The following are frequently asked questions by new or prospective cadets and their parents. Please read through each section to find out more about our unit and its operations. If you are interested in joining our unit, click HERE to contact us. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
WHAT IS NJROTC?
NJROTC is a youth education program sponsored by the Navy whose purpose is to bring out the best in every student. It is available for students in grades 9 through 12. Only a select few schools are fortunate enough to have such a program, and we are proud to be one of them. We are a unit dedicated to teaching cadets that "all doors in life can be opened with good manners and a smile." Our mission is to prepare the youth of today for the challenges of tomorrow by teaching them teamwork and follower-ship, as well as the leadership and management skills needed for success.
WHAT EXACTLY IS TAUGHT IN CLASS?
The things taught in class are broad and varied, designed to provide students with the tools needed for success. The foundation is laid during the first year when students learn to be solid citizens and do cool stuff like learning teamwork while marching, learning exacting attention to detail during marksmanship training, and learning social etiquette in preparation for the annual ball.
Cadets in Year 1 (NS1) learn military history, survival training, physical fitness and health education, as well as basic leadership and follower-ship skills.
Cadets in Year 2 (NS2) learn land navigation, seamanship and navigation, take the CT boating safety course, study maritime geography and meteorology, and learn some advanced leadership and communication skills.
Cadets in Year 3 (NS3) learn aviation fundamentals and actually go flying after using a flight simulator in class. They also learn advanced citizenship and leadership skills, have an intro to naval engineering, and learn to lead and manage events.
Cadets in Year 4 (NS4) take charge of the unit and plan our numerous events and activities. They also serve in leadership positions and are responsible for the junior cadets assigned to them. They also learn many life skills like personal financial management, car buying, how to transition successfully from high school, public speaking, and ethics.
Throughout the course cadets are graded in their uniform appearance, manners and bearing. All cadets participate in marching drill, ball room dancing, etiquette classes, and marksmanship training each year, with increased expectations each year as well. For more information, click HERE.
WILL I BE IN THE ARMED FORCES OR WILL I HAVE TO GO INTO THE SERVICE?
Of course NOT! There is absolutely no obligation of any kind, and most students have no interest in going into the military after graduation. For those who are interested, however, there are some very real benefits.
WHAT ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS, ARE THEY IN THE ARMED FORCES?
No. NJROTC Instructors are retired military officers and senior non-commissioned officers. They are not recruiters. They are high school faculty members and employees of the high school like all other teachers, but are certified by the U.S. Navy to teach NJROTC.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE COST?
There is NO Fee to Join NJROTC. The military or the school covers course materials, uniforms, supplies, equipment, and most other costs. Personal items such as notebooks, undergarments, and such things as meals on field trips are not covered. Fund raising projects are scheduled as needed to raise funds for special equipment, projects and field trips. Voluntary participation in extracurricular NJROTC teams and some field trips, such as drill and rifle team and the Fall Orientation Trip, may include a cost to cover food, lodging and/or transportation.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS I CAN GAIN FROM THE COURSE?
Aside from normal benefits of a good high school course, there are some very real benefits for those who want to take advantage of them.
All the military services give up to two or three pay grades (two-three ranks) advanced standing for people who desire to enlist after having successfully completed Naval JROTC courses in high school.
Many colleges give extra credit for completion of the NJROTC program to students who are seeking enrollment and it also helps your application if you want to join College ROTC following high school graduation.
For those who are interested in fully paid college scholarships and those seeking Service Academy appointments, NJROTC instructors can be very helpful in assisting high school students compete for ROTC scholarships and service academy appointments worth up to $150,000.00. These are competitively awarded to qualified high school students annually.
WHAT KIND OF CREDIT CAN I GET FOR NJROTC?
The course carries full elective credit towards graduation, just like all the other academic courses.
WHAT IS THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE NJROTC UNIT?
The enrollement in the NJROTC Unit closely reflects the make up of Herndon High School. We welcome the diversity that reflects our community.
DO I WEAR A UNIFORM?
A Navy uniform is issued to each cadet without cost and is worn once a week on the unit's designated uniform day. It is an honor to wear the uniform and that honor is not treated lightly. These uniforms belong to the U.S. Navy and are required to be returned when a student leaves the unit. Uniforms are provided to each Cadet after being professionally dry cleaned and tailored if necessary. When a Cadet leaves the unit the uniform is required to be returned in the same clean condition. Normal wear and tear will NOT be charged to the Cadet. For more information, click HERE.
DO BOYS HAVE TO GET A SHORT HAIRCUT?
Boys’ hair must be neatly trimmed and meet minimum standards to not bring discredit upon the uniform; however, it need not be “white-walled”. Some of the extra-curricular teams may have their own stricter requirements for competitions, but participation on those teams, and meeting their own stricter requirements for competitions, is optional.
CAN I STILL GO OUT FOR BAND AND VARSITY SPORTS?
Certainly, NJROTC students are active in every phase of the school from varsity football to band, and student government. Whenever possible, NJROTC extra-curricular group practices are scheduled so as not to conflict with other practices and meetings. It is highly encouraged that NJROTC students participate in other activities. Doing so adds credit to the students college application and resume.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES NJROTC TAKE?
You can spend as much or as little time in NJROTC as you want. You must go to class just like other courses, but activities like drill team, color guard, and marksmanship teams are optional. They are there for you if your grades allow and you want to participate. Certainly, the more involved you are, the more benefit and FUN you are likely to get from the course.
TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE TO NJROTC STUDENTS.
The NJROTC unit supports a wide range of activities, with the exact number depending on the interests of the students. There are too many possible activities to cover in detail in one short fact sheet. Mentioned above are things like competition drill team, academic team, orienteering team, rifle team, and color guard. There is a summer camp; leadership camps; social activities; an annual formal military ball; field orientation trips, and field meets which are not only interesting but fun as well.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY WHEN I WEAR THE UNIFORM IN SCHOOL?
It is human nature to notice something new about a person you know and this certainly applies to NJROTC students. NJROTC is a popular and respected organization in the school, so the minor “self-consciousness” caused by wearing something different is seldom a problem for Cadets.
WHAT KIND OF RECOGNITION CAN I GET FOR MY PARTICIPATION IN NJROTC?
There are a large number of awards that are given for participation and achievement in NJROTC. Some are given by the unit, some by the school, and others by local civic and patriotic groups.
WHAT ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP TRAINING?
NJROTC is the only formal course of instruction that has formal instruction in leadership. The course also encourages practical application by giving the students the opportunity to run their extra-curricular groups and manage many aspects of the NJROTC program.
I AM GOING TO COLLEGE. IS THIS GOOD PREPARATION?
NJROTC course material is academically sound and enhances the college preparatory curriculum. We teach good study habits, better test preparation techniques, organization and prioritization of taks and build up the NJROTC Cadets' level of self-confidence and pride.
For more information about NJROTC, click HERE.