WMRHS Army JROTC Begins 16th Year

Cadet Major Amy Belanger

WHITEFIELD, N.H. -- The Spartan Battalion Army JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps) program is entering it's 16th year at the White Mountains Regional High School. The nationally accredited JROTC curriculum is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork and self-discipline.

Students earn an elective credit for taking JROTC and also have the option of receiving their physical education credit. Additionally, cadets can receive up to 10 college credits in Leadership through a program with Adams State College. The JROTC Spartan Battalion is one of only two Army programs in the state of New Hampshire and currently has approximately 65 cadets enrolled.

Students who participate in the program are not only from WMRHS; students from Littleton, Groveton, Profile and Lin-Wood High School in Lincoln, N.H. also attend. Lt. Col. (retired) Darrel Gearhart serves as the senior Army instructor, and Sgt. Major (retired) Michael Bruno serves as the Army instructor.

The Spartan Battalion Commander this year is Cadet Major Amy Belanger, a four-year senior cadet. She is an honors student who is a member of the JROTC Color Guard and Drill teams. She is also a valued member of the high school varsity field hockey team. Amy plans on attending Dartmouth College following graduation to pursue a degree in medicine.

This year the JROTC cadets are planning an educational field trip to Gettysburg, Pa. in April, as well as a Dining In ceremony later on in the year. The cadets have been busy with several fundraising events such as car washes, Lancaster Fair parking, parking at the New Hampshire motor speedway, and parking for the Reach the Beach Relay. The Spartan Battalion cadets will participate in numerous community service projects including American Red Cross blood drives, the Adopt a Highway program, Memorial Day ceremonies, Veteran's Day parades, and flag education classes at local elementary schools.

The JROTC Color Guard will present the Colors (the National and State flags) for many sporting and numerous public events. In addition, the JROTC program has five teams (Drill, Raider, Marksmanship, Color Guard and Academic), which will compete against other JROTC programs located throughout New England and nationally.

Submitted by Cadet Lt. Joseph Dami.

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