By Connor Sharp
On Friday, October 13, 2017 King High School’s Naval Junior reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program celebrated the United States (U.S.) Navy’s 242nd birthday.
The U.S. Navy was founded October 13, 1775 by the Continental Congress to oppose the British Navy during the American Revolution. At first the U.S. Navy was just a handful of ships manned by colonial sailors and merchants with no experience in naval warfare and defense. Today, the U.S. Navy is comprised of more than 430 ships active or in reserve; along with over 324,460 active duty sailors and over 104,649 in reserve, all of them trained by the best of the best.
The U.S. Navy’s birthday celebration was hosted in the G-Quad after school by King’s NJROTC Program where it was open for everyone to attend. The cadets dressed in their uniforms and formed five platoons, while the Commanding Officer Nicholas McDonald, 12, and Executive Officer Caitlyn Van, 12, led the ceremony. First, NJROTC’s Color Guard Team presented the American and California flags while the cadets and guests stood for the playing of the National Anthem. This was followed by Naval Science Instructor (NSI) Julius Mesias recited a poem that exemplified whenever cadets wear their uniforms, they represented all the soldiers who lost their lives in combat. Due to this, they should wear their uniforms with pride and respect.
To conclude the ceremony, a giant cake decorated with the emblem of the U.S. Navy was presented to Senior Naval Science instructor (SNSI) Billy Singfield and NSI Chief Mesias. As the oldest officer, NSI Chief Mesias cut the first slice and presented it to the youngest member of the NJROTC program Cadet Phillip Do, 9. This traditional act symbolized the passing on of the Navy’s legacy to future generations, in which afterwards the guests and cadets were allowed to receive slices of cake.
The ceremony went flawlessly and it was an honor to share with the school on such an important day in American history.