HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (5/1/14) — The cadets of the Madisonville North Hopkins Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps have earned the prestigious Distinguished Unit Award for the 2013-2014 school year.
The Distinguished Unit Award is awarded annually to the top 30 percent of the 600-plus units worldwide.
The unit which is overseen by two retired Marines, Lt. Col. Darryl Patton and Master Sgt. Tim Gates, was the only NJROTC unit of the 13 in Kentucky to receive this award.
There are many factors that are looked at in determining which units receive this award. One of the main areas is enrollment. In accordance with federal law, each unit is required to maintain a minimum of 10 percent of the student population for the school or 100 cadets, whichever is less. MNHHS is proud to have 184 of the nearly 1,100 students as cadets.
Another key factor is the unit’s performance on the Area Manager’s Inspection. This year, under the command of Cadet Lieutenant Commander Asrah Waddy, the unit received a rating of “Outstanding” overall, achieving “Outstanding” ratings in all five of the graded areas.
Many people look at NJROTC as a “stepping stone” to a career in the military; however, very few of the cadets choose to affiliate themselves with a branch of the military. The first priority is assisting cadets in becoming high school graduates and helping them develop a sense of citizenship. An online ACT prep course, sponsored by the U.S. Navy, is available to all cadets enrolled in the unit at no cost to them. This course has been proven to assist cadets in raising their ACT scores for college entrance. One day a week is spent in the computer lab overseeing their progress. This year, the MNHHS NJROTC had the 5th highest participation of all NJROTC units with this prep course. For cadets wishing to enter the workforce upon graduation, guidance is provided to assist them in making wise career choices.
Other contributing factors in receiving this award are community service, color guards, school service, and individual cadet awards. The unit placed third in the Kentucky State JROTC Air Rifle Championship and had the second highest individual shooter with Cadet Zach Hall.Students looking for an opportunity to develop a sense of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, self-discipline, respect and a sense of accomplishment are highly encouraged to consider the NJROTC program, according to the NJROTC instructors. The Navy’s Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment can be applied to all aspects of life, not just to life in the military, they said.
Information provided by Lori Harrison
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