Lejeune High School students earn Naval honors for 3rd year in a row

15 Aug 2005 | Lance Cpl. Drew W. Barker

The Lejeune High School U.S. Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program has been designated a JROTC Naval Honor School in recognition of their outstanding achievements and progress made through the program during the 2004-5 school year.

“Only ten percent of JROTC units earn this award each year,” said retired Lt. Col. Joseph Valore, the unit’s senior Marine instructor. “It’s a big deal for the students to be recognized as a Naval Honor School, it gives them something to show for all their hard work, also military academies will set aside enrollment slots for honor school cadets.”

The award is given to programs after members of a formal board determine NHS designations based on thoroughly documented submission packages, which include an annual inspection, unit participation, cadet citizenship, scholastic achievement and extra curricular events, according to Valore.

“Winning the award means a lot to me,” said Cadet Cpl. Symone Mercado, a sophomore at Lejeune High School. “It a source of pride for all of us cadets, the school and even our community.”

The Lejeune JROTC program, which has earned the NHS title for the third year consecutively, educates students in a wide variety of military subjects including leadership, drill and ceremony, marksmanship, military organization, history and skills, as well as training in physical fitness and health. The program also provides the opportunity for cadets to become actively involved in their communities and compete against other JROTC units around the state in contests that test the students on the program’s curriculum.

“I loved going to the meets,” said Cadet Pfc. Asia Moore, a sophomore at Lejeune High School. “We were always one of the smallest units, but we always tried our best and did really well.”

Although structured around military subjects and teachings, the program does not pressure cadets to join the U.S. Armed Forces.

The mission of the JROTC program is to develop informed and productive citizens, strengthen character by the teaching of discipline, and develop an understanding and appreciation of the responsibilities of citizenship, according to the course syllabus.

“This award is just a credit to the cadets for a mission accomplished,” said Valore. “It is purely a reflection of their hard work and dedication to the program.”