MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- For four years running Camp Lejeune High School’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps has claimed the Naval Honor School Award.
“This is especially a distinct honor for me and the cadets because of our recent start in 2000,” said Joe Valore, retired Marine officer and senior marine instructor for the Marine Corps JROTC.
The award is given to units selected by the 4th Marine Corps district commanding officer for attaining the highest overall rating during the school year. In addition to recognition, it also allows students in the program to apply directly to schools such as the Air Force Academy and United States Military Academy. This can also improve their chances getting into the Naval Academy, said Valore.
I want to go to the Naval Academy and I want to thank the students from last year who put forth the effort for this year’s cadets about to graduate, which in turn can help me get into the academy,” said cadet Capt. Ryan Berger, 17 and student at CLHS.
Camp Lejeune High School’s JROTC program competed against 44 schools in the district for six slots, said Valore. The unit submits a package based on five categories, which is given to the district commanding officer for review.
Twenty percent of the score is based on the annual inspection, which measures the cadets understanding of the inspection process, including how well students grasp the four indicators of leadership; morale, proficiency, spirit de corps and discipline, according to National Honor School selection rules.
“Standing inspections is a regular thing,” said cadet 2nd Lt. Melanie R. Guy, 16, with three years in the program “If you study for your inspections you won’t have a problem, its all about discipline.”
How successful the unit is in maintaining the required cadet enrollment makes up 15 percent of the score.
“We had 85 students in the program last year and have great success with keeping students in the program,” said Valore.
Scholastic achievement and extra curricular events make up 40 percent of the score.
“Our cadets are successful and the numbers speak for it. We had seven Lejeune Scholars, one on the principals list and 12 on the honor role, added Valore.
Community service is the category where our cadets shine, said Valore. Last year 85 students donated 1,120 hours of their time to help the school, the base and the community by doing various things such as painting high school classrooms and assisting with the Toys for Tots program.
“This award just showcases what these students are doing, but the point is that they’re out doing good things and having fun at the same time,” concluded Valore.
The Marine Corps JROTC program helps develop character, leadership, and civic responsibility in tens of thousands of America's youth, according to the Marine Corps JROTC website. Marine Corps JROTC at its essence is a character education program. The program keeps teens in school, helps them find their way during their turbulent teenage years, and assists them in becoming productive members of their community.