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Annual Inspection Completed For Riverbank Highs NJROTC
The annual cadet inspection, conducted at Riverbank High School on Feb. 16, is an evaluation of the cadets on NJROTC basic knowledge and skills. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

Cadets in the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) program at Riverbank High School participated in the 24th Annual Military Inspection on Thursday, Feb. 16, held in the Ray Fauria Gym. The annual inspection is required by the Navy to evaluate cadets and test them on basic NJRTOC knowledge and skills. NJROTC Instructor, Commander James Flynn, organized the event and presented the cadets in the Pass-in-Review to parents, family, friends and staff.

The purpose of the NJROTC is to teach students about citizenship, patriotism, respect of authority, respectful conduct, physical fitness, communication, personal appearance, and leadership training. If students take three to four years of the program they have the ability to rank higher if they pursue a military career.

Early in the day cadets have an inspection of their uniforms, storeroom, and spaces as well as are tested on their knowledge like knowing the chain-of-command. The cadets then gather in formation at a presentation for their families and friends.

At the event, Navy Captain Charles Roots gave the crowd and cadets a speech which included part of the Oath of Enlistment that states, ‘I swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic’ and what that means.

“I want to point that out to you because it doesn’t say that you are serving a particular political party,” said Roots. “It does not say that you are supporting a particular president that you like or you don’t like. That is irrelevant.

“When you wear the uniform you serve the country in order to defend the constitution so that Americans can continue to enjoy the freedoms that have been hard fought for us.”

Roots’ extensive military career began under President Richard Nixon and through the 34 years of military service, he has not always liked the Presidents elected.

“There are some of them that I wouldn’t cross the street to greet,” stated Roots. “That is irrelevant. What is relevant is that you wearing the uniform have a responsibility to protect and defend the constitution regardless of who sits in the White House.

“The United States is the one country in the history of the world that has been able to enjoy freedoms that others cannot even begin to imagine.”

After touring several countries and every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica, Roots explained there is no country with all the freedoms to say or do basically whatever we want than this country.

“We are here to defend the constitution so we can continue to live in freedom and liberty,” added Roots. “Each one of us, civilian, military, you make your choice. It is the greatest country in the world. We dare not lose it. God Bless America.”

The colors were presented and the Pass-in-Review commenced with cadets in formation that marched around the gymnasium in unison.

With applause for the cadets and their efforts, RHS Principal Sean Richey also addressed the crowd expressing his pride for the cadets and the NJROTC program.

“These young men and women have had an opportunity to learn about the service and what that means,” stated Richey. “They learned in this program how to serve others and that really is one of the great things about our country and about our community. We put service before self. When we work together we accomplish so much more.”