PATERSON, NJ  - The Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology (PCSST) JROTC Lion Battalion announced that it has once again earned the highest unit qualification possible for SY 2020-2021, first awarded during the last school year. The most sought-after unit award is the Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD – Gold Star) rating.  

"Our Lion Battalion Cadets work hard to maintain this unique Honor Unit with Distinction rating from year to year,” said Senior Army Instructor LTC (R) Mike Hodges. “It validates the value of the system to our school and community and further enhances our recommendations for our cadets' future endeavors."

The LION Battalion is currently commanded by Cadet LTC Jabria Smith, and her senior enlisted advisor is Cadet CSM Jeremy Chomba. Where effective leadership is critical, this achievement required the cadet battalion to score at least 95% on a rigorous 5-hour inspection conducted by the JROTC Chief from the U.S Army's 2nd ROTC Brigade at Fort Dix, NJ.  The inspection occurs only once every three years and is the most challenging part of the unit evaluation process. It includes an annual report of the 75 events in which the cadets participate each year and only the top three percent of the over 1700 programs in Army JROTC earns the HUD rating. PCSST is one of six New Jersey JROTC programs to make this distinction and the only Charter School.

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The areas of focus for the inspection included: the Battalion staff’s continuous improvement briefing, a service-learning briefing, an inspection of the Instructor's portfolios, an interview with the Principal and Superintendent, cadet portfolios and knowledge interviews, review of the unit report, platoon drills, Color Guard performance, and instructor portfolios and interviews. Inspectors spent more than four hours asking questions, reviewing files, checking cadets while comparing operations to regulations.  

"I am proud to have a JROTC program in our school,” said Riza Gurcanli, Lead Person, PCSST. “It provides great opportunities to our student population in terms of leadership, civil service and scholarships, and helps them overcome academic and athletic challenges. Receiving the HUD a second time speaks volumes about the success of our program."

In recognition of this achievement, the cadets will continue to wear the HUD star insignia on their uniforms proudly. For more information about JROTC go to the website http://www.usarmyjrotc.com/ or contact LTC (R) Mike Hodges at MICHAEL.HODGES@PCSST.ORG.

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