Calera High School students participating in the school’s very first Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Program have had a very active and busy year during the program’s inaugural year.
The purpose of the NJROTC Program is to instill in students in secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment. This accomplished by promoting patriotism, developing informed and responsible citizens, promoting habits of orderliness and precision, promoting high school graduation and continuing education as well as developing leadership potential.
With 84 cadets enrolled in the program, the Calera High School cadets have established themselves within the Shelby County community with multiple flag presenting details, Veterans Day flag presentations, and several other community events. Currently, the program has three academic teams, three color guard teams, two physical fitness teams, and three orienteering teams. There is also a full chain of command staff starting with a Cadet Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Operations Officer, Administrative Officer and Supply Officer.
The cadets are in the process of planning all upcoming events from flag details to community service projects ninety days in advance. These events are planned by the staff and executed by the cadets of the program. Leadership, teamwork will be developed as well as camaraderie.
The Calera NJROTC physical fitness team participated in several athletic competitions, including a 5.5 mile Mud Run competition held on the Naval Construction Battalion Base in Gulfport, MS. The cadets had a lot of fun at the race running through the 5.5 miles of mud, obstacles and sand traps throughout the course. Out of 37 NJROTC teams participating, Calera came in 14th place. The are planning to participate soon in another mud run in Georgia.
The Color Guard teams have participated in 15 functions, presenting the flags for Veterans Day, Sons of The American Revolution Banquet, Middle School and High School TAP ceremonies, and numerous football games.
The academic team competed in the Academic Brain Brawl at Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, FL coming in 4th overall out of 18 NJROTC Units.
“We are totally glad to be here and very eager to serve our community and school,” said Major Aurelio Garcia, instructor for the program. “Calera High School has embraced us and we are here to stay. We have several more field trips to perform. Summer is the start of Leadership Academy’s and Summer Camps for the cadets. We’re just getting started.”