North Forsyth High School's Marine Corps Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC), directed by Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3) C.K. Villarouel and Master Gunnery Sergeant Randy Merritt, is a program focused on instilling a sense of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment in its cadets. Those who enter the program leave with leadership skills necessary for life beyond high school. Cadets in the MCJROTC program learn about Marine Corps History and rank structure, along with how to become an outstanding citizen. Not only does the NFHS MCJROTC provide life and Marine Corps knowledge, there are many promotions, clubs, scholarships, and volunteer opportunities to those in the MCJROTC.
MCJROTC Special Teams
No matter how tough you think you are, the Raider Team will challenge your toughness. The most athletic cadets, the members of the Raider Team, compete against other schools within the state and around the nation.
Raider Team is a physical fitness team that competes in training and military-based events such as Cross Country Rescue (CCRs), which includes running while carrying ammo cans, a stretcher, and rucksacks, as well as beast events that include tire flips, water jug shuttle, rope bridge and more.
There are usually three teams: a male, a female, and a coed team. 10 cadets compete in each team, with two alternates. The number of competitions we participate in vary during each season. Practice begins in July and the season ends in November (Nationals take place in the beginning of November).
The Raider Battalion Drill Team is a group of cadets that specializes in drill and ceremonies. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Master Gunnery Sergeant Merritt led the Drill Team to the National Drill Meet. In the 2017 Meet, they placed in 5th, and in 2018, the team placed 8th.
In 2022, after a difficult year recovering from COVID-19, the Raider Battalion Drill Team won first place at the Region Two Drill Meet. With only 14 cadets, the Raider Battalion Drill team came 9th at the 2022 National Drill Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The team varies from roughly 20-30 cadets that compete against schools nationwide. Our team competes in events such as: armed and unarmed regulation, armed and unarmed exhibition, and personnel inspection. In armed events, cadets use DDR - or Daisy Drill Rifles. Color Guard is also a component of the Drill Team.
The team assists cadets in MCJROTC in the regulation drill for our two major ceremonies, the Marine Birthday Ceremony and the Change of Command, and our Battalion Drill Competition.
The Raider Battalion Color Guard is not the twirly color guard of the band. While armed with rifles and flags, they do not throw them. Instead, they are the honorable cadets who present our Nation's Colors in a ceremonious fashion.
While the Color Guard is a component of the Drill Team, they are their own individual entity. The Color Guard presents the Nation's Colors at numerous events throughout the year including sporting events, graduation, baccalaureate, and other special events throughout Forsyth County. The Color Guard competes against other schools in the nation at drill meets that are graded by region recruiters and occasionally Drill Instructors from Parris Island.
There are four active four-man teams. They are composed of two riflemen and two flag bearers. The standard-bearer holds the Marine Corps flag and the color bearer holds the American Flag.
By doing the Color Guard, students receive a Varsity Letter. Cadets must attend 75% of the practices and 3 events in order to qualify. Practices are Monday after school from 1600 to 1700 (4 pm - 5 pm), and Tuesday or Wednesday during Raider Time. The Raider Battalion Color Guard is an honor and will be conducted as such. Cadets are expected to maintain a level of military professionalism, appearance, and bearing at all times. They set the highest standards for the battalion.
Students can join the Color Guard by enrolling in MCJROTC through their counselor. The Color Guard is commanded by Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Hencely.
The Rifle Team competes under rules set forth by the Georgia High School Athletic Association. All equipment required to compete is provided by the Marine Corps JROTC program. Cadets may provide their own gear if necessary, but is not required.
Many potential shooters lack experience in precision shooting competition (this is much different than hitting coke cans with a .22). Listening to instruction and practically applying proper shooting techniques are key factors in making the team.
Rifle Team tryouts will be announced when the school year begins. The first day of tryouts will include a safety lecture. All shooters MUST attend this event. Tryouts will begin and end on time. Tryouts are before school or during Raider Time and Wellness. When it occurs, it will be announced.
We will carry a varsity team of 12 shooters and a Junior Varsity team of 6. To receive an NFHS letter, a shooter must shoot in at least three varsity matches and attend a minimum of 75% of the team’s practices. We will practice in the mornings from 0615-0745, Monday through Thursday. We compete on Thursday afternoons.
Rifle Team participation requires the same dedication and commitment as any other varsity sport. Passing grades must be maintained, practices attended and cooperation must be extended to the coach and other shooters. As it is impossible to be in two places at once, shooters may have to make a decision between being on the rifle team and participating in other athletic teams or being involved with other extracurricular activities. The Team will begin to practice the first week of October and we will shoot until mid-April. This time commitment makes the Rifle season the longest season of all GHSA sports.
JLAB is the JROTC academic competition team. While the test is open to all service JROTCs, the MCJROTC cadets only compete against other MCJROTC units.
In teams of six - four main competitors and two alternates - the cadets on this team test on ACT/SAT and JROTC materials, along with current events. The testing sessions are 60 minutes long, and the cadets must answer as many of the 75 questions in that period. Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors can compete. Seniors are not permitted to compete, and are coaching the competing underclassmen. The team is cadet led, save for the instructor proctoring.
There are three tests in total. If the cadet teams are able to progress to Level III, they will travel to DC to compete against seven other MCJROTC teams from across the nation.
To qualify for the teams, cadets must maintain a 3.5 GPA, have achieved 1100 SAT and/or 22 ACT. They must be motivated to study and learn, and be able to study the necessary material on their own.
2020-21 is the first season in which we have teams competing. So far, both teams have passed level I and have advanced to level II.