NPHS NJROTC Cadets Graduate From Leadership Academy


C/PO3 Lauren Wolfe, Public Affairs Officer

North Port High Schools Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is very honored to have two of their hardworking cadets graduate from the Area 7 NJROTC Leadership Academy on June 18th, 2022. Only 1% of NJROTC cadets are selected to participate in this program, which amounts to 150 cadets a year. They began their training two months before the program started on June 13th, pushing themselves to the limit every week. The cadets experienced what one week of Marine Corps Boot Camp is like.

They were split into three separate platoons and had two Marine or Navy drill instructors. They would wake up at 5:00 AM and go to bed at 10:00 PM. In-between those hours doing rigorous physical training to establish fitness and discipline. Cadets would also experience eating three times a day during “chow time”,  having to eat in silence while sitting at attention without looking at their food. This is a mental and physical challenge that not everyone who attends the program can handle. Additionally, they went through multiple classes within the week, each with different instructors. They were taught how to properly use and handle a sword in formation, how to guide the unit marker while in platoon drill, and how to improve their current leadership skills. They also learned about other leadership styles, the dynamic between followers and leaders, discipline and self-control, and the Navy’s core values through the book “Make Your Bed” by Admiral William H. McRaven.

Our unit’s Executive Officer, Cadet Ensign Danny Gonzalez, is a graduate of this year’s leadership academy.  He stated that “An important thing I learned there was don’t try to do everything yourself when things stop working out, because you will become burnt-out, and being burnt-out means you will not have a legacy to leave behind for the cadets when you leave.”

On the day of their graduation, cadets receive a cord symbolizing their completion of the academy, which is worn on the right shoulder instead of the traditional left. They had the opportunity to receive many awards for their hard work and do a pass and review. Our unit and the staff who coordinate the Area 7 Leadership Academy are undeniably grateful to have had Senior Chief William Rennie with us for so many years. His help and guidance in coordinating this program has left a great impact on the academy. This year marks the last year that he will watch the cadets he has trained walk on that graduation stage. Our unit is incredibly proud of our two graduates, Operations Officer Cadet Chief Petty Officer Jordan Wager and Executive Officer Cadet Ensign Danny Gonzalez.