The cadets of the Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) supported MCHS by providing the Color Guard for the basketball game against Penn and helping set up and then tear down for the MCHS wrestling tournament on December 23rd. The military drill team was also practicing for their competition at Portage on February 26th. This meet is a precursor to the MCJROTC Regional Championship meet on March 12th at Purdue University in West Lafayette. The winner of that meet will compete in the MCJROTC championship in Orlando, Florida in April. The cost of that trip, like all MCJROTC activities, are done at no cost to the student. All expenses are covered by the Marine Corps.
The cadets will be conducting presentations at each MCHS middle school on January 19th. The program was not able to do the presentations last year due to Covid. That, like many other Covid-related factors, had a detrimental effect on enrollment. The Marine Corps requires that a school have an enrollment of at least 100 cadets to maintain the program. “The Marine Corps recognizes the challenges that Covid has brought to the JROTC,” said Senior Marine Instructor Major Tom McGrath. “They also know how active a program we have at Michigan City and are very supportive.”
Master Sergeant Jeff Benak, the Marine Instructor, stressed the quality of the cadets as a program strength. “We have some really great kids who make up for our enrollment being less than 100. A great example of that is that we will be able to support MCHS hosting the boys Regional Basketball tournament and compete in the MCJROTC Regional Drill Championship at Purdue on the same day.”
In addition to their teaching and extracurricular coaching duties, both instructors are busy planning for MCHS’s week-long summer Leadership Camp at the St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, WI. They feel that the camp, a challenging and motivating event for the cadets, will assist in raising enrollment.