The Fontana High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program has been designated as the Honor Unit of Region 4 Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA), one of only four schools in the United States to receive the designation for the 2021-22 school year.
This is the third time Fohi has received the MCRA, the Marine Corps’ highest unit honor, and the first MCRA designation since 1999.
Foci was also named a Naval Honor School (NHS) for the fourth consecutive year, reflecting the program’s continued excellence in training young students to become role models and community leaders. The school has been named NHS for the 16th time. The awards are presented by the commanding general of Marine Corps Training and Education.
“The MCRA unit award represents the consistency over time of all cadets in the program,” said MCJROTC Lt. Col. RD Meelarp. “Earning the MCRA Honor Unit designation is like being named valedictorian of your school. It is an accomplishment that would not have been possible without the unwavering support of families, staff, administration, the school district and the community.
Each year, the Marine Corps receives reports from approximately 270 MCJROTC units nationwide. Reports detail activities MCJROTC cadets have participated in during the previous school year, including sports, clubs, community service, scholarships, enlistments, competitions, leadership camps, and field trips. field.
MCJROTC programs that are in the top 20% nationally earn an NHS designation. The top unit in each of the four regions earns MCRA designations.
Motivation, determination and dedication are the three qualities of a most successful MCJROTC cadet, according to Fohi MCJROTC MSgt WK Harkley. These qualities were in abundance for the MCJROTC marksmanship team during the 2021-22 school year as they won multiple regional competitions held in Arizona and Utah and qualified for two separate national championships.
Founded in 1991, Fohi’s MCJROTC program aims to build student character, habits of self-discipline, and provide leadership experience while engaging students in activities such as marksmanship, color guarding, the drill crew, community service and more. Students can enroll in their freshman year, taking courses that meet various graduation requirements.
Last year, Fohi’s program included about 125 cadets, many of whom were active in school activities, clubs and student leadership.
Their volunteer efforts included supporting a nationally televised NASCAR event, in which the cadets put in approximately 1,168 hours and gained experience that later helped them plan and execute organized events , awards nights, dinner and other ceremonies, while utilizing the Marine Corps‘ Six-Step Planning Process.
Over the past year, cadets have collectively completed 4,235 hours of community service, received nearly $975,000 in scholarships and enlistments, and won 71 academic awards.
The program’s status as a Naval Honor School allows the MCJROTC unit to nominate cadets for the US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, and US Military Academy. Nomination of FOHI MCJROTC instructors carries the same weight as a letter of recommendation from a member of the US House of Representatives or Senate.
“Fontana High School’s Marine Corps JROTC program has been a source of pride in our entire community for more than 30 years,” said Fontana High School Principal Ofelia Hinojosa. “I cannot say enough about the leadership provided by MSgt Harkley and LtCol Meelarp, who work so well with our cadets and provide them with skills that will help them become our community leaders of the future.