Cadets in the Navy’s Junior ROTC program at Shelton High school handle M1 Garand’s with precision.
They twirl, flip and sling the 13-pound rifles over their shoulders at a recent competition near Tacoma.
The best in the unit is called the Armed Drill Team Commander. Shelton High’s Carley Kunkle is the best.
“I used to be a really shy person and I used to not want to talk to anybody. I’ve gained a lot of confidence. That’s how ROTC has helped me,” she says. “It’s also helped me to be a leader.”
She barks orders to a couple dozen uniformed, marching peers.
“Before I get the first command I get really nervous, then once I give it I’m not even thinking. It makes me feel good that I’m in charge and they’re actually listening to me,” Kunkle says as she shouts in rhythm “Eyes … eyes … eyes, eyes, eyes,” meaning fellow cadets need to march forward, looking right at the military judges.
Kunkle is one of 104 students involved with the Navy’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp. That’s greater than the number of kids involved with football. But it’s not enough. The U.S. Navy has announced that Shelton’s program is on the list of nine units scheduled to be disestablished in June of this year.
As the deadline for the sequester draws near (March 1, 2013) the White House is sounding the alarm about the impact the $1.2 trillion in cuts will have. For months, the Defense Department has been preparing for military cuts.
Sometimes the smallest cuts sting the most. Click here to read more.
Now, take action: Click here to join the Facebook page and write the Secratery of the Navy and Congress.
photo courtesy mynorthwest.com