Ten-Hut!: Barnegat ROTC Holding First Military Inspection

Mar 20, 2019

There’s a new man at the helm of the Barnegat High School Jr. Navy ROTC program, and one of Jim Mackey’s first events is to hold the unit’s first military inspection on Tuesday, March 26 at 8 a.m. in the school’s main gym.

Mackey, who retired as a chief warrant officer after 30 years of service with the U.S. Coast Guard, said the ceremony consists of marching and uniform inspection on the gym floor.

“There will be various salutes and drills,” said Mackey. “We have 50 kids in the program.”

Mackey took over from Michael Dunkin, a retired Navy master chief who started the program in 2017. Dunkin recently left Barnegat to take over the ROTC program at Atlantic City High School.

At Barnegat, objectives include promoting patriotism, developing informed and responsible citizens, promoting habits of orderliness and precision, developing a high degree of personal honor and self-reliance, promoting an understanding of the basic elements and need for national security, developing respect for and an understanding of the need for authority in a democratic society, promoting community service, developing incentives to live healthy and drug-free, developing leadership potential, providing an alternative to gangs, promoting high school completion and providing information on the military services as a possible career.

Cadets also participate in physical training, military-style drills and also learn about U.S. naval history. There is no obligation to join any branch of the military when they graduate from high school.

“The program presents itself as another career option for the students,” said Mackey. “If they don’t join the military, we hope at least that it will instill solid values as they enter adulthood.”

Mackey was a former ROTC instructor at Ben Franklin High School in Philadelphia.

“I’m honored to be able to lead the program in Barnegat,” he said. “Mike did a good job starting it up and hopefully we can get more kids to join.”  —E.E.



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