The first semester has very busy and productive for the Ramona High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC).
Students in the school’s NJROTC completed their Area Manager Inspection on Dec. 3. The unit is inspected by the Navy during the annual event and the results are forwarded to NJROTC Headquarters at Pensacola, Fl. The inspector was Commander Pat Tierney, a retired Naval aviator and Naval Academy Blue and Gold officer who is a Ramona resident. The day consisted of a personnel inspection of all 100 cadets, a Pass in Review, cadet staff briefing, and a walk-around inspection of all the unit spaces.
The cadets were well prepared for the personnel inspection, with 33 cadets receiving outstanding. They were awarded the exemplary personal appearance ribbon.
Upon completion of the personnel inspection, the unit formed up in the stadium for the Pass in Review, a long-standing military tradition that began as a way for a newly assigned commander to inspect his troops. It is also used to honor guests. The program consisted of the presentation of colors and national anthem and the reading of Ramona’s heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, presented by Cadet Sabrina O’Gwynn.
Armed Basic Drill team members, commanded by Cadet Lawren Richardson, performed their competition routine, followed by the presentation of awards to the outstanding cadets. Marching to the drum cadence by Ramona High School Royal Alliance Marching Band members Dylan Nowakowski, Daniel Bustamante, and Rick Faaborg, Commander Tierney was able to view the cadets as they marched in platoon formation led by the senior staff, Cadet Commanding Officer Amanda Robershaw, Cadet Executive Officer Sabrina O’Gwynn, Cadet Operations Officer Lawren Richardson and Cadet Command Master Chief Janyce VanCamp. In the end, Commander Tierney recognized First Platoon, led by cadet James Dicataldo, as honor platoon.
The next phase of the inspection was the staff briefing and inspection of the unit spaces. Commanding Officer Cadet Lieutenant Commander Amanda Robershaw, Executive Officer Cadet Lieutenant Sabrina O’Gwynn, Operations Officer Cadet Lieutenant Junior Grade Lawren Richardson, Command Senior Chief Cadet Senior Chief Janyce VanCamp, Administration Officer Cadet Chief Petty Officer Erica Ellis, Supply Officer Cadet Petty Officer First Class Kelsey Perry and Public Affairs Officer Cadet Petty Officer Second Class Paul Loska presented a brief to the inspecting officer and effectively expressed the plans and goals for the unit. This brief was prepared and presented by the cadets.
Following the brief, Commander Tiereny inspected classrooms, supply and armory. He commented that the brief was well-executed and he was very impressed with the unit’s staff, goals, and achievements.
Over Thanksgiving break, the cadets had a chance to visit the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group at NAB Coronado and learn about the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles and ride in the multi-million dollar simulator. The USS Midway was next on the agenda that day, and where they had a chance to see what it is like aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier.
On Nov. 8, NJROTC competed in a drill meet on the UCLA campus. The drill meet consisted of Armed and Unarmed drill routines, sit-ups, push-ups, 16-by-100-yard relay, 8-by-220-yard relay, personnel inspection, Color Guard routine, and academics. The unit came home with a third place in push-ups, second place in sit-ups, and second place overall in physical fitness. Cadet Kelsey Perry finished second in sit-ups out of 128 females. Cadet Erica Ellis finished fifth overall in academics out of 240 participating cadets. It was a good day and a great effort by all, said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Ernst, one of RHS NJROTC’s two instructors.
On Oct. 24-26, NJROTC sent 15 cadets to Basic Leadership Training at Santa Ana High School in Santa Ana, Calif. Basic Leadership Training is a controlled environment that introduces first year cadets to the challenges of leadership.
The purpose of this program is to give cadets the training they need to take on leadership and subordinate roles in their respective units. Cadets are trained in the areas of drill, physical training, and personnel inspection procedures. Participating cadets were Courtney McAdoo, Brandon Walsh, Lee Whittlesey, Tanner Riches, Justin Sebenuis, Ted Dean, Cynthia Rodriguez, Adam Kuebler, Elizabeth Huffman, Brenan Kakecek, Alisha Marnell, Jackson Rath, Lauren Gideon, Jared Hayes, and Alec Richardson. They all received the Basic Leadership Ribbon at the graduation ceremony for Mini-Boot camp.
The same weekend, cadets not participating in Basic Leadership Training attended the first Salute to Fallen Heroes fundraiser. This was their big event to raise funds for their spring trip to Hawaii to visit the USS Arizona memorial, USS Missouri, Pearl Harbor, and of course, a luau. Cadets put on a show with reenactments of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima to the guards at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The cadets continue to support the community with Color guard presentations, parades and community service.