FORSYTH — For the 10th straight year, Forsyth’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) has been recognized as a Naval Honor School.
Senior JROTC Instructor and retired 1st Sgt. Pat Cannon said the school has been rated a Naval Honor School 13 out of 14 years.
“It’s an award that recognizes the JROTC programs across the country,” Cannon said.
The recognition focuses on cadet involvement, community service, public affairs and student involvement in school government, Cannon said.
“One that I’m most proud of is our Christmas meals program. We provide a complete turkey dinner for 25 to 30 families in the area. From turkey to the cranberry sauce to the potatoes, it’s a complete meal,” Cannon said. “It’s not a food drive. All the cadets bring in those food items themselves and then we create those meals.”
With 85 cadets in the Forsyth High School JROTC program, Cannon said many members of the community may only see them at parades.
“Like the Veterans Day parade or Christmas parade, that’s the only time they’ll see cadets and it’s a very small glimpse of everything else we do,” Cannon said.
Cannon said the JROTC cadets are always looking for ways to increase their community service.
“We really like to take what we do in the classroom and incorporate it in their lives,” Cannon said.
Cadet Commanding Officer Alexandra Justesen is a senior at Forsyth High School and said her involvement in JROTC has increased more every year.
Justesen said she is proud the JROTC program was recognized.
“It makes me feel really proud of the cadets in the program and I feel a lot of gratitude that people noticed that we’re putting it out there and making the effort. I feel grateful,” she said.
Throughout the school year, Cannon said the cadets will continue color guard presentations, drill competitions, competitive shooting and more.