CHS NJROTC: Most Outstanding Unit

Madison Conner, Contributor

The Calvert High School NJROTC has been awarded the honor of Most Outstanding Unit in Area Five for 2020, competing against 56 other schools in MarylandD.C. and Virginia. The unit is now competing for the honor of Most Outstanding Unit in the Nation with over 4,500 hours of community servicenumerous ROTC scholarships received by seniors, and the highest levels in academics, air rifle, drill, athletics, and orienteering under their belts. 

“This distinction sets us apart by being well rounded across the spectrum of academic excellence, drill, air rifle, orienteering, and fitness,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Williams, USMC Ret. “The cadets have improved substantially in all areas, which has made them hungry maintaining this level of distinction... This unit has grown tremendously, but the most notable characteristics are the way cadets have really adapted to the Navy and Marine Corps Values of ‘Honor, Courage, and Commitment’.  

Their motto, “Unit Before Self” has encouraged them to create a successful environment for themselves and their peers. 

Cadet Ensign Emily Michalko, a current sophomore at Calvert High School and active member of the NJROTC, hopes to attend college majoring in engineering and join their Army unit. Following her college graduation, she plans on joining the Army as an officer.  

“For me honor means standing up for something you believe in and when someone believes in something so strongly that person will protect what they love,” said Michalko. 

The program offers many opportunities for students to explore their interests and learn and make decisions about the path they want to take in the future. These experiences include college visits that are local and out of state, STEM and flight simulator tours at the Patuxent Naval Air Station, tours and cruises on naval vessels at the Naval Academy and Norfolk Naval Base, US Military Academy, Naval football games, and many more.  

In the past four years, they’ve traveled to Hawaii, VirginiaArizona, Ohio, Alabama, California, Florida, New York, and France. The unit has also participated in leadership training in the summer at local and out of state camps.  

“It is so much fun to go on a trip in the middle of the school year. When you’re gone, you make tight relationships with the other cadets that go with you,” said Michalko. “It is always fun to go and compete with others because during the school year we put so much work into what we do and then when competition rolls around, we get to show off our skills.”  

Many teams are offered outside of the classroom, including the air rifle team, academic team, athletic team, drill team, orienteering team, and job billets. 

“One of my most favorite things are the teams in the unit. I am apart of Air Rifle, Color Guard, Drill, and a couple others. Air rifle and color guard are a ton of fun because you get to travel to some amazing places and compete. I was very lucky to go to Arizona in February and compete in Navy Nationals for Air rifle,” said Michalko. 

The national recipient of the Most Outstanding Unit award will be chosen based on a narrative submitted by Chief Williams, and an endorsement submitted by Calvert High School principal Dr. Lucas. The outstanding commitment, character, and performance of Calvert High School’s NJROTC Unit has allowed them to be a strong group worthy of such a notable accomplishment. Every student hopes to gain something from this recognition that will aid them in whichever future endeavor they hope to pursue.