VHS Cadets at the Cold War Monument

VHS Cadets participating in the Fall Break trip are pictured at the Cold War Monument.

CHURCH HILL — Volunteer High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets made the most of their Fall Break from classes.

“We headed out into the rain on Sunday Oct. 8, on our way to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.” wrote Steven D. Bickford, MEd, Major USMC (retired), the school’s Senior Naval Science Instructor. “After a good night’s rest, we ate breakfast in lobby of the Inns of the Corps and headed to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Drill Instructor Sergeant Thompson met us and took us on our tour.

“Being a holiday and since it had rained, we had a completely different schedule than we anticipated. We toured the rifle ranges, rappelling tower, field training and Crucible events, the museum, the famous yellow footprints of receiving and the graduation parade deck.

“Cadets ate lunch and dinner in the Weapons and Field Training Battalion Mess Hall with platoons of recruits. MCRD prohibits interaction between recruits and civilians, but the Cadets were able to see and hear how recruits are trained to become Marines. Walking in the sweltering heat and humidity made the cadets wilt visibly, but they persevered.

“We spent the night back at the Inns of the Corps and headed out on Tuesday Oct. 10, for Charleston, S.C. We arrived at The Citadel and received a briefing from the Army, Air Force and Navy (Marine Option) ROTC units as well as an admissions brief.

“Cadet Corporal Michel gave us a campus tour and shared his experiences at the Citadel. We left The Citadel for a pizza lunch at Patriots Point with the day-trip from our unit. We toured the Cold War monument and then returned to The Citadel for a leisurely tour of the museum and monuments as well as a trip to the gift shop. We conducted a driving tour of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and ate dinner aboard the Mess Hall.

“On Wednesday, Oct. 11, we headed back to Volunteer after a busy and exhausting trip.”

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. Cadets have no military obligation for participating in JROTC, but they can receive promotion in the armed forces should they chose to enlist.