RHS NJROTC welcomes new instructor


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Robertsdale High School Naval Junior ROTC welcomed a new instructor for the 2021-22 school year.

First Sgt. Charles G. Aguilar came to RHS on Aug. 2, hired as a long-term substitute as part of a Corporate Fellowship Program, hosted by Hiring Our Heroes.

According to its website, hiringourheroes.org, the organization connects the military community – service members, military spouses and veterans – with American businesses to “create economic opportunity and a strong and diversified workforce.”

Aguilar joins Commander Frank Starr, senior instructor; and Petty Officer Erin Pate following the transition of longtime instructor Petty Officer Edward Theodoro to Gulf Shores High School at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

Upon completion of his internship, he will have the opportunity to be hired by Principal Joe Sharp as a full-time employee.

“This is exactly what I was looking for,” said Aguilar, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California before being recruited by Starr to join the team at RHS. “I believe in Commander Starr. I believe in what he has been able to accomplish here and I share his vision for the future of this program.”

A native of South Texas, the 41-year-old Aguilar joined the Marine Corps his senior year in high school and has served in over 30 countries in his 23-year military career including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“My entire career has been spent in training both foreign and U.S. forces, teaching standard military tactics and leadership traits,” Aguilar said. “I believe in Commander Starr’s vision of training and educating young Americans to good and realistic goals.”

At Robertsdale High School, he has been asked by Starr to lead tactical training and develop a social media presence for the program, which includes approximately 200 cadets from Robertsdale and Elberta high schools.

“I think this is a great program and I believe in what Commander Starr has been able to build on, taking the rifle team to national championships and developing the Orienteering team, taking them to national championships,” he said. “I have been asked to help with the drilling ceremonies and help develop the media program to provide more information on program scholarships and upcoming events.”

The program was recently able to purchase six rifles for its drilling and competition programs and both Starr and Aguilar are looking forward to the addition to the training program.

Aguilar said his family, including wife Tara; two daughters, ages 12 and 13 and a son, who is 16, is currently transitioning between California and Alabama. They are now with family in Missouri with hopes of joining the local school system in the near future.

Throughout his military career, the family has been stationed in North Carolina, Missouri, Japan, Costa Rica and three times in California, Aguilar said.

“My family has experienced many cultures in several different countries, and I believe it will be an easy transition here to Alabama,” he said. “I believe this will be a good place to raise a family.”