Drill Partners

JD O'Bryant cadet w/ MMA staff

With a partnership in place that offers students from the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science admission and full financial aid, it was a natural fit that the Academy hosted the ROTC competition that members of the Boston high school took part in the fall.

In November, 10 high schools from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine attended the 2018-19 All-Navy Drill Competition held at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The event’s itinerary included an armed and unarmed competition, a new cadet and a color guard competition, a physical fitness competition, as well as an academic competition. Nearly 400 students attended the event, including 53 from the O’Bryant School.

“To have it at the Academy builds the relationship between us and them, and provides a better venue,” said Alexander Barros, a naval science instructor at JDO. “It builds awareness of what kind of opportunities exist at Mass Maritime. Kids will get a feel if that school fits into their plans.” 

Through a partnership that began several years ago, a dual enrollment program between JDO and Mass Maritime in the fall and spring was created. It gives students a chance to participate in a college course and gain admission and full financial aid to attend the Academy. Several cadets who have gone through the ROTC program at JDO have gone on to the Academy since the inception of the program. “The core values that are in place there and the return on investment at Mass Maritime is unbelievable,” said Barros, a Barnstable High School graduate.

Other JDO students have continued their path at the likes of the U.S. Naval Academy or Norwich University. For others, it’s not a direct path. They take the ROTC elective to build up leadership skills and use the intangibles from the ROTC program to pursue an education. “I always say to everyone that I have the best seat in the house,” Barros said. “I get to sit back and see the kids come back here after they’ve left and talk about their success.

This past week, MMA hosted ROTC leaders from various high schools from across the state who were here to expand the scope of their programs by utilizing the core strengths the Academy can offer. MMA's Regimental Executive Officer 1/C Dylan Talbot, who has already completed the USMC's Officer Candidate School, said of the day, "It was great to meet with these mentors of students who are beginning to take their first steps towards rewarding careers serving our country."