Navy Junior ROTC conducts pass in review
Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, conducted a pass in review Dec. 6 for Navy Junior ROTC (JROTC) Phoenix Company cadets at the Father Duenas Memorial High School (FDMS) in Mangilao.
FDMS Principal Jeff San Nicolas said he appreciated Payne’s participation in the ceremony as it forged positive relations between the military and local communities.
“The admiral’s presence here was really a boost to the whole ceremony, I think because of his stature, it gave a lot of dignity and a validity to what our program and what our boys are doing and it’s good to hear the encouraging words from the admiral,” he said.
“His presence was a real blessing and a very important part of our program here.”
Senior Naval Science Instructor Valentino Separa said the event started in the morning when Navy retired Capt. Robert Kennedy inspected 83 cadets.
“It happens every school year, a unit is inspected to make sure we’re doing the right things and we’ve been complying with the Navy’s policy,” Separa said. “Each cadet was inspected and went through the questions of (the) chain of command, general orders and what not.”
During the pass in review, Payne conducted a last evaluation of the inspection, ensuring a passing grade for the cadets and imparted on them words of encouragement to make a difference with their lives.
“You are members of a tremendous school, a tremendous organization in the JROTC,” he said. “You are gifted, you are disciplined and the opportunities that lay before you are only limited by your imagination and your willingness to work hard and achieve your dreams.”
The event also honored the founder of the FDMS Navy JROTC program Cmdr. Charles White, who established the company in 1973, with the dedication of the ROTC building as the Cmdr. Charles E. White Building.
“It is said that we all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and so I would offer up to you here that those of you in the NJROTC program here at Father Duenas stand on the shoulders of Cmdr. White, and everything that he started, everything he initiated and what he built some almost forty years ago,” Payne said. “As we celebrate Cmdr. White’s legacy today, think about what legacy you’re creating for yourselves.”
Phoenix Company Cadet Cmdr. Brian Min said Payne’s words of legacy rang true with his goals and those of his fellow graduating seniors.
“It really means a lot to us because me and my fellow seniors, we try to leave something behind so that we can come back in 20 years just as our alumni did,” he said. “We can come back and we can be proud of something that we left behind. It gives us like a motivation and destination to be reached.”