PENSACOLA, Fla. — An Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station student and Mobile, Alabama native visited his hometown to speak with cadets at W.P. Davidson High School's Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC), Nov. 10.
Seaman Montez Leatherwood, who graduated from W.P. Davidson earlier this year, returned to talk with his classmates about the Navy. He is currently preparing to support the Navy's information warfare (IW) mission as an information systems technician "A" school student. When he joins the fleet, he will have responsibilities such as network administration, database management and computer hardware and software implementation.
Leatherwood participated in the NJROTC program at W.P. Davidson for four years. During his senior year, he earned the rank of cadet commander and became the commanding officer of his unit.
"Before I left, a lot of my classmates were also interested in joining the Navy, so going back gave me the opportunity to share my experiences and pass on the things I learned to them," said Leatherwood. "I hope that my advice and encouragement will give them the motivation they need to succeed in the Navy as well."
As he walked into the NJROTC classroom, the cadets saw their friend and former commanding officer in his active-duty Navy uniform for the first time. They asked questions about boot camp, Navy training and the benefits of military service. After the discussion, Leatherwood conducted a uniform inspection of the cadets with the unit's current commanding officer, Jalicia Hunter.
"Leatherwood always expected a lot from us," said Hunter. "We're all very excited that he came back here to see us. We have recruiters come speak to us sometimes, but it's nice to have one of our own come back and give us their firsthand experience of what it's like in the Navy."
Retired Navy Capt. Tom Daniel, the school's senior naval science instructor, echoed Hunter's remarks, stating that recent graduates have the biggest influence on their peers' decision to enlist in the armed services.
"Seaman Leatherwood's Navy success to date validates the training we provide in the NJROTC program," said Daniel.
The NJROTC program mission is to instill the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment. More than 600 units at high schools throughout the U.S. teach over 75,000 students.
"Each year, some of our students go on to enlist in the military, and all of them have returned to W.P. Davidson to positively influence their classmates to consider following their footsteps," said Daniel. "Seaman Leatherwood's return keeps that tradition going."
For more about the NJROTC program, visit http://www.njrotc.navy.mil/.
Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.