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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

               


Summer Boot Camp

The Grenada High School Navy National Defense Corp (NNDCC) marched into the 2017-2018 school year early this year by sending numerous cadets to NJROTC Summer Boot Camp in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The cadets experienced a full week of training and leadership skills there which will enable them to grow as individuals and team members. Cadets LCDR Lakesha Harbin and LT Chance Wortham attended special Commanding Officer and Executive Officer training at the camp. This training will prepare them to lead Grenada Bravo Company to an exceptional year. Each year the new commanding officer and staff attempt to exceed the success of the previous year's squad leaders. So far, the new officers have succeeded in this quest, and this year's officers plan to rise to the top as well.

Crossing creek on a Rope
Cadets are required to complete a number of volunteer hours during the year, and this year's group has already started working toward their volunteer goals. Cadets volunteered during Balloons over Grenada and Thunder on Water, while others also volunteer regularly at the Grenada Food Pantry. Last year cadets logged approximately 3500 volunteer hours.

Over 30 cadets, both new and experienced, attended Bravo Company Summer Camp. During this training, returning cadets shared what they learned at the NJROTC Hattiesburg boot camp. It is a refresher for those that did not go to boot camp and a heads-up for those joining NNDCC for their first year.

Students practice marching
The past school year was a stellar year for Bravo Company. The unit brought home 28 trophies and over 45 medals during various competitions. GHS NNDCC won 2nd place overall at the JROTC State Physical Training Championship, topping 85 other JROTC schools in Mississippi. They also captured the top spot in the Northern Region of JROTC for Physical Training(PT), winning first place out of eight schools. Previously in 2013-2014 the cadets finished 15th in the state. Last year's cadets proved that hard work and team work definitely pays off.

GHS NNDCC also received Unit Achievement along with Area 8 Most Improved Unit for the first time in this program's 24 year history. The unit defeated over 45 other schools from 5 other states to win this honor.

The GHS NNDCC offers cadets experiences they might not otherwise encounter as regular students. Cadets have flown with the "Hurricane Hunters", performed at a New Orleans Pelican NBA game, attended a Navy Blue Angels air show, and visited the Military Museum at Camp Shelby. For three years in a row NNDCC students attended the National Flight Academy. As a perk for attendance, the cadets are allowed to wear the wings they earned on their NNDCC uniform.

The NNDCC also helps prepare students academically. Last year three cadets were inducted into the National Honor Society, five cadets earned positions on various student councils, several cadets attended Boys and Girls State, and four Cadets in grades 9-12 earned money for college for their volunteer hours. The future for the GHS Bravo Company shines bright and clear.

The cadets know the task at hand is daunting, but through team work, hard work, and prayer they can achieve their goal of becoming the best unit in the state of Mississippi and also the best in the nation. The group has set their sights on attending and winning both Northern Regional Meets for Drill and PT, and from there, they hope to conquer both state JROTC All Service Meets. Training will continue as cadets prepare to attend the Area Eight Drill Meet in March and April and from there the National Championship.

Each year the cadets learn more of what it takes to be winner, not only on the field, but in the classroom as well. The unit's number one goal this year is to return to a NJROTC fully funded unit, and with the help of the community they can achieve that goal. In order be considered a full unit, the group must have 100 cadets or 10% of the school population.

The group is also in need of sponsors to assist in the cost of the many events in which they participate. One of the unit's biggest fund raising events is the sale of area discount cards featuring various businesses around Grenada. This card is unique because it allows you not only to receive discounts locally, but it also allows you to go online and print out coupons from places all over the United States. Cards are viable for one year and cost $10.00 each. Grenada NNDCC is grateful to their sponsors Wal-Mart, Southern Flight HRC, R&S Cleaners, Booster Club, McAllister's, No Way Jose, La Cabaña, Applebee's, Allen's Fine Jewelry, Nail E, and others for their continued support.