It was another great year for the Robertsdale High School NJROTC unit. Specific accomplishments included:
- The unit finished the year with 229 points on the NJROTC End of Year Report, which breaks the school record of two years ago. Before this graduating class entered high school, the unit had never achieved 200 points and yet they were able to do it each of their four years! The year prior to their arrival, the unit was ranked #17 in the five-state area. They have never been ranked lower than 8th!
- Unit was named Best in Baldwin County in the JROTC category by Gulf Coast Media. It marks the first time this category has been included in the competition.
- Unit was chosen to lead the USS Mobile Commissioning Parade in Mobile, the first in the city in 18 months. The unit also provided side boys for the governor and other VIPs at the ship’s commissioning ceremony. The Navy League of the United States Mobile Council presented a plaque to the unit for its involvement in the historic celebration marking the first time that a Navy warship had been built, named for, and commissioned in the same city.
- Five cadets received a special invitation to attend the “The China Challenge” dinner and presentation by the Naval War College and hosted by the Navy League of the United States Mobile Council.
- Six of the top 11 students in the senior class are cadets and, for the third time in the past four years, the graduating valedictorian is a RHS NJROTC cadet.
- Cadet Ashlynn Simmons was awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement Award. It is the highest award an NJROTC cadet can win and, by regulation, only two are awarded annually in our five-state area. More amazing is that she represents RHS’ fourth straight awardee, meaning that in the past four years, eight cadets have been selected and four have come from RHS!
- The Color Guard team presented the National Colors at the Talladega Yellawood 500 in October, which was viewed by nearly five million people. Because they did such a great job, we were asked to present the Colors at the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of NASCAR, in February before a live and televised audience of nine million people!
- SeaPerch is a robotic submarine competition open to any school group, including NJROTC. It was our first time to compete in three years. Our team finished third at the Mississippi Regional Championship hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi and won the Alabama Regional Championship held at the Sea Lab at Dauphin Island. They earned the right to represent Alabama at the International Championship to be held at the University of Maryland in June.
- CyberPatriot is a global computer network defense competition that is open to any school group, including NJROTC. This year was our third year to have a team and once again we finished with a Platinum rating (highest possible), but this time we cracked the top 17% national ranking and were ranked number three in the state of Alabama.
- The Air Rifle team lost its two best shooters from last year but went on to have probably their greatest year yet. In November, the team finished #25 out of 466 (top 5% of NJROTC) teams in the annual Secretary of the Navy postal competition, and in December we finished #26 out of 55 teams in the Gary Anderson Invitational match. In January, the team set a school record for points scored. A month later, they broke that record. In early March, they broke that record and two days later, at the last match of the year, they broke that record! Four times this year they broke and reset the school’s record. At every competition after Christmas, the unit had multiple teams place including #1, #2, and #8 at the Warhawk Open; #2, #3, and #6 at the Alabama State Championship; #4, #8, and #11 in the five-state NJROTC Area 8; and #2, #6, and #13 at the Alabama American Legion Commander’s Cup Championship. Cadet James Stanford qualified and competed at the NJROTC National Championship where he finished ranked #49. He also shot at the Civilian Marksmanship Program Southeast Regional where he qualified for the national championship in Ohio in June. He is currently ranked #21 nationally.
- Orienteering combines map reading and cross-country style running. This year’s team competed in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Individually, we finished #8 in the five-state Area 8 Championship before qualifying for the national championship where we finished tied for #13.
- Academic teams once again competed in the five-state NJROTC Brain Brawl (similar to the College Bowl) Championship in New Orleans, the on-line JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB), the National Academic Exam (NAE), and multiple postal competitions. Competitions are always stiff and once again the unit was well-represented.
- The Drill team was re-established and competed for the first time in five years. The team competed in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Great progress was made as the team got better and better throughout the season. We cannot wait for next year.
- No community service opportunities were passed up. Emphasis this year was put on The Lighthouse (family violence shelter), the American Legion, Toys for Tots, and Veterans. Perhaps our biggest single event was the sponsoring of over 100 military collectables display cases and 80 mannequins. Overall, the unit conducted nearly 3,000 community service and school support hours even though some opportunities were cancelled. Fortunately, due to the COVID restrictions being lifted, we expect more opportunities in the coming year.
- This year we held our annual Military Ball in the fall and added a Valentine’s Dance in the spring.
There are too many cadets and people to thank individually, but please know that we greatly appreciate everyone’s support and assistance. Keep us in mind for any fundraising or community service opportunities.