For the eighth consecutive year, the Newton High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC program has earned national distinction as a Naval Honor Unit. This award places Newton High in the top 20 percent of the 225 MCJROTC programs in the nation.
“As a result of our selection as a Naval Honor Unit, our program may nominate three cadets to compete for 20 appointments under this category to the United States Naval Academy,” said Gunnery Sgt. (Ret.) Sherman Smith. “Being nominated in this category greatly increases the chances for selection over those individuals who request nomination through their congressman.”
Selection as an honor unit is based on a variety of demanding factors. First, a program must be rated as “Mission Capable” at a biannual inspection conducted by higher headquarters. In order to receive the “Mission Capable” rating, the program must meet all of the criteria required by the Marine Corps for continuation as a JROTC program.
In addition, the unit’s maintenance of the required number of students in the program is also an important determining factor, as are academic scholarships received by ROTC students, ROTC scholarships and service academy appointments received by cadets, and the number of hours cadets devote to community service activities. The unit is also judged on its participation in local, regional, and national competitions for both the drill team and rifle team. Cadet activity in school arts, academic and athletic programs, and the number of cadets earning placement on school honor rolls are some of the other factors reviewed.
Data on each school is collected by the Marine Corps Training and Education Command in Quantico, Va., where each program is evaluated and compared to others in the country. Each summer, the top schools are selected for the previous school year and plaques are awarded to the distinguished programs.
“By achieving honor unit status, the Newton High School Marine JROTC continues to be the standard by which all programs are measured,” said Dr. Roderick Sams, principal of Newton High School. “The cadets display the level of leadership, honor and dedication necessary to excel at the highest level of service. Newton High School is extremely proud of their commitment to excellence and how well they represent their families and community.”