The Brother Martin NJROTC program recently held the 50th Annual Military Inspection on a beautiful day to a large crowd of family, alumni, faculty and students. The graded inspection is held every year alternating between the Navy’s Area 8 Manager one year and a guest inspector another year. On the milestone year, Brother Martin NJROTC brought back former Naval Science Instructors Commander Dave Hafford and Major Les Amick. The two teachers taught the current Senior Naval Science Instructor, Commander Bruce Nolan ‘90, during his time in the NJROTC program at Brother Martin. “It was such a privilege to have my mentors back and show them the great unit they helped me create,” said Cmdr. Nolan. “This was the inspection I wanted for our 50 year celebration.”
The ceremony began with Cadet Master Chief Francisco Garcia ‘18 calling for the report for the company and relaying to the Company Commander Scott Johnston ‘18 in a traditional military parade formation. As the Commanding Officer called for the Adjutant to post, Cadet Lieutenant Ryan Johnson moved to position and called the company to attention. Eighth grade student Patrick Donovan ‘22 helped the Drum and Bugle Corps to start off the ceremony with a bugle call to sound attention. While students cannot officially join the program until freshman year, Patrick volunteered to learn how to wear a military uniform and march in order to perform with the Drum and Bugle Corps in their second year of operation. After the arrival of the guest inspectors, current instructors and Principal Ryan Gallagher ‘00, the Drum and Bugle Corps headed by Cadet Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Joshua Bedran ‘19 performed the Star Spangled Banner while the Color Guard presented the colors. The inspection went flawlessly. “I was impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of the Cadets,” said Major Amick, the Naval Science Instructor for 24 years. He jumped right back into his instructor mode during the inspection. “I’m glad to know that they still maintain the high standards we’ve always expected from our Cadets.” The two guest evaluators inspected half of the 90 Cadets during the inspection. The Drum and Bugle Corps then marched onto the field to perform “Anchors Aweigh” as a demonstration of their hard work and practice. A first year Cadet squad, led by Cadet Gannon Blackledge ‘19, performed and demonstrated their excellence in drill.
Several Cadets stood out from the crowd and were awarded Exemplary Personal Appearance and junior Cadets were promoted on the spot. The Drum and Bugle Corps and the Chorus were awarded special ribbons commemorating their commitment to both NJROTC and our music programs. Senior Scott Johnston was awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement for his selection last year as the Area 8 Top Junior, one of only two students in 49 schools in a five state area and only 22 students nationwide from 616 schools and almost 89,000 students. This is the third year in a row that a Brother Martin NJROTC student received this honor. The ceremony ended with the Pass in Review with all Cadets marching by the reviewing stand to salute the official party and attendees.
“It was such an honor to come back to this school and see all the achievements the unit earned in the past 50 years,” said Cmdr. Hafford. “The Cadets look great. The ceremony was impressive. You earned high honors.” The Navy tradition closed as Cmdr. Hafford gave the order, “Strike Bravo Zulu.” The flags on the flagpole unfurled to show all the Crusader Company once again earned the honor to fly the flags showing a job well done.