Local MCJROTC earns distinction
Newton High’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC named Naval Honor Unit, giving cadets a chance at military academies
For the seventh consecutive year, the Newton High School MCJROTC program has earned national distinction as a Naval Honor Unit. This award places NHS in the top 15 percent of the 225 Marine Corps Junior ROTC programs in the nation.
According to Lt. Col. Rick Stanford, selection as an Honor Unit is based on a variety of demanding factors. First, a program must be rated as “Mission Capable” at a bi-annual inspection conducted by higher headquarters. In order to receive that rating the program must meet all of the criteria required by the Marine Corps for continuation as a JROTC program.
In addition, Stanford said the unit’s maintenance of the required number of students in the program is also an important determining factor, as are academic scholarships received by ROTC students, ROTC scholarships and service academy appointments received by cadets, and the number of hours cadets devote to community service activities. The unit is also judged on its participation in local, regional and national competitions for both the drill team and rifle team. Cadet activity in school arts, academics and athletics programs, and the number of cadets earning placement on school honor rolls are some of the other factors reviewed.
Data on each school is collected by the Marine Corps Training and Education Command in Quantico, Va., where each program is evaluated and compared to others in the country. Each summer the top schools are selected for the previous school year and plaques are awarded to the distinguished programs.
“Selection as a Naval Honor Unit gives ROTC cadets an opportunity to pursue an appointment to the Naval Academy, West Point or the Air Force Academy if they so desire,” said Stanford. “In addition to seeking an appointment from of their congressmen, they may be placed on a preferred list of nominees from other Honor Units for further consideration. This additional opportunity can make a difference as to whether or not they are selected to one of the service academies.”
“The NHS MCJROTC is one of the finest programs in the country,” said NHS principal Dr. Roderick Sams. “Their commitment to excellence is second to none and we are so proud to have them as part of the Newton family.”