The Naval Service Training Command selected Nease NJROTC as the second most outstanding unit in the nation for 2020-21. Unfazed, unaffected and undaunted by the restrictive COVID environment this past school year, Nease took its NJROTC citizenship development and leadership building program to new heights.
This announcement came on the heels of Cmdr. Johnathan D. Shaw, Navy JROTC Area-12 manager, announcing Nease as the most outstanding unit in Area-12. The region encompasses 60 schools and covers the 13 NJROTC programs in Northeast Florida and 47 across the entire state of Georgia.
“They say it takes a village to feed a child; well, in the JROTC world, it take a community of cadets, parents, school administrators and instructors pulling in the same direction to ascend a program to this level,” said senior naval science instructor Capt. Scott LaRochelle.
This marks the third time in the past six years Nease has cracked the top five in the nation. In 2018, Nease was named the No. 5 program, and in 2015 Nease was the most outstanding unit in the nation.
This also marks the ninth time in the past 10 years that Nease has been named Area-12’s top program.
The award is based on the total achievement of the program, which includes academic performance, community outreach, campus leadership, graduation plans, physical fitness and competition results.
Nease’s main identity is its drill team, which competes in a compilation of 10 academic, athletic and drill individual events at 12-16 school meets. This past year Nease placed first at Terry Parker, Mandarin, Stockbridge (Georgia), Area-12 State Championship and third overall at the Navy National Academic, Athletic and Drill Championships.
Nease also won first place in athletics, academics, orienteering, drone and air rifle at competitions across North Florida and the state of Georgia, and placed third at the National Brain Brawl (academic) Championships.
“There’s pressure every year for the seniors to keep the unit on top,” said former Battalion Cmdr. Brandon Donovan, who will be attending Embry Riddle University on a full Navy ROTC scholarship in the fall. “Mission accomplished.”
“We don’t rebuild our program every year at Nease,” said naval science instructor Command Master Chief Duane Spears. “We reload – and we’re already back to work getting ready for next year.”