Sussex Tech establishes Coast Guard JROTC program


Local and national dignitaries visited Sussex Technical High School on November 3 to help establish the state’s first US Coast Guard JROTC.

In March 2022, Sussex Tech announced that it was creating the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps unit from the 2022-23 school year.

US Senator Tom Carper, a US Navy veteran, told students he attended college on an ROTC scholarship before serving three tours in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

During his time in the military, Carper said, he learned the skills and disciplined ways to take care of himself, his team and his condition, and urged students to aim high and work hard to achieve their goals.

Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath, Fifth Coast Guard District Commander, presented cadet commanders with the Coast Guard flag as the cadets formally took charge of their units.

Gilreath praised the cadets’ commitment to the program and their community, which he said is not without challenges, and likened the cadets to the keel, which is the strongest part of a vessel.

“You are that keel in this program,” Gilreath said. “You are that foundation.”

Nicholas McGowen, president of the Liberty Chapter of the Chief Petty Officer Association, presented the new JROTC with a check for $500.

McGowen, also chief of aids to navigation in Philadelphia, said the association is a non-profit organization that provides support to shipmates, their families and local communities with a particular focus on suicide prevention. .


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