Fontana High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program has been designated as the Region 4 Marine Corps Reserve Association Honor Unit.
The designation was for the 2021-2022 school year, and it was the third time Fontana High School had received the Marine Corps Reserve Association Honor Unit designation, the Marine Corps’ highest unit honor. It was the Marine Corps Reserve Association school’s first designation since 1999, according to a news release.
Fontana High School was also named a Naval Honor School for the fourth consecutive year and for the 16th time. The awards are presented by the commanding general of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command.
“The MCRA unit award represents the consistency over time of all cadets in the program,” Lt. Col. RD Meelarp of the Fontana High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC Program said in the press release. “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 Marine Corps Junior ROTC units nationwide. Reports detail activities cadets have participated in during the previous school year, including sports, clubs, community service, scholarships, enlistments, competitions, leadership camps, and field trips.
Junior Marine Corps ROTC programs that are in the top 20% nationally earn a Naval Honor School designation. The top unit from each of the four regions earns Marine Corps Reserve Association designations.
Fontana High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC was founded in 1991. The program provides leadership experience while engaging students in activities such as marksmanship, color guard, drill team and community service, etc. Students can enroll in their freshman year, taking courses that meet various graduation requirements.
Last year, Fontana High School about 125 cadets in the program. Last year’s cadets completed 4,235 hours of community service, received nearly $975,000 in scholarships and enlistments, and received 71 academic awards, according to the news release.
The program’s status as a Naval Honor School allows the unit to nominate cadets for the US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, and US Military Academy.
“Fontana High School’s Marine Corps JROTC program has been a source of pride in our entire community for more than 30 years,” Fontana High School Principal Ofelia Hinojosa said in the press release.