Lester “Gunny” James was with three cadets in the Indian River High School gymnasium, where wooden boards and paper were the targets of air rifles. Their goal was to earn qualifying marksmanship scores in the Indian River High School Marine Corps National Defense Cadet Corps (under JROTC).
These students are cadets in their second year, from sophomores to seniors. They could potentially earn school medals based on their scores. Indian River is also involved in shooting and drill competition during the academic year.
Some may be concerned with the notion of students using a gun in the school environment, but the program ensures safety standards. Instructors are required to become certified every five years by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Often, students join due to the recommendation of a friend. Other students follow their family members into the military. Experience in JROTC can involve an immediate promotion and pay increase in some branches of the military.