high school students the basic military drills, commands and discipline. It aims to instill patriotism among the youth and enhance students’ ability to uphold law and order as they also become active in participating in various community activities. It may sound easy but it’s actually a hassle and that’s why lots of students complain. Yet I’m not one of those narrow-minded teenagers.
C.A.T. provides stamina-building. The program doesn’t only tackle patriotic or nationalistic lectures and community service but also rigorous physical trainings and that’s the main reason why my friends grumble whenever they hear something related to C.A.T. We have physical trainings, or what we call PT’s, once a week. Enduring tons of workout sets for two hours is one thing. The other is the minimum run of three laps after the workout and the more laps you run, the more merits you get and who wouldn’t want more merits, right? Almost half of the batch even cut PT’s because they say that it’s better to gain demerits than to suffer like that but it’s the other way around for me. I’m a basketball varsity player so the PT’s benefit me a lot. My coach even told me that I happened to be faster and stronger than before! You wouldn’t contradict me if I say being physically fit and receiving compliments from my coach are the best perks of this program.
C.A.T. implements discipline. It made me take orders from the authority more seriously than before. We’re not supposed to talk or laugh during our meetings but I burst out laughing because of a friend one time. The officers didn’t punish me but they made all of my classmates do 50 pushups and let me just stand there to watch. I learned my lesson. On that same month, I attended a youth camp wherein I stood out and earned many prizes because I followed every order they gave me without missing any detail and I thank C.A.T. for that. One wrong move equals one demerit which is a minus from our final grade and if one exceeds 24 demerits, he/she will have to repeat the subject and therefore won’t be able to graduate on time. On the first day of C.A.T., I forgot to bring the most important parts of my uniform and they didn’t only make me do 50 squats but also charged me four demerits for being so irresponsible. Three weeks after, I passed my monthly report just three minutes late and my commanding officer didn’t accept it, one missed paper is equivalent to eight humungous demerits. The thought of not finishing high school on time taunted me and made me better… I even became the model C.A.T. student for the second semester!
Graduating high school students take up Citizenship Advancement Training mainly because our country needs reserves in case there would be a war. I hear the one-week-long initiation for the Blue Babble Battalion is dreadfully tough but I believe I could surpass that because I am already tough. My future papers will be done as soon as my professor (or boss when I get a job) gives it and will be passed not on time but hours before the deadline because I already know the consequences. Being strong and being disciplined are the main goals C.A.T. has to implant us but I have acquired more knowledge than that. It prepared me for the real thing outside high school.