Nease NJROTC Annual Military Inspection Successful | Schools
It was a cool but sunny morning on December 2, 2010. A big day for Nease High School as the United States Navy held its Annual Military Inspection and Pass in Review of the Junior Reserve Officer Training program. Each year, high school JROTC’s programs are inspected by the branch of service they represent, as a part of the overall yearly evaluation criteria. There are currently 620 Navy JROTC programs (units) worldwide. The Nease NJROTC program was established in 1993, through a joint effort of St. John’s County School District and the United States Navy. The outstanding cadets of Nease have earned the Distinguished Unit Award for each of the past 16 years and they were the top unit in Area-12 four of the past five years. Nease currently has 203 cadets enrolled in the program.
The day began early in the classroom with Personnel Inspection. Each of the cadets in attendance were inspected by Area-12 Manager, Commander Rusty Hibbard, USN (RET). Cadets were inspected on uniform and personal appearance, hygiene, ability to maintain military bearing (concentration), and basic knowledge of material taught within the NJROTC program. Of the 201 cadets present for inspection, 181 cadets received an Outstanding personal appearance grade, the highest possible.
Following the personal inspection, the cadets gathered at the football stadium for the Annual Dress Parade to formally present themselves to the Commander and the crowd of parents, students and guests. The cadets marched out onto the field in their prospective companies, led by the “Top 6 Battalion Officers”, as the United States Navy Band, Southeast Region played cadence. The Battalion Staff “Top 6” are;
Battalion Commander Cadet Commander Cody Gibbons
Executive Officer Cadet Lieutenant Commander Tyler Moss.
Operations Officer is Cadet Lieutenant Garrison Wetmore
Supply Officer is Cadet Lieutenant James Zapala
Administrative Officer is Cadet Lieutenant J.P Snyder
Battalion Master Chief is Cadet Master Chief Petty Officer Avery Poirier.
The Color Guard presented the colors for the playing of the National Anthem. Once in place, Commander Hibbard conducted a “Troop The Line”. This is a tradition that began years ago as a way for a person of distinction to get a quick overview of the strength of the troops. It was intended as a means to impress the visiting dignitary without taking the time to personally stop at each member of the unit.
Following the Troop The Line, individual awards were handed out to 21 cadets who “stood out” with perfect uniforms and were given special Outstanding Exemplary Personal Appearance. Those receiving the award were; Cadet Chastain, Cadet W. Kohler, Cadet Memory, Cadet DeAguero, Cadet Payne, Cadet A. Curry, Cadet Duncan, Cadet Cooper, Cadet Jackson, Cadet Gainey, Cadet Magana, Cadet Meier, Cadet B. Ziminski, Cadet Ducote, Cadet Thatcher, Cadet Q. Lopez, Cadet Hanson, Cadet Welch, Cadet Doolin, Cadet Sgromo, and Cadet Richardson.
An exhibition performance of the varsity competition Armed and Unarmed Drill Teams delighted the crowds, and Commander Hibbard was heard expressing words of delight.
Commander Hibbard has long been impressed with the program at Nease. As a former Naval Science Instructor at Terry Parker High School, he has seen the program grow and develop over the years. "This program is historically one of the top in the nation, primarily due to the dedication and motivation of the instructors, the talent and motivation of the cadets and the outstanding program support offered by the parents and school administration. If you were looking for the "role model" unit to pattern your program after, this would be the one I would recommend. It is the primary example I used as a Senior Naval Science Instructor...."
Following the Formal Parade, the inspection of the classrooms, supply room, conference room, and record keeping was done as a conclusion to the overall evaluation of the program. “The inspection lasted all day, and the cadets did very well” according to Captain Robert Young, Senior Naval Science Instructor for Nease. Master Chief John Duffy and Gunnery Sergeant Duane Hanson assisted Captain Young in the instruction and guidance of these young men and women.
Commander Hibbard filed his official report with the United States Navy. Of the six categories graded, one was "average", three "above average", and two were "outstanding" with the overall grade of "outstanding." Some of his written comments in the report were:
1) "The AMI at Nease this year continued to reinforce their reputation of excellence. I always expect great things from the cadets at Nease and once again they did not disappoint. This was the best Personnel Inspection I have seen in Area Twelve this year."
2) "The unit has set challenging goals, even for the Nease NJROTC program and based on the pride, camaraderie, and professionalism observed on this visit, I believe they will meet or exceed them all."
3) "(The leadership) sets the standard for integrity and as role models, there are none finer. Winning is important, but it is not more important than academics, family and integrity. Nease has always won with grace and lost with dignity, which is a lesson many could learn from in today's society."