For the second year in a row, Kofa High School’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (MCJROTC) program has earned the national distinction of being a Naval Honor School.
The designation sets Kofa’s program apart as one of the best in the nation. Maj Todd Birney, one of two MCJROTC instructors at Kofa, was quick to credit the students in the program with earning such a distinction: “We are so proud of our Cadets and the work they accomplished in order to receive the NHS two years in a row,” Birney said. “However, none of this would have been possible if it weren't for the support from the parents, school, and Yuma Union High School District. One Team, One Fight!”
Because of this prestigious status, Birney and Sgt Maj Colen Laarman have the opportunity to send nominations to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and the Military Academy at West Point. The award also provides students who have a desire to join a service academy the significant advantage of earning recommendation letters from their JROTC instructors who, under this award designation, carry just as much weight as a letter from a U.S. Representative or Senator.
Kofa’s MCJROTC program, which has been led by Birney and Laarman for nearly half the decade, is a consistent contender for national titles in competitions including marksmanship, physical training, and drill. In addition to preparing for competition and going through the MCJROTC curriculum, cadets also must participate in a number of community functions and serve hours of community service.