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Three North Forsyth JROTC teams advance to national level
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Two Marine Corps JROTC extracurricular activities at North Forsyth High School recently advanced to the national level of competition. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

NORTH FORSYTH -- Two Marine Corps JROTC extracurricular activities at North Forsyth High School recently advanced to the national level of competition.

North’s JROTC unit — the only high school program in Forsyth County — participated in the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s JROTC Marksmanship Postal Competition, placing 10th in the nation.

This allows the team to advance to the CMP Marine Corps JROTC toe-to-toe National Competition in Las Vegas in February.

“JROTC does not exist to serve as a recruiting tool for the military. The JROTC curriculum for all services teaches life skills — habits that will well serve students after they have left high school and embarked on the next phase of their lives,” said Maj. Mac Kelly, senior Marine instructor at North.

The Drill Team and Color Guard competed on Dec. 10 in the Marine Corps JROTC Southeastern Regional Drill Competition at Parkview High School.

Commanded by Cadet Maj. Jacob Jewett, the drill team placed first.

The Color Guard, led by Cadet Gunnery Sgt. Leah Whitt, also placed first.

Both teams will represent the Southeastern Region in the National Marine Corps Drill Meet, which will be held in March in Texas.

“JROTC is structured to allow cadets to learn to think, act and accept responsibility for their actions. The scores achieved by our teams reflect this principle, especially the Drill Team and Color Guard,” Kelly said. “They were led by cadets, with experienced cadets instructing the newer team members. I am not aware of any other activity that places this level of responsibility upon high school students.”

North started the JROTC program 21 years ago. During that time, they have accumulated hordes of regional and national awards, have had graduates accepted to the U.S. Military Academy and awarded ROTC scholarships, have had more than 300 graduates enlist in the military and have had many other graduates enter the work force.

“Despite these accolades,” Kelly said, “last week was perhaps the best week ever for the cadet of North Forsyth.”