The cadets of the Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) are not allowing the pandemic to deter them from being ready for upcoming competitions in Cyber Patriot. This is the national youth cyber education program created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. . Conforming to masking and social distancing restrictions, the cadets are determined to be prepared to perform at their highest level. At the core of the program is the National Youth Cyber Defense competition, putting high school students in charge of securing virtual networks.
“Since cyber security is an up and coming career field, offering great job satisfaction and high salaries, Cyber Patriot is a fantastic opportunity for cadets to obtain an orientation into this field,” said faculty advisor Mr. Ralph Gee. Gee is also the Robotics and Engineering instructor at MCHS.
All of the cadets on the Cyber Patriot team are also members of the Military Drill Team. “Our goal is to qualify for and then win the National MCJROTC championship,” said Senior Marine Instructor Major Tom McGrath. This school year’s championship is being held in Miami Beach, Florida. That trip, like all MCJROTC activities, are done at no cost to the student or MCHS. It would be funded by the Marine Corps.
Master Sergeant Jeff Benak, the Marine Instructor, commented on the dedication of the cadets. “Once we obtain a firm word on future drill meets, we will start to practice before school, since it is the only time that we have access to the gym. It takes much dedication to be here every morning for practice at 5:45 am.”
MCHS is scheduled to host a military drill meet on March 20, 2021. This could also be the Sectional qualifying meet for the National Championship meet. There are 21 schools in MCHS’s section, encompassing the states of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois as well as Indiana. “It
would be quite an event for us to host, but I know our cadets and Booster Club are up to doing it,” said McGrath.