Every year, just prior to the beginning of the Academic term, JRHS NJROTC hosts an annual orientation event for incoming Cadets known as Indoctrination Week. Throughout the course of this week, Recruits are essentially “shown the ropes” of the NJROTC program by our Cadre of upperclassmen Staff and Platoon Leaders, going through rigorous physical training,marching, studying basic military inspection knowledge, and learning military discipline and proper wear of the uniform while also learning about the many opportunities they will have in the unit during the coming year and building a sense of camaraderie that simply cannot be duplicated during the school year. The end goal of Indoc is to get the Recruits to work as a team and to instill in them the discipline and followership skills that are essential to good performance in the unit. Each of the five days of Indoc have a different focus, so each will be covered separately below.
Senior Naval Science Instructor: Commander Peter Greenwald, USN
(Acting) Naval Science Instructor: Colonel Bill Barrett, US Army (ret.)
c/LTCDR John Booker, Commanding Officer
c/LTjg Thomas Shashaty, Operations Officer
c/LTjg Sara Jackson, Admin Officer
c/LTjg Emma Friedrich, Supply Officer
c/LTjg Daniel Markey, First Lieutenant
c/LTjg Jackson Velzy, Raiders/Orienteering Team Lead
c/ENS Carter Saunders, Assistant Admin Officer
c/ENS Alexander Freeman, Weapons Officer, Air Rifle co-Team Lead
c/ENS Victor Bellamah, Academic Officer
c/ENS Zachary Popp, Communications Officer
c/ENS Anthony Ing, Chaplain
c/SCPO Kevin Juarez, Senior Enlisted Advisor
c/CPO Devin Lowe, Assistant Supply Officer, Platoon Leader (Third Platoon)
c/CPO Quinn Lilly, Honor Guard Commander, Platoon Leader (First Platoon)
c/CPO Thomas Kaupish, Platoon Leader (Second Platoon)
c/PO1 Spencer Willett, Assistant Operations Officer
c/PO1 Aundrae May, Physical Fitness Administrator
c/PO1 Neico Hayden, Raiders/Orienteering Team Representative
c/PO1 Gregory Gibson, Platoon Leader (Second Platoon)
c/PO2 Kiara Prera, Assistant Physical Fitness Petty Officer
c/PO2 Meily Yong, Color Guard Commander, Platoon Leader (First Platoon)
c/PO2 Clark Brandau, Platoon Leader (Third Platoon)
c/PO3 Daniel Cappiello, Drill Team Representative
c/SN Connor Davies, Air Rifle Team Representative
c/SA Ebony Ross, Air Rifle co-Team Lead
Day 1 (Monday, 22 August): Orientation Day
At 0730 on what was sure to be another hot and humid August day, twenty one prospective NJROTC Cadets stood outside a simple pair of blue doors under the letters “NJROTC”. Through these doors lay a plethora of potential opportunities for these recruits, provided they had the mental and physical willpower to withstand the strenuous week which also awaited them. After receiving brand new, Navy-issued PT gear, the recruits assembled at the Memorial Circle with the Cadre for the raising of the colors, followed by a few housekeeping items before being split into three separate platoons under the command of either Cadets Brandau and Lowe (Third Platoon), Gibson and Kaupish (Second Platoon), or Lilly and Yong (First Platoon). The newly formed platoons then were run down to Robious Landing Park for a healthy dose of morning PT, led by Cadets May and Prera. Upon their return from the park, the platoons split off from each other for “stations”; one platoon practiced marching, one platoon received a safety brief from Cadets Freeman and Ross of the Air Rifle Team, and the remaining platoon was fitted for the uniforms they would wear at the end of the week, after which all three would rotate to the next station. After a short lunch break, the recruits were met by Commander Greenwald, Colonel Barrett, and Cadets Cappiello and Booker, who represented the Drill Team. Then, it was back to the Memorial for the lowering of the colors and dismissal.
Day 2 (Tuesday, 23 August): Learning the Ropes
If the recruits thought it would get easier after the first day, they were quickly proven wrong when a simple check for paperwork quickly turned into disciplinary action in the form of PT. However, the rest of the day proceeded more smoothly for most of the recruits, mostly taken up by stations that were designed to demonstrate the different extracurricular teams which the recruits will be eligible to join during the school year; Tuesday’s stations focused on our Raiders Team (with Cadets Velzy and Hayden), Air Rifle Team (with Cadets Ross, Freeman, and Davies), and, of course, Drill with the platoon leaders.
Day 3 (Wednesday, 24 August): The Ewing Olympics
Wednesday began with a welcome appearance by James River graduate and former Physical Fitness Officer Jesse Ewing, who heralded the arrival of a long-awaited competition: the Second Annual Ewing Olympics. Continuing the tradition started at Indoc 2015, the Ewing Olympics lived up and exceeded the expectations set the previous year. The platoons competed in events such as a relay, a push-up/sit-up contest, capture the flag, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and more. These events took up the whole day.
Day 4: On the Trail
On Thursday, the recruits ran back down to Robious Landing park for a brief from Georgina Walmsley, a student at Maggie Walker Governor’s School and experienced orienteer. After spending an hour or so navigating the woods, the recruits returned to finish practicing the drill card they would march for their parents the following day.
Day 5: Graduation
Recruits reported a half-hour earlier on Friday in order to get in some more practice on their drill cards. Despite trepidation about the lack of practice time over the course of the week, the recruits managed to nail down their marching just in time. Parents started to arrive at 1000, but the official inter-platoon competition began at around 1030. After the presentation of the colors and a fantastic performance of the National Anthem by Recruit Stella Crump of First Platoon, the drill competition began. Second Platoon, led by Cadets Gibson and Kaupish, ended up finishing first for both the marching and the Honor Platoon scores for the week, but all recruits excelled throughout the week. At the closing of the ceremony, all of the recruits were frocked to the rank of Cadet Seaman Apprentice, finally cementing their place as full cadets in our unit. Joining them in the frocking were Cadets Willett, May, Lowe, and Freeman, who received the ranks of Petty Officer First Class, Chief, and Ensign respectively. Pizza, provided by the generosity of our Cadet Parent Organization, was served for the Cadre, Cadets, and guests in the closed commons, accompanied by a short presentation on the extracurricular opportunities that will be open to the Cadets during the school year.