Recap of the NJROTC 2016-2017 year, with Cadet/PO3 Andrew Clark

“This year for the NRHS NJROTC unit has been an eventful year as always. Ever since day one of the school year, all cadets have been put to work helping both the unit and the community while balancing school work at the same time. Even during the summer of 2016 the 4 day Summer academy program was put into place where new incoming freshman cadets were trained to be the best they can while trying to have a step ahead of everyone else before the school year starts. These freshmen were taught the basics from standing at attention to looking sharp and squared away in their uniforms while having PT added in throughout the days. They were taught the back bone of JROTC, drill and marching. At the end of the program new cadets were given an award ceremony with the distribution of medals and rockers.

Once the school year kicked off a handful of freshman cadets and most sophomores were sent to Camp Natural Bridge in West Point’s Training Area for four days from Thursday, the 22nd of September and ended on Sunday the 25th. Multiple schools across the east coast were sent to West Point all for this intensive program. More than 600 individual cadets were taught to act as one full team. They would wake up at 5am every morning starting off with basic physical training and then working more and more throughout the day while being instructed by sergeants and petty officers from multiple branches of the military. Cadets participated in multiple strenuous activities like obstacle courses which involves climbing walls and crawling under barbed wire while being motivated by their other peers. At the end of the four days on the 25th a graduation ceremony with a pass and review (parade) was held including the newly trained cadets, cadet aids, and drill instructors.

In JROTC our goal is to aid both the unit as a team and the community around us. So LCDR Billy Babcock ,our commanding officer, gathered the whole unit on December 5th to do an all hands clean up around the district’s schools, earning us community service hours as a unit and a good outlook from the people around us. Everyone in the unit took trips to the multiple schools in the district, cleaning up all of the trash scattered around the fields making the area look a bit nicer. This year handfuls of cadets took the time out of their holidays by instead of spending time with their family and friends during Thanksgiving and Christmas day, they volunteered their time. These cadets spent their day giving back to the needy in the community by distributing plates upon plates of food and gifts for the children on Christmas day. None of them wanted anything in return except the satisfaction of helping others.

Near christmas the whole unit was asked to get together again to help out the people around them but this time the event was much more personal for some. We all went to West Point’s cemetery to pay respects to the fallen soldiers who have defended this country of ours. We all participated in the this year’s Wreaths across America event where volunteers would place wreaths upon the tombstones of fallen soldiers and pay their respects.     

During the month of November two drill meets were held that North Rockland was involved in, Washingtonville High School held in Washingtonville NY and Bethel High School held in Bethel CT. In Washingtonville the unit is an Army based unit apposed to the Navy unit North Rockland is based around meaning we had to adapt to the Army way of marching and commands. The Sea Raiders dominated at Washingtonville even though the tough restrictions, taking home multiple awards like 1st place in upperclass Color Guard and 1st place in Overall unit, beating out the more than 8 schools in other competitions. A few weeks later in the same month the Bethel Drill meet was taking place in Connecticut where many schools again across the east coast gathered to compete for a chance to qualify for the Area 4 drill competition taking later in the school year. In the end North Rockland didn’t perform as well as in Washingtonville but still had a good come out in 3rd overall school and 1st freshman color guard meaning a great way to end 2016.

In the upcoming 2017 year, the sea raiders knew it was “go time”. Now with the Area 4 drill meet coming up that was being held here in North Rockland in February. Also the quickly upcoming AMI (Area Manager’s Inspection) was right around the corner. During the Area 4 drill meet which took place on February 11th, about 7 other schools came to North Rockland to compete for the chance to fly down to Florida for the JROTC national championship. Area 4 is just like every other drill meet that we attended this year but instead retired CDR Jimmie Miller the Area 4 manager visited the school to present the awards to each individual school.

At the beginning of march the AMI took place where a either in service or retired military personnel comes to inspect the whole unit from the individual cadets and their uniforms, to the tedious paperwork that needs to be filed. The cadets prepared for this inspection that could either make or break the unit up all together. So the area 4 manager, CDR Jimmie Miller, came back to do this strenuous inspection. Each cadet was inspected based on their appearance from the exact measurements on their uniform for their ribbons and devices, to if they could memorize basic military questions, they were given a grade from outstanding where you would earn a ribbon to reinspect. After the inspection was completed a ceremony was held where parents could see the whole unit in one place. CDR Miller soon chose a platoon at random to run through a drill card where they were graded in the end and added into the total unit inspection score. Throughout the day CDR Miller looked through the individual cadet paperwork and more as well as inspecting the whole cadet staff like CO and XO to the logistic jobs. In the end of the day the unit passed with excellence.

This year the Sea Prch Team was established once again after four year. The team was built from the ground up, and commanded by our unit’s Executive Officer LT/ Janna White. Sea Perch is a unique program not just ran in rotc programs but also in middle school and high school as extra curricular activities where students or cadets build and construct from scratch underwater crafts. These craft take long, tedious hours at a time to build using small kits provided and your creativity to make the “perfect” craft. From soldering to drill to cutting and crafting, these cadets put all they could to make these submersibles as nimble and controllable as possible. At the end of the year a handful of NRHS cadets drove to Plainville High School located in Connecticut to race and perform demanding  tasks with their craft. Sadly the Sea Raiders didn’t bring home any trophies this year but it was a learning experience for everyone, hopefully next year we can dominate.           

A few days later after the AMI, the next and final drill meet of the year was held at Sterling HS in New Jersey. Just like every other drill meet North Rockland came and tried their best to be they can be as a team. We competed in events like freshman and upperclassmen color guard, armed and unarmed platoon, inspection, and more. In the end we came home with 7 trophies and a successful drill season.

The North Rockland High School NJROTC unit put all they could into this year. They accomplished many nearly impossible tasks and worked as a team in the process despite some of the challenges and setbacks. Congrats to everything we’ve done this school year.” 



-Cadet/PO3 Andrew Clark






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Recap of the NJROTC 2016-2017 year, with Cadet/PO3 Andrew Clark