Navy Commander Inspects Linden NJROTC

Credits: Gary Miller
Credits: Gary Miller
Credits: Gary Miller
Credits: Gary Miller

LINDEN, NJ - Commander Christian Gaskill and his team of active-duty service members from Navy Recruiting District – New York looked over each of the high school’s 450-plus cadets one-by- one, asking questions about their knowledge and their uniform as part of the unit’s annual inspection.

“This is a very impressive group,” Gaskill said in a speech during a ceremony that followed the inspection. “Your young men and women have decided to do something in high school that asks a little bit more of them. This program is about citizenship, learning about personal responsibility, a sense of accomplishment, and about community service. And you guys are nailing it on every single one of those tenets.”

Gaskill, a 1999 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, told the gym packed with school officials, local dignitaries and the cadets’ parents that he could tell as soon as he arrived that the Linden NJROTC was doing things the right way.  “I get the opportunity in this job to go to many of these things all across Long Island, New York City and northern New Jersey,” Gaskill said. “I can always tell before we start how good the program is when I see all these chairs filled up and I see all these bleachers filled up. Thank you guys so much for your support of your students, of your young men and women. You can tell the pride that you guys have in your school, the pride that you have in your program. “Thank you for what you’re doing to make this a top-notch program. This has been a huge privilege for me and my team. I know my guys are very, very impressed with what you guys have displayed today.  ”Commander Boyd Decker, senior naval science instructor at LHS, also thanked school administrators, the community and parents, and expressed the pride he has in his cadets everyday – singling out the inspection. “It’s seems like a simple thing, but to have an active-duty service member stand in front of you is intimidating, and it’s something these kids do great,” Decker said.

Sign Up for E-News

Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi echoed that pride. “We get to see how special these cadets are on a regular basis,” he said. “But it’s a special joy to have someone as renown as Commander Gaskill come in and see what we see. His praise is a great honor for our NJROTC program – and very well-deserved.”
LHS Principal Yelena Horre said the inspection and ceremony were just a small glimpse at the impressiveness of the cadets.

“It is what you do and who you are every day that you walk the halls of Linden High School, on the weekends when you volunteer to help different organizations, when you show up at elementary schools and support what’s going on there,” Horre said. “You are the essence of who we are at Linden High School and you make me so tremendously proud.”

Mayor Derek Armstead said, he is always impressed when he sees the cadets around town. “With you gentlemen and ladies representing our country in the future, we are in great hands” said Armstead.

The ceremony started with a moment of silence for the 17 killed and 14 wounded at a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14. Regimental Operations Officer Alexandra Alvarez, a senior cadet who was acting as master of ceremonies, specifically recognized three JROTC members who were among those killed: Alaina Petty, 14, Martin Duque, 14, and Peter Wang, 15, who was holding open a door for other students to escape when he was killed.

The ceremony also included performances by the NJROTC drill teams, as well as recognition of eight senior cadets who have committed to join the U.S. Armed Forces. Those cadets lined up in the center of the gym with their families for an emotional and inspiring ceremony, met by applause from the crowd and their fellow cadets. 

The cadets who have committed to serve in the Armed Forces are: Marine Corps: Luis Sanchez, Janali Casanas, Brandon Vetter, Bryan Galvis, Dylan Simoes and Ulysses Garcia. Navy: Allyson Valdivia and Jaden Gonzalez. “While we pay special recognition today to these cadets who will go on to serve in the military, I’d like to point out that every cadet you see in front of you represents the best of the future,” Decker told the crowd. “While only a handful will go on to serve in the armed forces, all of them are amazing individuals and I know will go on to serve this country in some capacity.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


What is a Good Tenant? The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless Hosts Another Tenant Workshop

March 14, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - March 21, 2018 -- The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless is hosting a Free Tenant Certification Training on March 21st at their Center located at 118 Division Street in Elizabeth.  The workshop benefits participants by empowering them with knowledge and tools to become good tenants. Between 9:30 am - 3:00 pm speakers will lead sessions on topics such as tenant’s ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Letter to the Editor: Cease and Desist

March 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I am writing to you to call attention to the not so quiet whisper campaign of defamation that has been started by the opposition's team against me.  The members of the general public need to know just how low politicians and their supporters will go attempting to dissuade voters from supporting me. The current propaganda that is being spread through social media and ...