Norfolk commander addresses new NJROTC graduates

By DLA Distribution Norfolk DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Representing five Norfolk area high schools, 125 students recently graduated from Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Basic Leadership Training, where they learned character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. 

Navy Capt. Harry Thetford, commander of Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Norfolk, Va., served as the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony.  Cheered by parents, family members and friends, the cadets celebrated the completion of four days and three nights of boot camp-like training.

"The accomplishments of these motivated young high school kids is very impressive,” said Thetford.  “They are now equipped with the leadership tools to go back to their respective units and lead their shipmates."

The ceremony was held at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk.  In addition to graduation certificates, Thetford presented unit and individual awards to deserving cadets.

"If you pay too much attention to the news, you get the impression the youth of today are all trouble makers,” said Thetford.  “I disagree; I see firsthand from serving in the military and meeting these cadets that our Nation's future is in good hands."

NJROTC is a cooperative effort between the Navy and participating high schools to produce successful students and citizens, while fostering in each school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment.  The accredited curriculum emphasizes citizenship and leadership development, as well as maritime heritage, the significance of sea power, and naval topics such as the fundamentals of naval operations, seamanship, navigation and meteorology.