PHS Naval Junior ROTC undergoes inspection

PARKERSBURG- Months after the program was reinstated, cadets from Parkersburg High School’s Naval Junior ROTC program underwent their annual inspection Thursday morning.

About 111 cadets were inspected and reviewed by Commander Paul Kast, senior naval science inspector from Lincoln High School in Shinnston.

The review lasted about two and half hours and included an inspection of PHS’ ROTC’s four platoons and two drill teams, including a passing in review.

In June it was announced Parkersburg High’s Naval Junior ROTC program would be reinstated.

The program was scheduled to be dissolved in 2011 after funding was cut at the end of the 2010-11 school year with the Navy citing budget cuts and lower-than-required enrollment numbers for the program.

Enrollment then was at an all-time low after nearly 25 years of operation.

The program was one of two West Virginia high school Junior ROTC programs dissolved at that time.

For the last few years the program was maintained under the National Defense Cadet Corps and funded through community and government sources.

Earlier this summer officials were able to re-establish funding and rebuilt the program.

Thursday’s inspection saw 111 cadets (grades 9-12) divided into four 32- or 33-person platoons. The inspection was conducted on the Sam Mandich floor of the Parkersburg High Fieldhouse, starting around 8 a.m.

The inspection was the last for Commander John Snively, who is retiring, effective Oct. 15.

Snively said a new commander for the program has not yet been identified. There are three officers interested in assuming the command, he said.

Snively said the annual inspection is required by the Naval Junior ROTC program.