Cadets Put to the Test

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

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The Navy's Junior ROTC program states its mission quite clearly: to instill U.S. high school students with the values of citizenship, service, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.

"The program for NJROTC is designed just like an active duty Navy organization and the kids run it during the course of the school year," said Douglas Johnson. "In the summer, we like to pick the kids who we think are going to make leaders in the program and bring them to the basic leadership training camp to do that."

Over 150 Navy Junior ROTC Cadets from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida had the chance to attend basic leadership training camp.

Much of the training is accomplished through team exercises where the goal can only be reached by working together.

"Basic leadership training forces the Navy Junior ROTC cadets out of their comfort levels, developing leadership skills in each team member.

"So they can function and accomplish their task more efficiently and they're not working against each other; they're working with each other to accomplish the task, no matter what it is," said Ross Tingle, an instructor at Camp Binachi.

"They don't realize how much they're learning until the goal is complete. And then they say, 'oh great, we did a good job, we worked as a team,’ ” said Jessie Henderson, an instructor at Camp Binachi.

"It's going to impact me when I go back to my unit at Northeast and take charge of a leadership role there," said Justin Hike of Northeast Lauderdale High School.

"Respect and confidence, self-actualization and esteem," said April Abdelgadir of Neshoba Central High School, describing what she is drawing from the training.

Basic leadership training is designed to teach young people to be leaders.

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