Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pocomoke High's JROTC makes a mark

Way to go Pocomoke High!!

Sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across America, the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) seeks to instill the values of "citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment." Pocomoke and Snow Hill high schools offer students the Marine Corps JROTC program, while Stephen Decatur High School offers students the Navy JROTC program.

Based on performance indicators measured from the 2008-2009 school year, Pocomoke and Snow Hill high schools were recently selected as Naval Honor Schools by the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command, based in Quantico, Va. This is the fifth time in the last six years that Pocomoke High School has earned this distinction, which signifies that Pocomoke's Marine Corps JROTC unit has been competitively selected as one of the top-rated Junior ROTC units in the country.

Selection criteria for this prestigious award fall into two categories: student achievement and participation, and instructor performance of duty. The student category includes such things as the academic performance of the cadets; participation rates in high school athletics and student government; total hours of community service performed; membership in school clubs; and involvement in extracurricular JROTC activities (physical fitness, marksmanship, and drill competitions). Also included in the selection criteria is the score achieved on the unit's annual inspection. In the instructor category, schools are evaluated on a variety of performance indicators, which include the timely submission of required reports.

Only about 10 percent of our nation's 231 Marine Corps JROTC units receive the Naval Honor School award each year. We are very proud of our cadets for their commitment to the principles and values of the Marine Corps JROTC program and to their service in our community.

Extracurricular JROTC activities are an important component to the JROTC experience. One of the activities in which Pocomoke High School's Marine Corps JROTC cadets can participate is the Marksmanship Team. The Marksmanship Team has recently concluded a very successful season.

At the 13th annual Worcester County JROTC Marksmanship Championship competition, Pocomoke High School's team won the event. The championship match pitted the top four pellet rifle shooters from each of our high schools against the other participating high school teams. Out of a possible 1,200 points, Pocomoke High School had the winning score of 912, with Stephen Decatur High School finishing second with a score of 881. The match's high shooter was Pocomoke High School 11th-grader Travis Cain, with an individual score of 241. Stephen Decatur High School senior Jorge Alberto had the second highest individual score of 230.

In January, the Pocomoke team also won the DelMar Junior ROTC Marksmanship League championship with an undefeated season record of 12 wins and no losses. This league is comprised of four Maryland high school teams (Crisfield, Pocomoke, Snow Hill, and Stephen Decatur) and three southern Delaware high school teams (Seaford, Indian River and Cape Henlopen). Pocomoke's Marksmanship Team members are Nick Jones (Grade 11), Travis Cain (Grade 11), Josh Vaughn (Grade 11), and Troy Waidner (Grade 10).

If you have questions about the Marine Corps JROTC program offered at Pocomoke High School, you may call me at 410-632-5180, or contact Dr. Joshua Fradel, coordinator of social studies and the JROTC Programs, at 410-632-5043 for more system-wide information.

Siegel is a Marine Corps JROTC instructor at Pocomoke High School.

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