"I have believed and respected what I have been taught from the Word of God pertaining to the wearing of men's apparel. Through the teaching of my pastor and the example of my Godly mother, I have developed my own convictions. All my life I have heard testimonies of saints standing against all odds for what was right and holy in the eyes of God, but never did I think that I would have to fight such a battle.
In my freshman year at A.B. Miller High school in Fontana, California, I joined a NJROTC program. I was excited about the program, and the only problem was that the required uniform for competitions was pants. I could have dropped out, but I loved this program and really wanted to be a part of it. On the wise advice of my mother, I made a simple request. I explained my religious convictions to those in charge, and asked if I could be allowed to wear a skirt instead of the pants. After some deliberation this request was granted. As I was the only girl in ROTC to wear a skirt, my teammates constantly asked why I chose to wear a skirt, and I was not ashamed to tell them.
The final battle started in my sophomore year. An extremely important competition was coming up where all the ROTC teams at my school would be competing. This time I was told that "wearing pants was not an option but it was mandatory!" My team mates asked me to wear the pants this time, but again I said I wouldn't. After some remarks and jokes about my skirt they left me alone, but not so the instructors.
The most senior instructor, Commander Fraser and two others called me in and with solemn faces and words declared that, "unless you wear the pants in that competition and all the following competitions, you will be dropped from the team!" My heart sank to my toes and I felt tiny and alone in the presence of the intimidating instructors. They assured me that they would be glad to talk with my parents and my pastor, so we could all make the right decision.
I nodded numbly and stood, but as I headed for the door I realized that the decision was mine and mine alone to make. I made an about face and respectfully told the three instructors that "although all my convictions and beliefs had been instilled in me by my mother and my pastor, I did not wear the skirts to please them, the convictions were all mine." No discussion was necessary, my decision was made, I would not wear the pants.
As the three instructors looked at each other apprehension filled the room, then came the dire warnings. Commander Fraser said that in light of my final decision on the matter, he had no choice but to drop me from the program. Not only that but that my credits for that class would be revoked and my GPA would be ruined. Though upset, I did not rant and rave about my rights. I quietly thought what he had said, then I lifted my chin and said 'so be it' as I exited the room.
I did not know what happened after I left the room, but somehow in all of it, I knew God's hand was on the situation, for He had brought me through the other years. Evidently these instructors were surprised to see a young person standing up for Biblical values, for two weeks later I was again called in. This time I was told that, not only was I staying in the program, and on the team, but that I had set a new standard for the girls in the program to abide by. Therefore, until I left A.B. Miller NJROTC, all the girls would have to wear skirts!
This summer, I returned to teach the incoming freshmen at the orientation and received a pleasant surprise. I saw in a supply room, a rack full of skirts for the coming year. The Cadet Commander for this year stood behind me and said, "that's your doing, it is because of you those skirts hang on the racks." I smiled at him, but within myself I said, "the skirts are here because God is a good and faithful God. He will not forsake those that love Him."
Many other good things have happened because of this ordeal. I have had many opportunities to witness for the Lord, and as a result, a classmate named Ana Pinchus and her mother Helena Fragaso have come to be baptized in the precious name of Jesus and are seeking God."