Home » Breaking News » JROTC turns out polished cadets

JROTC turns out polished cadets

Members of West Lincoln High School’s Navy Junior ROTC have come a long way since the beginning of the school year, especially when it comes to drill maneuvers.
“They couldn’t even hold (the rifles) when they first got them, but now they’re spinning them up in the air and throwing them over their shoulders,” said retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Karl Jordan.
Members of the ROTC have brought home 11 trophies over the course of the year, despite being a new team.
The awards did not come without effort. ROTC students spent many hours after school practicing their skills.
“It hurts when you get hit with (the rifle), but then you want to do better to show people up,” said Josh Burrell, a ROTC student.
For those not interested in being part of the drill team, the ROTC offered other opportunities such as fund raising, athletics and organizing the Navy Ball.
Catherine Staley a junior, prefers to work as an administrator for the program, rather than with the drill team.
“I don’t like the whole 10 pounds of metal swinging in front of my face,” said Catherine.
She’s so dedicated she even spends her lunch period recording information.
“The whole JROTC; it’s just a blast,” said Catherine. “It’s so much fun.”
Not all students adapted to
the program quite so easily, and some parents also felt resistant to it.
Just like the military, the class emphasizes severe discipline.
“They had to learn you don’t walk in the classroom and give us lip,” said Jordan.
Students who misbehave have often been punished with push ups.
A dress code was strictly followed every Wednesday, and students had to make sure their shoes were shined and uniforms were ironed.
Boys had to give up their earrings, long hair and mohawks.
Even with these restrictions, many students have grown fond of their instructors.
“I think they’re great to work with. They’re flexible,” said Kyle Bostick, a sophomore. “They won’t force you to do anything unless you promise to do it. Then you’re obligated to do it.”
Teachers throughout the school have noticed changes in students involved in the program.
“The teachers comment on how well disciplined these students are,” said Debra Morris, principal of West Lincoln High.
“I’m so proud of these students. I beam every time I’m around them.”
The program’s instructors are also proud of their students performance this year.
“I couldn’t have asked for more,” said retired Coast Guard Chief Bill Shipley.
Of 128 current ROTC students, 98 have signed up to come back into the program.
Some of the students who are graduating this year plan to move on into the military.
“It helped me a lot with my decision,” said Josh who plans to join the Navy or the Marine Corps.
Some day, all of Lincoln County’s high schools may have JROTC programs.
“It is something that has been a high priority on my list,” said Superintendent Jim Watson.by Sarah Grano

You must be logged in to post a comment Login