UNION, NJ – The Union High School Army JROTC Fighting Farmer Battalion has been formally recognized by the Department of the Army as an Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD).

According to Brenda Gainey, who serves as Chief of the JROTC Branch for the Army’s Second Brigade, this Gold Star award was bestowed to the Union High School JROTC Battalion for “maintaining an exceptionally high standard of performance.”  HUD status represents a significant achievement as it places Union High School JROTC in elite status.  HUD is granted to only 10% of 1,700 nationwide Army JROTC Programs.

Every Army JROTC program receives an annual inspection from the Department of the Army.  It is a combination of the scores earned during the inspection coupled with the various activities each Army JROTC program performs that determines their rating for each school year. 

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The Union High School JROTC Battalion has won the New Jersey Drill Championship for eighteen (18) years in a row and consistently places in the top ten at the annual Army National Drill Championship.  Union High School JROTC cadets are active members of the community; each cadet performs an average of 45 community service hours per school year.

According to Army Instructor Col. (Ret) Walter Alvarado, Army JROTC is an elective taught at Union High School that teaches and enforces discipline, responsibility teamwork and good citizenship.  The formal mission is to “motivate young people to become better citizens.”  On a larger scale, the daily mission of the Army Instructors, Alvarado and First Sergeant (Retired) Gerald Schemel, is to mold young men and women into confident, honest and passionate leaders.