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Volunteer NJROTC earns 12th Distinguished Unit citation with Academic Honors

STAFF REPORT • Apr 18, 2020 at 8:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — The Volunteer High School NJROTC was informed Saturday that it has been awarded its 12 consecutive Distinguished Unit citation with Academic Honors.

VHS senior naval science instructor Steven Bickford noted that his cadets provided more than 1,800 hours of community service and an additional 500 hours of school service during this academic year.

“They marched in local parades, worked both Bristol NASCAR races, and participated in Hawkins County’s Veteran’s Day celebration,” Bickford said. “All of this while hosting one drill meet, one STEM competition, one athletic competition, two orienteering meets, three rifle matches, and four academic competitions. Cadets competed in more than 20 competitions for various activities: drill, color guard, academics, athletics, orienteering, and rifle marksmanship. The marksmanship team earned top ranking over the summer.”

Additionally the cadets conducted one overnight and 10 day-trips to visit bases and colleges around the region and nationwide.

Cadets stayed busy throughout the year with nearly 50% participating in summer activities.

Bickford noted, however that their extensive activity didn’t distract from their academic success, with 40% of cadets making honor roll during the first semester. The 14 graduating seniors have been awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships plus much more in grants.

“The Volunteer High School Navy JROTC cadets realize that these achievements are not possible without the support of their families, their teachers, the school administration, and their community,” Bickford said. “Cadets extend a heartfelt thank you to all of those who helped make their achievements possible.”

Bicford added, “The mission of Navy JROTC is to instill the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment. Trips to military bases and universities around the region help accomplish this mission by showing cadets opportunities that await upon completion of high school.”

Cadets receive academic credit for their enrollment in JROTC while earning community service hours, participating in extracurricular activities, and developing leadership attributes. They have no military obligation for participating in JROTC, but they can receive promotion in the armed forces should they chose to enlist.

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