WEB - NEWS - NJROTC inspection
In competition, the Crook County High School NJROTC drill teams have came home with first place wins the last few years.
That doesn't really matter to Paul Fisher, a commander and Naval Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps inspector for the US Navy.
Last Wednesday, Fisher visited the high school to take a long, hard look at the school's program.
According to Fisher, the US Navy spends approximately $40 million annually on the programs.
"We owe it to the taxpayers to make sure they are getting their money's worth," he said.
During inspection, Fisher investigates the program's finances, inventory, and records to make sure they are handled properly. He also personally inspects every cadet's uniform.
Every two years (and for newly formed NJROTC programs every year), Fisher visits schools in his broad region.
"What I'm here for is to make sure the Navy's investment in the program is well spent," said Fisher.
There are serious repercussions for drill teams that don't meet the criteria.
If Fisher finds a school's program is unsatisfactory in any way the program could eventually be disestablished.
Looking for loose threads or out of place merits, Fisher inspected all of the cadets.
"They are looked at from head to toe," said Master Chief Donny Jackson.
"This is the hardest part of the whole year for them," he continued.
Due to standing for such a period of time and locking her knees, a cadet passed out during inspection. She was not injured.
"This happens every year," Jackson said.
"Really?" Capt. Tom Hutchinson asked. "Well good, we have our quota," he joked.
To prevent cadets from passing out, while "at ease" the students would shake out their arms and legs, and kneel to stretch out their muscles.
The personal inspection and performances from the unarmed and armed drill team exhibition, lasted about two hours.
The inspection proved that, while the group does well in competition, they also meet their outlined program criteria.
"Honestly, I don't see a lot of (negatives) here. The appearance of the cadets seems about average. Overall, their uniforms are very well prepared. Of course there are always those little details," said Fisher.
"I score cadet's appearance on a one to 10 score, and I think the lowest I gave today was an eight," he continued.
After the personal inspection, the unarmed and armed drill team performed for Fisher.
Before the exhibition teams started marching, cadets would hold an arm straight out to the next cadet, checking their distance.
During the unarmed exhibition, various taps of the flag of foot stomps on the gym wood flooring would indicate it was time to switch to the order.
"The exhibition drill teams really stood out and looked very good. I suspect they will do well in competition," said Fisher.
While most schools have separate teams for unarmed and armed exhibition, CCHS has one team for both categories.
The team also did well with the financial and inventory inspection.
"There were no problems. He was very impressed. Students, for the most part, run the program, and they had it all together," said Jackson.
"They presented a good program to him," he continued.
Jackson mentioned that the CCHS NJROTC _ was recently invited to a invitational meet in Santa Ana, Calif.
The high school team was offered one of 18 spots in the AMVETS Second Annual JROTC Invitational drill competition.
Jackson estimated it will cost roughly $20,000 for costs to attend the competition. He mentioned the group may charter a bus down to California for the trip.
The group plans to fundraise the amount.
"We're not looking for a free ride, but we are open to any and all donations. If someone has work to offer students (to raise the money), that's great, too," said Jackson.
On top of attending the meet, Jackson wants to visit military facilities in Southern California.
He mentioned that the team will be doing car washes soon, possibly in the parking lot at Ray's Food Place.
The NJROTC has already collected more than $1,000 from donations, and about $250 from donations which were collected after their performance on Feb. 13 at the Redmond The CCigh School in Bend.HS NJROTC drill teams will compete this weekend at Mt. View HRod and Gun Club.