State House approves Rep. Dave Hayes’ resolution honoring Oak Harbor NJROTC program

The Washington House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday authored by 10th District Rep. Dave Hayes honoring the Oak Harbor High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program for its 43-year history of accomplishments.

NJROTC was established by public law in 1964 and uses instructors who are retired Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers or enlisted personnel to teach high school students the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.

Being a Navy community with Naval Air Station Whidbey Island near Oak Harbor, Hayes says local support of the Oak Harbor High School NJROTC has been strong for many years. The Oak Harbor “Wildcat Battalion” program, he notes, has remained in the top 15 percent of units nationwide, earning the title of “Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors” for the past 10 years.

“This is an amazing program to help build a strong foundation for the growth of our local cadets,” said Hayes, R-Camano Island. “Whether they choose a career in the military or in civilian life, the Oak Harbor NJROTC program instills confidence in these young people and a sense of duty, public service and willing sacrifice to help our communities, our state and our nation.”

Hayes added that NJROTC students from the Oak Harbor program completed more than 3,500 hours of community service. They also competed in the Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference against 30 Washington and Oregon high schools, taking the conference champion title in 2013 and 2014, and second place in 2015. In addition, the group became the 2015 champions of the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League.

House Resolution 4667 recognizes the Oak Harbor NJROTC program “for its accomplishments in classroom instruction, augmented throughout the year by community service activities, drill competitions, field meets, flights, visits to naval activities, marksmanship training, and other military training.”

The group participated in presenting the flags during the opening morning ceremony of the state House and watched from the House gallery as the resolution was approved with unanimous consent.

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Photo: Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island, and Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, sit on the steps inside the state Capitol rotunda, surrounded by students from the Oak Harbor Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC). The program and its students were honored Wednesday through a resolution approved by the House of Representatives.

Rep. Dave Hayes and Sen. Barbara Bailey with Oak Harbor High School NJROTC students
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