If you would like to submit a testimonial, please email Chief William Thiel.
Ask any parent of a cadet who went through the program and find out what impact it had on their child.“My daughter participated in the JROTC program for all 4 years of high school. It allowed her to experience teamwork (in Unarmed Drill Team) and shoot a gun (in Marksmanship team). Marching, coordination, and rifle control became her ‘sport’ as she didn’t really fit into the traditional female sports at school. JROTC meets were my daughter’s high school competitive sporting events. She put as much effort into marching, handling a gun, and PT as anyone in a Varsity sport.ROTC taught my daughter not only confidence and leadership, but also how to shine shoes, place ribbons and pins on her shirt to the nearest millimeter as per the code book, put a crease in her pants, and also tie and tame 2 feet of hair into a bun without fly-aways, and then place a 'cover' on it!The NJROTC at Oak Harbor High School was the reason my daughter went to school every day. Any program that can get a teenager to willingly get out of bed at 5.30 am to begin marching or shooting at 6.30 am, must be worth its weight in gold."- Sandi Mitchell, Parent of former cadet
"The OHHS NJROTC program and staff prepared my son for a career in the military to the fullest extent. This was evident during my son's outstanding performance during Recruit Training "Boot Camp" and culminated in his accelerated advancement to Third Class Petty Officer in the United States Navy."
- F.G. Cacho-Ascencio, AMCS USN, Parent of former and current cadet(s)"The Oak Harbor NJROTC Unit provides leadership opportunities not normally available in a school environment. Looking at what these NJROTC Cadets do on a daily basis, I wish this was available when I was in high school.
Whether or not NJROTC Cadets enter military service upon graduation, the discipline and responsibility they obtain through this program can be utilized in all walks of life."- Lance Flake, YNCS, and Parent of 2 current cadets
"Our three children who have been in NJROTC all say it’s their favorite high school class. My husband and I are grateful for the program and what it’s done for them."- Schuldt parents"The NJROTC program had a very significant impact on the lives of my three daughters. It served and serves as their true compass; a source of inspiration to pursue a career in the military. It gives them a real understanding of the value of camaraderie, commitment, and leadership.
The success of the program is also due to Commander Black and Chief Thiel who continue to instill discipline and dedication in each cadet year after year."- Babette A. Desquitado, Parent of 2 former and a current cadet"Oak Harbor NJROTC instilled in my son, Jared, a powerful sense of duty and discipline, directly enabling academic success and his acceptance at the University of California, San Diego under a full ROTC scholarship."- Peter Hunt, Oak Harbor School District Board Member
"As you know, Chase does not come from a military family, but he knew from the moment he heard about the NJROTC program, that he wanted to be part of it. NJROTC taught Chase leadership skills, respect for the individual and perseverance to stay true to your responsibilities and duty even when challenged. He needed to use all of these skills to balance his roles and be an effective leader as Battalion Commander and Choir President at the same time. Chase has plans to use the leadership skills he gained from NJROTC by participating in student government representing students at UW Tacoma."
- Brooke Powell, Parent of former cadet"My son Brendan benefited from your program on every possible level. Serving as Executive Officer provided him with the confidence and skills he uses in every aspect of his life. Though he was a four-letter athlete, JROTC offered many additional outlets for involvement. He took considerable pride in being on a champion-level drill team and participated in orienteering. This was no small involvement. For the drill team, he arrived on campus well before school began several times a week for three years, and then devoted numerous Saturdays to competition. For orienteering, maps, and compass while running through the woods, also translated to mud, snow, rain, and cold during many early morning weekends. He loved it.Additionally, my son was awarded various prestigious leadership and achievement medals from nationally recognized organizations: Navy League, Veterans of Washington, National Sojourners, and Military Order of World Wars. These are among his most prized possessions. Plus, the respect these commanded while applying for colleges, scholarships, and university level ROTC was almost without peer.
Your sense of team and belonging led him to push himself in other areas such as grades, both competing with and joining his fellow Cadets, in setting high goals for academic achievement. (He and others graduated in the top ten). OHHS JROTC also resulted in scholarship offers from the Army, USAF, and Navy (USMC) to the University of Washington. These are the direct equivalent to a Division One scholarship in athletics. Four of his closest friends also received similar ROTC scholarships to PAC-12 schools or the Academies. In other words, this small sampling of close JROTC friends exceeded the Division One scholarship offers of ALL OHHS athletic programs …. combined."- Steve Bristow, Parent of former cadet, Navy League President"Our four children have always been raised to be motivated and diligent. All have been (or are) in the Running Start program fulltime and engaged in the NRJOTC program. Two are now attending WSU fulltime (having graduated OHHS and SVC) and three are serving in the Army National Guard Reserve.They have also had many experiences that are culturally and socially comprehensive, but as parents, we can only do so much to prepare their children for the real world. Their future goals are/were influenced positively through Oak Harbor High School NRJOTC program. It expanded their knowledge, their experiences, and their opportunities.I can emphatically state that it has been beneficial and rewarding experiences for all of my children to have attended NRJOTC for the 4 years they were at Oak Harbor High School. They acquired teamwork skills, gained a comradery by being exposed to the other students in competition activities, and exhibited a more focused maturity.While students’ efforts are imperative for success it cannot be emphasized enough that the support and guidance of Commander Michael Black and Chief William Thiel needs to be acknowledged."- Mark C. Hartley, Parent of 2 former and 2 current cadets"Heidi and I would like to offer our thoughts on how the NJROTC program has affected Tristin and Ethan since joining the program. The NJROTC program has been a positive influence on our boys since the first day. The program has given them a second family and has shaped their path for the future in a way that we have always hoped for. They have learned respect, what it means to work hard, and how to work with others in a team. These qualities have not only helped with school but also at home."– Pete and Heidi Macaluso, Parents of 2 current cadets
"Our son Dylan has actively been involved since his freshman year. We have watched him transform into a confident young man that wears his uniform with pride. We love how he is excited about the program and seems to challenge himself by being a part of the armed drill team and dual armed exhibition teams. He takes his commitment seriously and has made some good friends along the way. We are also thankful for the long hours and countless weekends you spend with our young men and women in helping them be the best version of themselves."
- Mark and Peggy Angell, Parents of current cadet