A former West Lincoln High School student just graduated from the Citadel. When Logan Scronce, who grew up in Vale, first went to the Citadel on an ROTC field trip, he texted his mother and told her that this was where he wanted to go. Through hard work and dedication, he got his wish and started at the prestigious military academy in 2017 receiving a $180,000 scholarship to study mechanical engineering.
Scronce started in the Jr. ROTC at West Lincoln because he knew he wanted to enter the military and knew the ROTC would prepare him for that. Fast forward to 2021 and he graduates from the Citadel and is now headed to Goose Creek, S.C. to be commissioned on a nuclear submarine as an Ensign Officer. He’ll start training in June at the nuclear power school.
“It is everything I imagined it’d be and more,” he said. “It was challenging, but luckily I had family and community for support. I made a lot of lifelong friends.”
Scronce was selected to be a part of the submarine community. Each student puts in their preferences, and they’re assigned where they’re needed. This was his third choice, but he’s happy with the assignment.
“All I wanted was to be in the Navy, it didn’t matter what I was doing as long as I was serving,” he said. “I’ve heard that the submarine community is very rewarding and challenging so I’m excited to be a part of it to see what it has in store for me.”
Schronce also served on the regimental band all four years and as the regimental drum major his senior year.
While Scronce was in ROTC at West Lincoln, it was under the leadership of Lt. Cmdr. Ross Maggard and Gunnery Sgt. Joseph “Gunny” Burton. Scronce asked Burton if he’d be present at his commissioning ceremony to present Scronce with his first salute as a naval officer.
“It felt good after all the years of Gunny’s support that he was there when I finally hit that milestone and earned the commission,” he said. “I know a lot of people can’t find someone memorable to give them their first support. I’m glad Gunny could be there given he’s been there since the first thought of being in the Navy came to me.”
Burton taught at West Lincoln High School from 2007 to 2019 and is now teaching at New Bern High School because his wife wanted to live near the beach. Maggard retired in 2018.
“I shared the pictures from Logan’s graduation from the Citadel and I told my cadets that with hard work, they could go to college,” he said. “Money shouldn’t be an excuse. There’s a way to go. I told them I remembered Logan as a baby-faced freshman. While he was in high school, he was on the band, in ROTC and maintained high grades the whole time. It was a huge honor to be there to give him his first salute. Sometimes you wonder if you’re making a difference and then lo and behold, someone calls you up and asks you to do this for them. I’m very proud of Logan.”
ROTC gives members life experiences that they’re not going to get in English, math or other subjects, Burton added.
“It’s a family atmosphere and teamwork,” he said. “We’re here to give back not only to our school but our community. It’s a lot of the intangibles in life like self-discipline and self-confidence, that other classes aren’t necessarily going to teach. It’s one of those courses that exposes the kids to other things like no other class will. They get a well-rounded view of other opportunities in life. I hold them accountable too. I let them know in the beginning it’s not like any other class. Not only are we going to have school rules, but ROTC is based off the military and there’s certain rules and regulations that we need to follow. I hold them to that. It helps a lot of them out.”
Scronce now has a five-year commitment to be in the Navy and he’s undecided how much longer he’ll remain in service.