High honors for Fontana High School’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC program – San Bernardino Sun

The Fontana High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program has been designated as the Region 4 Marine Corps Reserve Association Honor Unit.

The designation was for the 2021-22 school year, and this was the third time Fontana High School has received the Marine Corps Reserve Association Honor Unit designation, the Marine Corps’ highest unit award. It was the school’s first Marine Corps Reserve Association designation since 1999, according to a news release.

Fontana High School was also named a Naval Honor School for the fourth consecutive year, and for the 16th time. The awards are presented by the commanding general of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command.

“The MCRA unit award represents the consistency over time of all the cadets in the program,” Lt. Col. R.D. Meelarp of Fontana High School’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC program said in the news release. “Earning MCRA designation Honor Unit is like being named your school’s valedictorian. It is an accomplishment that could not have been possible without the unwavering support of the families, staff, administration, school district and community.”

Each year, the Marine Corps receives reports from approximately 270 Marine Corps Junior ROTC units from across the country. The reports detail what activities the cadets have been involved in over the previousschool year, including sports, clubs, community service, scholarships, enlistments, competitions,leadership camps and field trips.

Marine Corps Junior ROTC programs that are found to be in the top 20% nationwide earn a Naval Honor School designation. The best unit in each of the four regions earns Marine Corps Reserve Association designations.

Fontana High School’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC was founded in 1991. The program provides leadership experience while engaging students in activities such as marksmanship, color guard, drill team and community service and more. Students can join as early as their freshman year, taking courses that satisfy various graduation requirements.

Last year, Fontana High School approximately 125 cadets in the program. Last year’s cadets put in In 4,235 hours of community service, were awarded nearly $975,000 in scholarships and enlistments and received 71 academic awards, according to the news release.

The program’s status as a Naval Honor School allows the unit to nominate cadets for the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy.

“Fontana High School’s Marine Corps JROTC program has been a source of pride throughout our community for more than 30 years,” Ofelia Hinojosa, Fontana High School principal, said in the news release.

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