MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines are known to lead the way on the battlefield or home front. They set the example and the standard, never asking for recognition or praise in return for the job they do.
Living up to that expectation, Marines with the Staff Non Commissioned Officers Academy were recognized for their service to Cape Fear High School, July 14.
The Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps with the high school presented the SNCOA with a letter of commendation signed by the high school’s principal as well as a plaque for their ‘exceptional loyalty and performance of duty over the years.’
For several years, Marines with the academy have been donating their time to help students with the Navy JROTC during their drill competitions. The Marines served as judges for these events.
“It’s hard to get judges for the events,” said Marissa George, a senior and the cadet commanding officer of Cape Fear High School’s Navy JROTC. “I love it and think its amazing they come out. Marines are the best judges. They take their time to come out to our school and be our judges. Without them we wouldn’t have enough judges and our drill competitions wouldn’t be possible. I’m very thankful for them.”
The high school has two main competitions requiring judges: the Annual Blue and Gold Drill and Academic Competition, and the Navy Area 6 Drill, Academic and Athletic Competition.
“I served 20 years with the Marines,” said Jesse Freeman, retired hospital corpsman and currently the naval science instructor for the school. “I called up the NCO Academy in 1994 for some of their help, and they’ve helped our school ever since. Without the Marines’ support we couldn’t do this, no one else has the expertise they do.”
During the competitions the Marines judged indoor and outdoor events, drill and conducted uniform inspections, much like the uniform inspections Marines are accustomed to.
“Mainly the staff with the Staff NCO Academy participates in judging,” said Master Sgt. John Willis, operations chief with the academy. “We look forward to these events and anytime a high school asks us to do an event, we are more than happy to assist.
It’s a great interaction with the kids.”
Marines train hard to accomplish the mission and do so with professionalism. This is also true when Marines lend a helping hand in the community.
“I think it’s a great thing, Marines are taking their own personal time and helping out these young kids,” said Gunnery Sgt. Rowdy Spuesens, operations chief with the academy aboard Camp Johnson. “It’s a way for them to reach out to their community. They do it because they actually care. It’s definitely a testimony of the Marines who work here and that they are willing to do it, and volunteering is just a small part of what the Marines do.”