The Dunkirk High School JROTC Marauder Battalion begins its 19th year with a new class of incoming first-year cadets and an experienced class of returning cadets.
Last year's highlights were many hours of community service, a trip to the Second Brigade Drill Team Championships, Honor Unit with Distinction on the formal inspection, and Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge. Eleven cadets graduated in June.
In preparation for the new school year, the organization conducted its annual Summer Leadership and Activities Workshop. The training included two days of training for cadet leaders, two days that included incoming cadet training, and a community service project. Thirty-six cadets participated over the five days of training. Cadets were able to begin the bonding process that is important for teamwork.
Above: Cadets show off their work at the New York Avenue playground, where they completed a service project. Below: Cadets served as color guard at a Buffalo Bills’ preseason game. Left to right: James Kalfas, Garrett Crowell, Brad Matyjakowski and Michael Adams.
The organization was also given the opportunity to represent the school and community at a recent Buffalo Bills pre-season football game. The color guard, consisting of James Kalfas, Garrett Crowell, Brad Matyjakowski, and Michael Adams performed the ceremony.
The new school year will be different for the organization without Lieutenant Colonel Charles Chasler, who retired in June after 18 years of faithful service. The process of finding a new Senior Army Instructor is still ongoing.
In the meantime, Sergeant First Class Frank Torain will continue to provide the instructions and guidance to the corps of cadets, beginning the year with 87 cadets. It will be the second highest enrollment in the 19 years the unit has been at Dunkirk High. There are great challenges ahead, but cadets have already proven that they are up to the task.