The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training’s executive officer recently served as a guest inspector of Northview High School’s Navy JROTC unit in Century, Florida.
Capt. Bryant Hepstall inspected 70 cadets in their service dress blue uniforms for their annual inspection, and then observed color guard and drill demonstrations put on by the cadets. The experience left a positive impression on him.
“ very impressive unit,” Hepstall said. “One of the best color guard and drill demonstrations that I have witnessed.”
Charlie Code, a retired Navy captain, who serves as the program’s senior naval science instructor, said having a senior military officer like Hepstall serve as guest inspector is a benefit to the program and the cadets.
“Having an active-duty senior officer inspect them adds a level of importance to the inspection that they only get once a year,” Code said. “It increases, I believe, their effort in preparing and working towards showing the inspector that they are outstanding cadets.”
Hepstall said that Code’s and retired Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Simpkins’ involvement with the students’ shines through. Simpkins teaches two naval science courses at the school.
“No doubt that Capt. Code and Chief Simpkins are totally involved in this unit,” Hepstall said. “[Their] leadership and mentorship is obvious.”
Code said the leadership of the senior cadets is a main factor, too.
“The senior cadets know what it takes to have a great unit,” Code said, “and that inspires the new and junior cadets to want to excel and continue to grow.”
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