NJROTC competes, attends events

Dino Frentzas, Staff Reporter

NJROTC has kept busy with trips, inspections, and competitions. The program has performed exceptionally at their competitions and inspections; cadets have learned a lot from their trips.

This month, NJROTC will take part in the Military Ball, which is one of the most anticipated events of the year. It is a formal ball, which requires male cadets to wear their black dress uniforms and female cadets to wear their elegant ball gowns. Typically, there is a “court” that consists of a King, Queen, Duke, Duchess, Prince, Princess, Lord, and Lady. Also, there is a tradition called the “Fines,” which applies to the Cadets who broke a rule or did something memorable during the year. The cadet selected for this tradition may be brought forward during dinner to do a potential “punishment,” which could be to dance or sing for a good laugh. Sponsor Jeff Morse said “The Military Ball for NJROTC marks the camaraderie and the hard work that went into the successful completion of year”

During Spring Break, NJROTC took a trip to Pensacola, Florida. Cadets had a three day STEM immersion experience Cadets stayed overnight in a mock-up aircraft carrier and flew F-35 style simulators.

The unit visited USS Alabama, the air stations flat line, the National Gulf Sea Shore’s civil war forts, and Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. This trip was planned and run by the cadets who were able to apply leadership concepts to plenty of problem solving activities during a sea search and a rescue mission.

NJROTC participated in a drill competition at Great Lakes this March. The competition had three general areas for each school’s drill team to compete in: Drill, Academics and Physical Fitness.

Drill consisted of multiple events: Armed Regulation, Unarmed Regulation, Armed Exhibition, Color Guard and Personnel Inspection Events. Academics was essentially a comprehension test. Physical Fitness tested drill teams on push-ups, sit-ups and relays.

The NJROTC drill team had tough competition with facing schools who had considerably larger teams ranging from 300 to 900 cadets. All in all, NJROTC did very well at the event, placing fourth out of 12 schools. Junior Patrick Merrill said “our unarmed and armed drill team is amazing.” Merrill is impressed with “how the unit can compete with so many other ROTC programs.”

In February, NJROTC participated in the Annual Military Inspection. The inspection is an event NJROTC participates in every year to make sure cadets are maintaining their look and understanding the proper etiquette the program demands.

Cadets are inspected for a hour long of several aspects of NJROTC: marching, making sure uniforms are clean and straight, having the appropriate haircut and shoe shine, placing different pins on the correct locations of cadets uniforms, knowing basic knowledge of the Navy such as its rules and leaders and being asked a number of questions that cadets must prepare for. Senior Ben Faughn said, “We are always anxious to know if we will pass” NJROTC passed their inspections, doing well in all areas that their unit was tested on.