Class. Pride. Heart.

Class. Pride. Heart.

Beloved NJROTC Instructor Departs from Flour Bluff ISD
Serrinity Beasley and SH1 Robey (Isabella Skinner)

On Thursday, September 7, SH1 Steven Robey, commonly known as Petty Officer, spent his final full day at Flour Bluff ISD after eight years of service to the NJROTC program. Robey is going to work at another high school JROTC program in the greater Houston area. 

“I have a heavy heart. You know, Flour Bluff has meant a lot to me and so it is with a heavy heart and it’s bittersweet. Flour Bluff has been a home. I feel like an uncle to help raise hundreds of kids that come through here and mentor and talk to them. It’s tough. It’s probably the toughest thing that I’ve had to do in my adult life. 

“I honestly love and am going to miss the everyday interactions with the classes themselves. Being in the classes, first to eighth period. I had fun with the teams and stuff like that, but it’s being with all the cadets in the classes. You know, watching them grow from freshmen to seniors and moving on to bigger and better things. It’s seeing that. It’s seeing their growth and involvement. Seeing them laugh and giggle, so I think that’s the thing I’m gonna miss the most.

“Every single year, every single day, I learn something new. So I know it’s our position to help mentor and guide and mold these kids into future leaders and for them to be successful in whatever they do here. I couldn’t be more thankful to come to a place like this for the first time as an ROTC instructor because I am the instructor I am today because of all the cadets and what they’ve taught me on a daily basis. So I’m extremely thankful, I couldn’t be more appreciative and thankful, to our school principals, the school board members, the community. You couldn’t ask for a better community. When something needs to get done, the community answers.

Juliana Diuguid

“To tell you one thing, I’m not excited to see Flour Bluff on the drill deck. I understand and know what you guys bring to the table. I’m excited to see Flour Bluff, but I’m not excited to compete against Flour Bluff. Thats how good Flour Bluff is. I’m up for the challenge. 

“From CDR Solis giving me the opportunity to be here, he’s the one that hired me, I’m definitely thankful to him. CDR Hughen mentoring me for the last six years and Senior Chief Tirado being there every step of the way with me and building that work relationship and that bond together, I’m thankful for them. I’m thankful to all the other ROTC instructors—Beth, Chief; I learned a lot from everybody. I’m going to use everything I learned here and hopefully make a difference for somebody else,” said Robey.

The influence that he gave to the students in the NJROTC program led to some very disappointed but understanding cadets.

“He was the reason a lot of us came to the unit. It’s going to be rough losing him, but the cadets getting him are very lucky to have him as an instructor,” said senior Cassandra Gutierrez.

Robey joined the unit eight years ago, to prepare for the departure of CDR Armando Solis, who went into retirement one year later. The students under Robey’s coaching have benefited from his leadership and his ability to be there for his students.

“He was the support beams for all of the teams. The way he was able to connect with all of the cadets was what motivated us to show him that he was right for believing in us. Although I already graduated, I’m still emotional knowing that he’s moving out of the Bluff. Whatever school gets him next is lucky. I know those cadets will have the time of their lives,” said Class of 2023 graduate Estrella Reyna. 

After joining the unit, Robey went on to coach the Armed Drill team, the SeaDevils, and the Physical Training team, the SeaPhantoms. Robey’s coaching and leadership went beyond the training pavilion. 

“After being apart of the unit for 4 years now, Petty Officer Robey has made a huge impact on my life. He is an amazing coach, teacher, and mentor. He is always here for us when we need someone to talk to and has helped me through tough times. He was the person who supported me when I didn’t know what to do and always helped me stay positive, often like a father to me. He has made such a huge impact on the unit, the teams, and people in ROTC. It’s going to be really tough not having him around anymore and we’re going to miss him. Thank you, Petty Officer, for everything you’ve done for us. We will miss you!” said senior and SeaDevil commander Hannah Holbrooks.

Row 1: SH1 Steven Robey; 
Row 2: Izabella Perez, Celeste Lindquist; 
Row 3: Isabella Skinner, Kailey Parks (SH1 Steven Robey)

Robey also formed connections with Unarmed Drill team, the SeaHawks, helping them compete and showing the true meaning of a leader when the girls were in a transitional period.

“Petty Officer is the person anybody can go to for anything. He is the type of instructor who cares about the mental and physical health of his cadets and who can give the best kind of comfort in any given situation.  His calming and relaxed attitude is something this unit will deeply miss as there was no stress in a situation he knew he could handle. From being the coach of teams to even being the presenter of most in-class presentations, Petty Officer made sure everything ran smoothly and he played the biggest role for most of us Seahawks as an inspiration who we can look forward to gaining strength from,” said sophomore Mia Camila Anderson-Corbo.

Robey got close to the Academics team, the SeaMonkeys, as he showed that he believed in them when they may have felt under appreciated in the program.

“Petty Officer was the reason many people entered the program, and also the reason they toughed it out through the more challenging times during the years. I myself have only been a part of this program for a little over a year, but I have witnessed the familial bond between the people in the program countless times. That kind of familial bond bridged the gap for a good amount of cadets who did not have that in their personal lives. Petty Officer fostered that for so many individuals, and set them on the path for success. He served this community, this school, and this JROTC’s cadets beyond what he was required. For that, I will be forever grateful to the biggest Philadelphia Eagles fan I know,” said the SeaMonkeys Commander, sophomore Fernanda Mendoza.

While Robey meant a lot to his students, he had shown time and time again that he was a pleasure to work with. The staff members will also miss him and will feel his loss tremendously.

“Petty Officer Robey has been a constant role model to all the FB NJROTC Cadets.  His self driven personality and charismatic charm has touched every single student and teacher at the Bluff.  The intrusiveness approach he displayed navigated the path for many students for the past seven years into accredited colleges, professional careers and an array of branches of the Armed Services.  We were so lucky to have his mentorship during his tenure with the NJROTC Sea Hornets.  Want to wish him ‘Fair Winds and Following Seas’,” said SCPO William Tirado, who arrived at the program the same year that Robey did and shared a close bond with him as instructors together.

Robey has left a lasting impression on the students he’s coached and the people he’s encountered at FBHS and he will be dearly missed by current students and graduates alike.

He served this community, this school, and this JROTC’s cadets beyond what he was required. For that, I will be forever grateful to the biggest Philadelphia Eagles fan I know.

— Fernanda Mendoza, freshman

“Petty Officer Robey had a big impact on a lot of the cadets in the program. He’s had a significant impact on me as well as some of the other graduates and he’s definitely been a huge inspiration as well as an amazing coach. He will definitely be missed and has left his mark on the unit. we all wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Class of 2023 graduate Loreto Tobias.

The impact that Robey had on his students has helped many of them get through tough times. He displayed empathy for his team members and went the extra mile to make them feel seen.

“All I have to say about Petty Officer is that on top of being an amazing coach, he’s also a great mentor, father, friend, and inspiration to everyone he meets. His dedication to his family and team is unbelievable and inspires me to be more like that. He has helped me to succeed and achieve great things, and I cannot thank him enough,” said Class of 2023 graduate Allan Ramirez.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Skinner, Editor-in-Chief
Isabella Skinner is a senior at Flour Bluff High School. She is the Editor-in-Chief and it is her third year in the program. She is in ROTC and frequently goes to competitions with them. She is in the Spanish Honor Society and dances for the Corpus Christi Ballet. Her favorite color is pink and she enjoys reading and writing. She plans to attend Texas State University or Texas A&M after graduation.