Loudoun County High School (LCHS) is proud to be the home of a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) unit.  Established in 2009, the unit will begin its 16th year of operation this fall.  As the first and only JROTC unit in the history of Loudoun County, the LCHS NJROTC Unit is open to high school students across the county.  The program includes students from all high schools in the district for SY 2024-25. 
    The mission of the NJROTC program is to instill in students the ideals of Leadership, Character, Honor, and Service as the foundation for success in life.  Although the program incorporates traditional military values and organization as a framework, it is not a recruiting program and participants are under no obligation or commitment to serve in the armed forces.  However, for those interested in military service, the benefits of successful participation in the program include qualification for a higher paygrade upon enlistment in any branch of service, as well as opportunities for college ROTC scholarships or service academy appointments.  The program's focus on order, precision, self-discipline, respect for authority, ethical behavior, patriotism, service, and citizenship is designed to prepare students for success in life, regardless of their future plans.
    The program is led by Captain Bill Johns (USN, retired), Gunnery Sergeant Dennis Gaitens (USMC, retired), and Senior Chief Jack Fitch (USN, retired).  Serving all of Loudoun County, the NJROTC unit currently has about 170 students enrolled, including approximately 90 students who have transferred from other high schools within the county to be a part of the program.  Although students may elect to participate for only one or two years, the Naval Science curriculum is designed as a four-year course of study. Students typically participate for at least three years.  About 60 percent of class time is devoted to traditional instruction and 40 percent is spent practicing and honing leadership and followership skills, which includes instruction and practice in uniform wear and personnel inspections, drill, and physical training.  Cadets wear their uniforms at least once a week for class meetings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays are devoted to fitness training and close-order drill.  All uniforms, textbooks, training materials, and equipment are furnished by the U.S. Navy at no cost to the individual student.        
    All first-year students--freshmen through seniors--enroll in Naval Science 1.  Students meet in class every other day for 90 minutes as with any other full-year, elective course.  Naval Science 1 includes units on Career Planning; Basic Leadership; Citizenship and American Government; Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Navy; Wellness, Fitness, and First Aid; and World Geography, Map Reading, and Land Navigation.
    The Naval Science 2 curriculum, for second-year students, includes the study of Maritime History, Leadership, and Nautical Sciences (maritime geography, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, and physical science, including hydrodynamics, basic electricity and electronics, sound propagation, and sonar).
    Naval Science 3 includes the study of Sea Power as it relates to Strategy and National Security; Naval Operations and Support Functions; Military, International, and Admiralty Law; Modern Naval Warfare, Weapons, and Platforms; and the Challenges of Leadership and Group Decision-Making. 
    Naval Science 4 is focused on developing career and life Leadership Skills, including résumé writing, job interview practice, financial planning, and salary negotiations; group leadership exercises in national security decision-making; and case studies in ethical, transformational, and crisis leadership.  Additionally, many students will hold senior leadership positions and conduct year-long leadership practicums as a member of the cadet staff responsible for planning and executing unit activities and functions; as Mentors assigned to NS-1 classes to train and lead first-year students; or as Class Leaders assigned to NS-2 or NS-3 classes to lead second- or third-year students.
    In addition to classroom-based activities, the curriculum includes field trips and orientation visits to military bases and other sites of interest.  Three to four such trips will be planned each year, including day trips (e.g., U.S. Naval Academy, the Pentagon, Marine Corps Base Quantico) or overnight/multi-day trips (e.g., Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Air Station Oceana).  Cadets also undertake community service and outreach activities including environmental and conservation work; service to youth, the elderly, and the less fortunate; service to deployed military members and their families, veterans, and wounded service members; as well as support to local community activities and civic events (parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, commemorations, etc.)
    The LCHS NJROTC Unit's eight extra-curricular teams practice before school and compete with similar teams from other JROTC units across the area and nation.  Teams include Drill/Color Guard, Fitness, Academic, Orienteering (point-to-point terrain navigation race), CyberPatriot (cybersecurity STEM program), SeaPerch (underwater robotics STEM program), and Drones (flight STEM program).  These teams provide additional opportunities for cadet leaders to hone their management, leadership, and planning skills while providing participants with the chance to have fun as they put into practice the leadership precepts of commitment, discipline, orderliness, attention to detail, self-control, and teamwork.
    The NJROTC classrooms are located in the Captain James F. Adamouski (USA) building, which is a separate annex building from the main school building on the right, back corner of the school property across the parking lot from the cafeteria.
    Students or parents interested in learning more about the program are welcome to call or e-mail Captain Bill Johns (USN, retired) or Gunnery Sergeant Gaitens (USMC, retired).  
    We anticipate that the NJROTC program application window will be open this November (2024) through January 2025 for out-of-zone rising 9th graders wishing to apply to the NJROTC program for the 2025-2026 school year.  More information will be made available at the following website:  https://www.lcps.org/Page/211457
    A virtual information session (held on December 14, 2020) about the LCHS NJROTC program may be viewed at the following website:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmfSnz8f2bo
Last Modified on Thursday at 1:23 PM