In March 28 IssueBy Derek AaronRussell County News Editor
Two Russell County High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets have been chosen to attend special summer college leadership programs, one in Florida and the other in California, according to Cpt. Bob King, the NJROTC’s senior naval science instructor.
“I’ve been doing this nine years, and this is probably one of the best things I’ve seen that has come out of our headquarters as far as interesting and challenging things for our kids to do,” King said.
He said an all-expense paid for college seminar was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the two cadets involved.
“That is where we want to push them, to go to college,” King said. “We’re teaching them how to be leaders and be better informed and responsible citizens.”
One cadet, Amy Passmore will be going to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Fla. June 14-20 while the other cadet, Philip Anderson, will be going to the University of San Diego July 12-18.
Passmore, a junior, is attending the 2009 Aerospace and Technology Leadership Seminar at her location.
Only 300 cadets of the approximately 80,000 cadets in NJROTC have the opportunity to participate this year.
“It is definitely something new and different,” Passmore, 17, said of her opportunity. She said the upcoming trip will be the first time she has ever been away from home alone.
“I’ve never flown before so I’m a little scared,” she said. “But you’ve got to do it sometime.”
Passmore said she owes this opportunity to the high school’s NJROTC program.
“It really means a lot that we’re able to go by ourselves on this trip,” she said. “It shows that Captain has faith in us that we can take care of ourselves and that is what they’ve taught us.”
She said she hopes the trip returns her a smarter cadet than when she left. While Passmore has yet to make a final decision regarding her future, the military is “definitely a possibility,” she said.
Passmore said her fellow cadets are also supportive of this venture.
“It is like a big family here, it’s great,” she said. “Everyone has been telling me they hope I have fun and be safe, it is really nice here.”
Anderson, a senior, is attending the 2009 Engineering and Technology Leadership Seminar at his location.
Only 160 NJROTC cadets nationwide have the opportunity to participate this year in San Diego.
“The farthest west I’ve ever been is Kansas City with the drill team,” he said. “It is very exciting to get to go to some place very different and some place I’ve never seen before”
He said if he didn’t jump on an opportunity like this, he may never have another chance to experience such an event.
“It is supposed to be really educational and supposed to help me get into an ROTC in college,” Anderson said. “I’m really wanting to go to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.”
He said since this was the first year of the program, he would be the “guinea pig” for future Russell County High School NJROTC cadets.
This is the first year these programs are being offered to NJROTC cadets and the Naval Service Training Command has said the seminars will be an “unforgettable experience.”
The command has identified the two Russell County cadets as “academically gifted and future leaders.”
“You must continue to excel academically, be an active, respectful leader within your program, and positively represent your NJROTC unit within the school and the community,” their acceptance letters read. “The leadership seminar will introduce you to the collegiate world of science, engineering, and technology. You will have the opportunity to see both civilian and military career opportunities within these academic fields. This is not a boot camp type of training program, however there will be physical training and team building exercises in the mornings and evenings, so be prepared for physical activity.”
While at her leadership seminar, Passmore is going to be in a college setting experiencing a science and math based curriculum with several hands-on experiments and flying flight simulators, according to her week long schedule.
During the evenings she will be participating in team building and physical activities.
The seminar is not a boot-camp type training environment but a professional atmosphere. While at his leadership seminar, Anderson is also going to be in a college setting experiencing a engineering, science and math based curriculum with hands-on experiments.
During the evenings he, too, will be participating in team building and physical activities.
These and other daily activities will make the trip one to remember, according to King.
Senior Chief Steven Kinder is the corps’ Naval Science instructor.
He said June 15-18, the NJROTC will be hosting a summer leadership camp in Barbourville, yet another way the high school’s junior cadets are improving the lives of others in their field.