By NewsLine Staff

Ponte Vedra’s Nease NJROTC, the 2016 No. 1 ranked unit in NJROTC Area-12, restocked its high-performing cadet leadership ranks this past week by sending nine cadets to the Area 12 (northern Florida and state of Georgia) NJROTC weeklong Leadership Academy and CO/XO School in Gainesville, Ga.

Two hundred and thirty cadets from Area-12’s 60 high school programs participated in the training. The top Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard JROTC naval science instructors from northern Florida and Georgia directed the training which covered precision drill, academics and physical fitness.

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This year’s attendees included rising seniors Justin Blackford and Anthony Huddleston; and rising juniors Mac Davis, Krista Ecker, Jesse Gatewood, Jacob Hunt, Isabelle Jacobi, Lucas Pels and Aberlyn Short. Cadets Ryan Berry and Cali Vaughn, Nease’s battalion commander and command master chief, served as cadre during the week, assisting in the mentoring and training of the cadets. Naval Science Instructors Captain Scott LaRochelle and Gunnery Sergeant Durwin Hanson served as instructors.

“Without a doubt, some of the best training I’ve ever received,” said cadet Lucas Pels. “I can’t wait to put into practice what we learned once we start back up at Nease.”

Cadet Aberlyn Short received individual recognition for exceptional performance in Academics.

The Leadership Academy staff selected Nease cadets to fill two of the most prestigious staff positions during the week. Cadet Berry was selected as overall Battalion Commander for the corps; and Cadet Vaughn was selected as Alpha Company Commander.

Photo courtesy Captain Scott LaRochelle

Nease NJROTC instructors and cadets participated in the seven-day Area-12 Leadership Academy and CO/XO School at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga. Pictured are Captain Scott LaRochelle, Gunnery Sergeant Duane Hanson, Cadets Ryan Berry, Mac Davis, Justin Blackford, Lucas Pels, Isabelle Jacobi, Jesse Gatewood, Anthony Huddleston, Jacob Hunt, Aberlyn Short, Krista Ecker, Cali Vaughn and Area-12 Manager Commander Rustie Hibbard.


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