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Column: A Look at ROTC

Photo by: Bryanna White

As soon as the first week of school had begun, the new Naval Science 1 (NS1) cadets in the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program at Riverview got a taste of what they signed up for.

NS1 cadets are in Retired Master Sergeant (MSgt) Milton Clifton’s classroom. They learn the customs and courtesies of the NJROTC, the 11 Leadership Principles, the 11 Orders of the Sentry, basic drill, uniform requirements, grooming standards, and military bearing; all in preparation for the Annual Inspection on Oct. 24, 2018. As Clifton barked orders, the new NS1 cadets hastily obeyed, and the NS2’s to NS4’s proved to be a prime example for the NS1’s. They demonstrated marching in formation and performing drill movements that the new cadets must learn before the Inspection.

“The program is really just about learning how to function as a team,” says Alejandro Feliciano, a senior-ranking cadet in the program. “If you cannot act together as a battalion, or a company, or even just a squad, nothing can be done.”

Many different cadets have different reasons for joining the ranks of the Navy JROTC. Some look for the honor and discipline involved with the program. Others join because they desire to go into the military once they’ve graduated, or they long to belong to the brotherhood. Luckily, word has gotten around about the Navy JROTC program here at Riverview High, and the Shark Battalion grows in number every day.

“I was told about the program by Master Sergeant’s granddaughter, and then Master Sergeant himself. I wanted to join because it’s fun to me, and I like the sense of teamwork and belonging involved in the program,” says cadet Kaelin Curtis. “In the JROTC, I hope I can see myself becoming the Commanding Officer, or joining the Armed Exhibition Team.”

“The Navy JROTC program here at Riverview is meant to instill the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and sense of accomplishment among its cadets,” says Retired Lieutenant Thomas Clark, the Senior Naval Science Instructor for the program. “I served in the United States Navy for 22 years, and I joined the program here at Riverview because I believe in school and youth programs. The JROTC program here is a mix of those two.”

One thing is for certain about the NJROTC program and the cadets within its ranks, and the instructors who teach it- there is a brotherhood in these ranks, and the team is functioning properly.

Photo by : Bryanna White

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