History of the JROTC Program at North Brunswick High School
Army Junior ROTC was established at North Brunswick High School in 1972, under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Jones and Davy Lee Stanley who headed JROTC at all three high schools during the first few years upon the completion and opening of the schools. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Adams arrived just before the start of the 1973 school year and North Brunswick became a stand alone program at that time.
The current school year marks 43 years of Army JROTC at North Brunswick. The current Senior Army Instructor, Lieutenant Colonel LeeRoy Hanna Jr., US Army Retired, arrived in 2007 and is the eighth SAI in the program's history.
According to Helen Lewis, North Brunswick's former long time administrative assistant, the cadets started out with wooden rifles for drill and ceremony. Later a vault was constructed in the main building and real rifles were then obtained. Live ammunition was used in .22 caliber rifles for some years, for marksmanship training, until OSHA regulations concerning lead exposure caused a switch to air rifles.
JROTC has always been a coed program although in the early 1970's, women's uniforms were sometimes difficult to obtain.
Over the years, JROTC at North Brunswick High School has produced outstanding cadets some of whom have gone on to careers in the military, health care, law enforcement, education, and business.
The JROTC Department was originally located in two trailers, which were placed to the rear of the current 100 building. Sometime in the mid-1970's a rifle range was constructed in a far corner of the campus and in 1989 the JROTC building was completed adjacent to the range with all activities relocated to the new facility. Much credit for the completion of the JROTC building must go to Mr. James Clemmons, a long time Brunswick County educator who pushed for the project as a member of the Brunswick County Board of Education. The JROTC building has been updated over the years and now boasts three classrooms with the latest in technology in all of the classrooms.
In 2001 a major renovation of the range building was undertaken. A concrete floor was installed to replace the dirt floor, new heating, lighting, and air conditioning was added, the building was insulated and a new ceiling was installed. Additionally, new storage areas were constructed and the entire building was painted inside and out. In 2003, thanks to Brunswick County Schools and Brunswick County Public Works, a Raider training area was constructed to the rear of the range building and, as part of the school renovations, a canopy was constructed to connect the JROTC building to the rest of the school. The Raider training area allows the Raider team to practice constructing rope bridges, first aid, and land navigation. North Brunswick JROTC now has facilities superior to most college ROTC programs.
Starting in 2011 the Fourth JROTC Brigade sponsored a Best of the Best competition in all competitive areas. In 2011 North Brunswick finshed third in Air Rifle. Starting in 2012 North Brunswick has won the Air Rifle Championship each year. They have shot annually in the JROTC Service Championships and JROTC National Championships. They have made three appearances in the Junior Olympics and CMP Championships.
While times have changed and faces have changed, one thing has not changed in JROTC; a commitment to helping young people to become mature, contributing adults.