Sailors chaperone local NJROTC trip to Naval Station Norfolk
Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Gagner and Petty Officer 3rd Class Kate Cramer from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia chaperoned Greenbrier High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets on a trip to Virginia’s Naval Station Norfolk Mar. 12-15.
The group of 54, including 49 students, two teachers (retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Tony Howard and retired Chief Warrant Officer 2 Singleton), one parent, and two NIOC Georgia Sailors, traveled by bus from Evans, Ga. to Norfolk, Va.
Keadra Warner, a senior at Greenbrier High School and Chief Petty Officer in the NJROTC said, “It was a really fun experience sleeping in the barracks; it was different but comfortable.” NJROTC students deal with a military-like atmosphere in the classroom every day. However, this trip was a chance to see what the Navy is really about.
The first day of the trip was comprised of a briefing and tour of the guidedmissile cruiser USS Anzio (CG-68) as well as Assault Craft Unit FOUR and Assault Craft Unit TWO. The students finished up their day with a trip to the Navy Exchange and dinner at the Little Creek Naval Base Galley.
Caleb Yarbro, a senior at Greenbrier High School and Commanding Officer of Greenbrier High’s NJROTC unit said, “This trip was a great way to get down in the dirt with my cadets and get to know the freshman and people I don’t normally talk with.” He was most appreciative to learn about real life Sailors’ commissioning stories. “It was a great preview of what life will be like in the future; it brought everything full circle and real world.”
The trip’s second day began with pictures at the Aircraft Display on Naval Station Norfolk and was followed by a briefing and tour of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), a trip to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120 to view the E- 2C Hawkeyes and MH-60S Knighthawks.
“Most of the cadets were able to learn something and get the feel of the real Navy,” explained Hailey Lowe, a junior at Greenbrier High School and NJROTC Chief Petty Officer. This marked Lowe’s second visit to Naval Station Norfolk.
About his involvement as a chaperone, Gagner said, “It was a good opportunity to get kids out and experience what the Navy is all about. It was really rewarding to share my experiences, not only why I joined, but what made me stay in.”
Having active duty enlisted Sailors accompany these students on their trip gave them a firsthand aspect of the military and a chance to constantly ask questions.
“It was helpful to have enlisted Sailors accompany us and have the background of everything that goes into it,” remarked Warner.
Both NJROTC teachers were very appreciate to have the support of NIOC Georgia and hope in the future to be able to take a trip to Pensacola, Florida, They hope to involve more students and have more Sailors come along on future trips.
Howard summed it up, “The fact that they get to talk with, see the professionalism and see the Sailors doing their job is the biggest benefit of this whole trip.”
For more news from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia, visit www.navy.mil/local/ niocg/.