Casey Urges Navy to Continue NJROTC at Owen J. Roberts

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged the Navy to reconsider plans to end the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Program at Owen J. Roberts High School. In a letter to Juan M. Garcia III, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Senator Casey cited the positive impact the program has had on the school district and the community.

“The program’s positive impact on enrolled students is incalculable,” wrote Senator Casey. “The personal development that students enrolled in the program have achieved would not be easy to replicate if the program does not continue. The program has given cadets the chance to develop new skills and has significantly improved their lives.”

Enrollment in the program has grown steadily for the past several years and school officials, teachers, students and parents have committed to increasing enrollment, Senator Casey wrote.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Mr. Garcia:

I am writing today regarding the disestablishment of the Owen J. Roberts High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Program in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  While I understand that your decision was based on current enrollment statistics, I ask that you reconsider the program’s continued enrollment growth and the impact the program has had on the Owen J. Roberts School District and the community as a whole. 

This program’s positive impact on enrolled students is incalculable.  The personal development that students enrolled in the program have achieved would not be easy to replicate if the program does not continue.  The program has given cadets the chance to develop new skills and has significantly improved their lives.  The program has also become a staple in the community.  Cadets have taught groups within the community proper flag etiquette and fitness courses.  They have participated in Make-a-Difference Days, Breakfast with Santa, and other community service events.  The program’s color guard has also received invitations to lead several community parades.  These facts all point to the program’s integration into the community and its unique effect on enrolled cadets.    

While enrollment is not at the required 100 cadets, the unit has been growing steadily for the past several years.  In an effort to extend the NJROTC program for the next school year, school officials, teachers, students and parents have committed themselves to increasing enrollment.  I ask that you remain committed to this program that has touched the lives of the cadets and the community and reconsider the disestablishment of the Owen J. Roberts High School NJROTC program.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter and I look forward to hearing from you. 

                        Sincerely,

                        Robert P. Casey, Jr.
                        United States Senator

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