The Navy Junior ROTC will try to earn another series of successes in the coming school year after taking the top spots in academic competitions this spring.
The group placed first in the academic field and second in the overall competition held in North Rockland, N.Y. This performance qualified them for the Area 4 Championship in Middletown, N.Y. Here, the NJROTC took first place.
“It’s a first time we’ve been to a championship in a 10-year existence,” said Commander Ted Ward, retired.
The five members of the academic team will all be returning for the 2012-2013 school year. They are incoming seniors Liam Greene, Tom Glavan, Will Keating, and David Wood and incoming junior Caleb Jackson.
The NJROTC, an elective offered to students at and the since the 2002-2003 school year, includes about 80 students. Ward described it as a “leadership and citizenship development program” built around military organization. The elective studies the history of the United States as well as the Navy, and includes segments on science, technology, leadership, and motivation. It also includes activities such as military drills, marches, and community service.
The first competition included a total of 13 schools. In addition to placing first in academics, New London also took the top honors in uniform inspection and the uniformed drill.
Senior Chief Brian Smith, retired, said he was “elated” with the results. However, it also meant the students had to raise money for the trip to the championship and practice for the event.
“It was bittersweet, because we knew we had a lot of work to do,” said Smith.
The championship brought together schools from New England as well as Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Although there is a national championship as well, the New London organization does not compete beyond the regional championship.
Smith said he hopes the organization has been influential with the students, noting that the had two students accepted to the and a third accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ward said there were several active juniors in the NJROTC in the past school year.
“We should have a very good team next year,” he said.
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