Wareham JROTC alumni continue their service at college, in the field
Wareham High School’s Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program welcomed four alumni home for the holidays this weekend: one on active duty in the navy and three attending college on full JROTC scholarships.
The JROTC is a federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the country, providing students with military training in addition to their everyday studies.
Participation in the program helps students to launch careers in the armed forces upon graduation, joining active service or the reserves.
Wareham’s program is among the best in the state, having been nationally recognized as an "Honor Unit with Distinction” by the United States Military in 2015.
“We couldn’t be any prouder of our cadets,” said JROTC advisor Matthew Stanton.
JROTC alumni Joel D’Olimpia joined the service straight out of Wareham High School and currently serves active duty with the United States Navy on the U.S.S. Champlain.
Stationed in San Diego, D’Olimpia has travelled around the world to Puru, Vietnam, Guam and Hawaii.
His younger brother, Evan, is following in his footsteps and is the current Executive Officer of Wareham’s JROTC Battalion.
Brothers Cory and Bradley Harunkiewicz are attending Norwich University and UMass Amherst on full JROTC scholarships respectively.
The application process for these scholarships is highly competitive with an estimated 12,000 applicants each year. Ultimately, only 2,000 are awarded.
Cory is a Regimental Inspector General for Norwich’s Core Cadets studying business management. Bradley is a first year cadet studying environmental science with a focus on geology.
“We grew up playing army together,” said Cory. “So it’s no surprise how we got here.”
Cory said he’ll go on to serve active duty in May at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. There, he said he’ll receive his medical services training.
Alumni Tyler Litchfield is also attending school on a full JROTC scholarship at the University of Virginia.
Litchfield’s major is undecided, but his top choices are environmental science and public policy.
Despite being a first year cadet, Litchfield has already spent time training at Fort Pickett. There, he’s taken survival and land navigation courses, running 21-miles in a fully-geared ranger challenge.
He also learned how to ride a horse this past Veteran’s day in Gordonsville, Virginia when he joined a World War One remembrance ceremony as a member of his school’s colorguard.
“There’s always something to learn,” Litchfield said. “And I’m very thankful for all the opportunities JROTC has given me.”To learn more about Wareham’s JROTC program, visit @JROTCWareham on Twitter.