In 1996 the Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for the Torrance Unified School District, Dr. John Schmitt, and then Principal Tim Scully, requested help from Congresswoman Jane Harmen to start a Junior Reserve Office Training Corps Program (JROTC) at North High School. Congresswoman Jane Harmen eventually solicited the support of the former Defense Secretary, the honorable Togo West.
The JROTC Program was approved and became operational in the Fall of 1997. The first Senior Army Instructor (SAI) for the North High School JROTC Program was First Sergeant (1SG) John E. Tucker. 1SG Tucker had extensive experience in starting JROTC Programs all throughout U. S. Army Cadet Command. The Program was off to a great start and was well received by the school and community as well. 1SG Tucker passed away in March 2000 from complications with cancer. There is a memorial monetary scholarship that has been setup in his name and awarded annually. Master Sergeant (MSG) Ronald E. Graham was hired and became the Army Instructor (AI) at North in the Spring of 1998 and is currently in that position. Major (MAJ) John Sarnecky became the SAI in the summer of 1998 and resigned in the summer of 2004 moving to Southern Florida. MAJ David Gibson from Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) JROTC was hired in the summer of 2004, resigned in January 2005, and returned to LAUSD. MAJ Patrick Abney was hired in the summer of 2006, School Year (SY)06/07, and resigned June 2007 and moved back to El Paso, TX. Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Raul T. Duran was hired from Pomona Unified School District (PUSD) in the summer of 2007 and is currently in that position.
The North JROTC Program has been the recipient of the Honor Unit with Distinction designation since 2000. This coveted unit designation is only awarded to 10 percent of Army JROTC programs worldwide. North’s program has earned this coveted unit designation every year since 2000 totaling 12 consecutive designations. Currently there are 143 cadets (59 females, 84 males) enrolled in the JROTC Program. In addition to the regular JROTC curriculum, cadets are also eligible to participate in Special Teams activities which consists of a Armed and Unarmed Drill, Color Guard, Flag Folding and Raising Teams, and Air Rifle Marksmanship and Veteran’s Burial Air Rifle Teams. The North Program is known for hosting the West Coast Golden Bear National Drill Competition that supports over 75 program extending as far as South Korea, Japan, Guam, Saipan, and Hawaii. The JROTC Special Teams has won first place overall at our Area 4 meet which qualified the team for a trip to the Nationals in Fort Knox, Kentucky during the 2011/2012 school year. Additionally, the teams have consistently walked away with first place overall trophy during an annual meet in Arizona.
Cadets at North High School enjoy a wide range of activities including trips to Hollywood, campouts at San Onofre Recreation Beach aboard Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, leadership conferences, fundraisers, military balls, inter-battalion and intra-school skills competitions, awards and promotion ceremonies and our annual summer camp.