New Jersey H.S. Joins Marine JROTC Program
By Sgt John Neal
| | September 26, 2002
CLIFTON, NJ --
CLIFTON, NJ -- Clifton High School in Clifton, NJ was the latest school to join the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps with a commissioning ceremony last night. Major Stephen Neary, commanding officer of Recruiting Station New Jersey, presented the school with a charter certificate from the Secretary of the Navy to officially open the program.
Mr. William Cannisi, principal of Clifton High School, served in the Marine Reserves in the late-60's and is thrilled to have the Marine Corps involved in his school.
"I believe in their sense of motivation and discipline," Cannisi said in a phone interview the day after the commissioning. "I know what the Marines can do."
In his comments, Maj. Neary explained to parents and school board members the importance of encouraging patriotism and citizenship in young Americans.
"A big part of our Nation's character is our values, which start at home, school and within the community," said Neary. "The JROTC program will compliment your home values, which will make the school, community, and the Nation stronger."
Mr. Cannisi expects the program to expand on its early success in enrollment, but only wishes the school didn't have to turn students away because of a lack of space.
"I think the involvement will go up next year, and will continue to go up," Cannisi said.
Clifton is the 28th school to join the JROTC program in the 1st Marine Corps District, a region that covers the entire northeast United States from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Maine. In early October, two more schools will join the 1st Marine Corps District program: Chester High School in Chester, Pa., and Sun Valley High School in Sun Valley, Pa.
The Marine Corps JROTC program is sanctioned by the Marine Corps Training and Education Command in Quantico, Va., and teaches high school students about leadership skills, citizenship, and responsibility.