District Approved to Establish a Navy Defense Cadet Corps

May 12, 2020

The Secretary of the Navy has approved Frisco ISD’s request to establish a Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) unit at Lebanon Trail High School.

The mission of NNDCC is to motivate young people to be better citizens and the program encompasses a myriad of teaching goals focused on leadership, teamwork, character education, personal responsibility, a sense of accomplishment and service to the nation.

“We’re looking forward to a great future with your high school, as we work together to develop, particularly in those students who take part in NNDCC, the values and skills they will need to become better citizens and effective leaders,” said T.N. Daseler, NJROTC program director.

The District is committed to establishing a new NNDCC class effective in the 2021-22 school year. 

Managing Director of Academic Programs Dr. Angela Romney has been investigating how to provide additional college, career and military readiness opportunities to students for several years. 

“We have listened to what the community wants and needs for its children,” Romney said. “It took awhile to get here, but we’re not going to just settle when it comes to providing opportunities for students. 

“This is a program that the District will support and guide to our highest standards in hopes that it meets the need expressed by the community.”

Secondary students, as well as elementary, middle and high school parents completed interest surveys in the spring of 2018, with survey respondents showing strong support for additional resources to support military readiness.

“In preparation for the first class, we are actively working with local NNDCC representatives to guide us on everything from hiring staff to classroom requirements,” Romney said.

Campus requirements include ordering specialized equipment and arranging a dedicated storage space on the campus. The equipment and uniforms purchased and stored will include items for the military drill program and associated regional and national competitions. The District is speaking with other Districts to learn more about their NNDCC programs.

The District will hold information sessions this fall to answer questions and generate interest in anticipation of the annual class schedule requests in January 2021. The program will be open to all high school students across the District to apply and participate in the program that will be centrally located at Lebanon Trail.

“This just the beginning,” Romney said. “As interest grows, so will the program. We believe this will not only prepare students for future service or careers in the military but also teach valuable leadership skills that can be transferred to any endeavor.” 

Currently, none of the branches of the military are approving applications for new Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs due to a lack of federal funding. Navy NDCC is a virtually identical alternative to the JROTC and provides a pathway to becoming a JROTC program after three consecutive years with 100 or more students. 

The Lebanon Trail High School program must open with at least 50 students, and the military will supply the curriculum required to successfully conduct the program. Students who are admitted to the program will be official Lebanon Trail students and would ideally commit to the campus and program through graduation. 

Students who graduate with NNDCC experience are at an advantage when they apply to military academies and ROTC programs at universities. They also benefit when applying for scholarships and enlisting in the military.

Schools hosting an NNDCC unit must comply with the same regulatory guidance as JROTC units. Unlike JROTC, instructors at Navy National Defense Cadet Corps programs may be retired or reserve. In addition, the NNDCC program is primarily funded by host schools, unlike JROTC.  

“We have heard our families and are excited to offer an additional way for students to develop valuable life skills,” said Wes Cunningham, chief academic officer.

Frisco ISD looks forward to providing additional opportunities for students to prepare for their future – whether they are bound for college, career or the military. 

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