50 Years of ROTC

Bishop Kenny NJROTC celebrates 50 years of service

Giovanna Feitoza, Features and Sports Section Editor

Bishop Kenny celebrated the 50th anniversary since the establishment of its Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program (NJROTC) this school year. On March 28 2023, former cadets and instructors, parents and family and even the Superintendent of Schools for St. Augustine were invited to celebrate the anniversary on the BK campus. 

The celebratory event was meant to showcase the unit’s different teams and the accomplishments they have gathered over the years. In the ROTC classroom, there were cadets simulating the motions of a Brain Brawl tournament.  Meanwhile, in the recently constructed Multi-purpose Training Facility, cadets gave demonstrations for their Marksmanship and Drone teams.

The campus looked different to returning cadets and instructors in attendance, so current cadets showed camaraderie for their alumni guests by leading them on tours of their new facilities throughout the night.

Before guests viewed any demonstrations, cadets and instructors welcomed guests into the event through the Carla Harris, where drinks and finger foods were being served. There was a strong sense of nostalgia among the returning alumni as they stood over tables that displayed an extensive collection of scrapbooks from the past 50 years.

The BK NJROTC unit was established in 1973, as a way to instill essential life skills in leadership, team building, community service and citizenship. Since its institution at BK, the program has given back an estimated 90,000 community service hours to the city of Jacksonville. And despite its lack of military obligation, the unit has sent off many cadets to a variety of service academies, including: U.S. Military Academy (West Point), U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis) and the U.S. Air Force Academy.