Young members of the Reserve Officer Training Program at Francis Lewis High School in Queens had a chance Wednesday to show off what they've learned in front of people who know what to look for. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Led by their drum corps, the five companies of the Patriot Battalion marched around the Francis Lewis High School athletic field Wednesday, part of a ceremony that is the culmination of a lot of hard work during the school year.
"It is a chance for the commander to actually see the readiness of their troops," said Retired Sergeant and Senior Army Instructor Richard Gogarty.
With 820 student participants, Francis Lewis High School has the largest Junior ROTC program in the nation.
The ceremony was reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Joe Pishock, Professor of Military Science at nearby St. John's University.
"Think of where you were in high school and what you were like in high school and watch this group of young men and women walk by, and you realize there is really no comparison, they really are an elite group of youngsters," Pishock said.
Students at the school say their Junior ROTC training will help them tremendously in the future, whether they pursue a career in the military or not.
Ronny Antony, a Cadet Major and Executive Officer for the Patriot Battalion, said he plans on attending medical school.
"If you don't trust your cadets, if you don't trust your subordinates, then you fail as a leader because then you are not leading correctly, as long as you trust them and you organize yourself, you'll be successful at whatever you do," Antony noted.
Cadet Captain Aaron Lin is headed for one year of Military Prep School before entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
"When I'm put under pressure, I won't crack I won't break, I actually work even harder, it gives me a lot of motivation, dedication, and just a bunch of values I really respect," Lin said.
First Sergeant Gogarty calls the Pass in Review Ceremony the highlight of his year, and the only time he gets to see all of his cadets together in one place.