Cadets occasionally hold car washes to raise funds for their activities. Courtesy photo
By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Freshmen entering the Naval Junior ROTC program at Los Alamos High School are encouraged to attend a special program following Tuesday’s freshmen orientation.
After staff and students welcome new comers to the campus with a host of orientation information, cadet leaders will add to the experience with activities of their own. The unit cadets intend to have items on display and share opportunities available with the LAHS organization. Food and hands on activities to engage the troops are part of the master plan, and while details have not been fully disclosed, rumor has it that some activities could involve balloons and water.
Cadet Ensign Rachel Barthell, a senior and the Public Affairs Officer for the unit, is ready to greet cadets and introduce them to offerings of the program in a comfortable environment. Ensign Barthell’s goal for the day is for new cadets to meet returning cadets and have fun.
“They can play games and sports, eat with us and ask any questions that they have,” Barthell said.
Barthell hopes returning cadets will share their experiences and let new arrivals to the program know what potential lies ahead. When asked to share a success from her own experience, she picked one sure to please parents not familiar with the program.
“Commanding the exhibition unarmed drill team for the state drill competition. It gave me a huge confidence boost and a true sense of team work,” she said.
Barthell’s sidekick for the event is Cadet Ensign Jonathan Schueler. Scheuler, the recruitment and retentions officer for the unit has equally high hopes for the day.
“I hope to introduce the incoming freshmen to the older cadets, for them to get to know each other and make new friends, even before school starts,” Scheuler said.
When also asked to share a story from his JROTC experience, he selected one that will delight those interested in the literal hands on sense.
“The best ROTC experience I’ve had was at the Combat Convoy Simulator (CCS) in San Diego,” he said. “It was so great to be teamed up with other cadets in the unit and fire off M16s and a .50 caliber rifle and drive around in a humvee.”
Local cadets are dedicated to service, school and self and most likely in that exact order. The opportunities abound for them as part of a program that plays a large role in not only building character for the future, but a well rounded student.
To learn more, contact LCDR Wes Shumaker at 663-2787 or GySgt Bret Painter at 663-3227.