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2014 Leadership Academy/Sail Training (LA/ST) graduates 11 July 2014
NJROTC Area 4 Leadership Academy and Sail Training Concludes at NAVSTA NewportBob Krekorian, Navy.mil 7/11/2014
NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- One hundred and forty three Navy JROTC students from throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, graduated today, July 11, in ceremonies on Nimitz Field, Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport, and earned their silver aiguillette leadership shoulder cords.
The cadets, divided into gold, black, blue and green platoons, honed their cadet leadership skills and learned about seamanship during the 19th annual NJROTC Area Four Leadership Academy and Sail Training (LA/ST) camp that started June 29.
Leadership curriculum consisted of 22, 45-minute interactive classes for each platoon. A STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) component of 6 hours for each platoon consisted of the Cadets working on design and build projects. Sail training conducted with nine Rhodes 19 sail training craft from the NAVSTA Marina facility concluded with two regattas on Narragansett Bay that allow the Cadets to compete with each other.
"This is significant because so few of the Cadets have ever set sail in a sail boat of any kind," said retired Navy Capt. Daniel Brennock, LA/ST OIC, and senior naval science instructor (NSI) at Quabbin Regional High School, Barre, Massachusetts. They will return to their high schools in the fall to assume leadership positions in their NJROTC units."We've become more diverse," Brennock said. The LA/ST demographics here included 79 Caucasians, 47 Hispanics, and 17 African Americans. Sixteen Cadet aides, who are previous LA/ST graduates, were selected to serve as role models and instructional assistants. The cadet contingent consisted of 59 females and 100 males.
Twenty three NSI staff from throughout the Area 4 region served as academic instructors, sailing instructors and platoon leaders. Five parent volunteers served as platoon chaperones.
Nearly all of the Cadets will be entering their junior and senior years. The selection process to attend LA/ST is considered highly competitive based on collected background information about high school grade point average, physical fitness, aptitude, and a demonstration of the many leadership traits stressed at each school's NJROTC unit."This year's class of Cadets consists of 119 students who made their school's honor roll, 59 who are members of the National Honor Society, and 120 who play varsity sports," Brennock said."This training allows us to work with the cadets and give them more attention to leadership skills in a small unit environment," said retired Legalman 1st Class Kayla Orange, NSI, Harrisburg High School NJROTC, Penn."I've learned different leadership styles and have learned how to be a better leader," said Cadet Skyler Grathwohl, Southhold High School, Southold, New York."This has been a great experience for me to gain skills for any future career that I may want to pursue," said Cadet Nikki Patel, Passaic County Technical Institute, Wayne, New Jersey."I've discovered that I can be a team player helping to motivate other cadets. This will help me develop my leadership skills," said Cadet Donte Surdeen, North High School, Worcester, Massachusetts."This camp is teaching me about leadership, teamwork, and perseverance. I hope to apply these skills at my unit and make it a better unit," said Cadet Josue Pacheco, Springfield High School of Science and Technology, Springfield, Massachusetts. According to Brennock, high Schools in the Area 4 region have NJROTC programs with class sizes ranging from 60 to 450 students."We're inspiring the cadets to take the lessons learned here and apply them to their units," he said. NAVSTA Newport hosts the annual NJROTC Area 4 LA/ST summer camp with classroom facility support and berthing space provided by Officer Training Command and the Naval Academy Preparatory School. Both are Navy officer accession programs.