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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

               

GSD's Naval National Defense Cadet Corps

The Grenada School District NNDCC (Naval National Defense Cadet Corps/Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) wants you!

How do students benefit from membership in NNDCC?
• Students receive a health and PE credit
• Membership promotes patriotism, community service, personal honor, self-reliance, individual discipline and leadership, and an understanding of the basic elements and need for national security,
• Promotes high school completion and higher education
• Develops informed and responsible citizens, respect for constructed authority, and leadership potential
• Provides information on the military services as a possible career, an alternative to gangs, and incentive to live healthy and drug free

The NNDCC program motivates cadets to graduate from high school and continue to higher education. One of the ways the group accomplishes this is by offering free ACT/SAT preparation. Approximately 60 percent of the NNDCC cadets that graduate GHS continue their education. NNDCC cadets demonstrate better behavior, have higher attendance, provide role models for the avoidance of substance abuse, have higher self-esteem, develop positive life skills, graduate at a higher rate, and on average, have higher grade point averages. Cadets learn the value of teamwork and individual accomplishments. The character education in NNDCC teaches values, principles, and self-discipline by promoting positive, productive behaviors and providing a support structure. This support is critical not only in helping cadets avoid the use of drugs but also in promoting the benefits of living a healthy and fit lifestyle.

The NNDCC program enhances the image of the military in the eyes of the community by providing a chance for success to the nation's youth. While the training follows military lines, it is conducted to encourage initiative and individuality to develop natural gifts, to teach self-control, develop personal character, responsibility, and the qualities of integrity, loyalty, and dedication. Cadets accepted for enlistment, who provide evidence of successful completion of at least three years of NNDCC, are entitled to advanced promotion to pay grade E-3 upon initial enlistment in an active or reserve component of the Navy or Air Force and pay grade E-2 in the Army or Marine Corps. Completion of two years entitles graduating cadets to an E-2 pay grade in the Navy. The Senior Naval Science Instructor, Chief Newtroin Foreman, is authorized to nominate a maximum of three eligible cadets each year to compete for U.S. Naval Academy appointments. Administrators of host schools that are designated as Distinguished Units with Academic Honors may nominate three eligible NNDCC cadets as candidates for appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy in addition to the three nominations above to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Last year, the accomplishments of the GHS NNDCC exceeded the previous years. The unit finished 17th in the state of Mississippi, the highest in the history of the group. Just five years ago the unit was 50 out 50 in ranking. The unit once again received a Unit Achievement Award in area Eight, which consists of five states and fifty schools from Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida.

Last year the cadets finished as reserve champions at the Mississippi JROTC State Physical Training Championship for the second year in a row. Just five years ago the unit finished 15th out of 90. Also this past year, the unit sent 14 cadets to the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida; 16 cadets to NJROTC Basic Leadership Training/ Leadership Academy camp; 2 cadets to Girls' State and 1 to Boys' State thanks to generous sponsors; and 3 cadets to Lions Club Leadership Camp.

The Grenada NNDCC unit competes in many different areas and levels including regional, state, and national competitions in drill, physical training, air rifle, Seaperch, Drones, Cyber Patriot, College Option academics meet, and orienteering. During these meets they compete against Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps units, having to learn all new drill cards, or new rules, for that year. Cadets also compete in Navy meets that are geared toward Navy only. Other naval competitions participated in include brain brawl and Navy National Academic Exam.

The goal of the cadets this year is to exceed 100 cadets and to reach JROTC State for both Drill and Physical Training (PT). After these goals are met, the cadets will turn their focus to the Navy National Drill meet held in Pensacola, Florida, and the JROTC National meet held in Daytona Beach, Florida. If you know someone that would benefit from joining the NNDCC program, contact the Grenada High School counselors or Chief Newtroin Foreman. If you are interested in sponsoring the NNDCC in any of their endeavors, please contact Chief Foreman. The unit also welcomes volunteers.

GHS students who wish to participate in the GHS NNDCC must pay a $125 enrollment fee. To offset some of the cost of enrollment, cadets sell discount cards and receive $50 off for selling 10 cards. The cards offer discounts at various local businesses. This year cadets will receive a seven piece uniform set in addition to their military uniform. Every cadet must wear the uniform once a week, pass a physical exam, and pass a physical fitness test. Both male and female cadets are also required to follow Naval hair regulations.

Cadets practice at least two hours a day, five days a week depending on their team participation. Some of the teams available to cadets include Armed Basic/Exhibition Drill, Unarmed Basic/Exhibition Drill, Color Guard, Academic Exam, PT (physical training), air rifle, and robotics (drones). Ninety-five cadets are currently enrolled in the program. Last year the program ended with 108 cadets, 12 of which were seniors, the largest senior class ever at GHS NNDCC. Several of those seniors graduated and went on to join the military service as enlisted service members. One cadet accepted an appointment to West Point Military Academy, a great accomplishment!

Those cadets who graduated and joined the service will earn $300-$600 more than someone who did participate in NNDCC/NJROTC. The cadet appointed to West Point received a $350,000 scholarship. Grenada NNDCC Cadets earned close to 5,000 community and school service hours last year alone and plan on topping that number this year. Cadets take part in almost every large event occurring in Grenada and surrounding cities such as Calhoun City, Duck Hill, Winona, Greenwood, Holcomb, and Coffeeville. You will see cadets on Highway 51 completing roadside cleanup, at home football games presenting the colors and completing V.I.P. duties, bagging food at the Grenada Food Pantry, assisting at Grenada Afterglow, Grenada Band Fest, Halloween Safe Haven, and the Grenada Downtown Jubilee. Cadets also march in the Grenada, Coffeeville, and Duck Hill Christmas parades and the Grenada MLK Parade. They also participate in Grenada Thunder On Water, Christmas in April, and Grenada High School campus clean up just to name a few ways they provide community service and earn hours. The group is always on the lookout for more places they can provide service in the community. If you know of an opportunity for cadets to serve, contact Chief Newtroin Foreman at Grenada High School.

***Thanks to Chief Newtroin Foreman for contributing the information for this article.