The Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps was very busy during March, supporting school and community activities as well as competing in the MCJROTC Regional Drill Championship at Purdue University in West Lafayette on March 5th.
MCHS hosted the Boys Regional Basketball tournament on March 14th. The cadets provided parking support for the semifinal games in the morning and the championship game game at night. They also provided the Color Guard for the morning and evening games. Of note, with a crowd of nearly 7000 for the championship game between Chesterton and Penn, the crowd spontaneously sang the National Anthem. That motivated the public address announcer Stan Hargraves to exclaim “That was awesome!”
“I think that our Color Guard, impeccable in their Dress Blue uniforms, and executing all of the drill movements precisely and crisply, had a lot to do with that reaction from the crowd,” said Senior Marine Instructor Major Tom McGrath.
In between the games, the cadets marched in the Michigan City St. Patrick’s parade. The wind chill factor was in the teens the entire day and night. Besides the weather and enthusiastic fans from the four schools who participated in the games, the Scholastic Aptitude Test was given in the morning and there was a play being held at night at MCHS, necessitating the cadets to react quickly and decisively to find and direct cars into parking spaces . “Our cadets showed their physical and mental endurance throughout the day and night supporting our school and community,” said Marine Instructor Master Sergeant Jeff Benak.
Other events that the cadets supported were the dance at Barker Middle School on March 11th, the set-up and tear-down of the LaPorte County Garden Club Show on March 18 and 19th, the International Lions Club convention in Laporte on March 19th, and the first home track meet on March 30th. The MCHS MCJROTC will continue to support the track season and other events to the end of the school year. They will also conduct a leadership camp in Wisconsin in June and send cadets to national MCJROTC drill and leadership camps in the summer. All of those camps are done at no cost to the cadet. They are completely funded by the Marine Corps.