by michael angelo tan
The school’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) hosted their three-day annual event, Basic Leadership Training, which lasted from Friday, September 14, to Sunday, September 16. 123 first year cadets from several schools, such as Orange Glen High School, West Valley High School and Murrieta Mesa High School, attended the event. Cadets partook in numerous activities, which included, physical training, uniform inspections, water survival training, and team building exercises.
On the first evening, students were checked in, separated by gender and placed into their respective platoons for team bonding and preparation. The cadets were then led to the gym, where they put down their belongings and started studying their knowledge handbooks, which are essential for inspection. After they finished taking their showers, the cadets were sent to their racks and went to bed at around ten o'clock in the evening. Students were assigned shifts overnight, known as “firewatch”. This is where cadets patrol the premises and make sure that everyone is safely sleeping.
The next day, students were woken up at 5AM and marched down in physical training (PT) gear to the football field to begin physical exercise. The students were put under intense, physical training by Orange Glen’s Master Sergeant Keith Porter. Some activities included Marine Corps push-ups, sit-ups, and running. During this time, the NJROTC Parent Support Group (PSG) began to cook breakfast for all of the cadets.
Later during the day, students were brought over to the pool to begin the water survival training. Naval Science Instructor Senior Chief McGovern said, “Water survival is to prevent anything bad to happen to you. . .give them that skill to be able to tread water if they are in a situation where they cannot get out of.” McGovern elaborated on this and stated, “Another [activity] is when they use their pants to use as a floatation device. . .there is a way you can put some air into the pants and it turns into a flotation device.”
On the final day, all cadets finished off bootcamp with the “Pass & Review”, which is essentially a graduation for the cadets who attended all three days of Basic Leadership Training. Students formed up into their platoons, marched out onto the football field and practiced several times before parents came to watch their child promote. Students also received awards that they earned, such as the “Most Improved Cadet” and swimming qualifications. Freshman Eilene Paniagua commented, “It [Basic Leadership Training] is an amazing experience; You get to meet other cadets from other schools, and you get to learn a whole bunch of different things, and learn how to be a better cadet.” During the Basic Leadership Training, students in NJROTC from several schools around the area had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities in order to showcase their skills and gain new experiences.