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Central Valley prepares for Navy cadet program

After more than two years since exploring the possibility, Central Valley School District is closer to beginning its Navy National Defense Cadet Corps program (NNDCC).

“On Monday, we received notice from the U.S. Navy that we can begin looking for an instructor to start as early as January 2017,” said CVA Principal Rich Keeler.

He is thrilled that the efforts of school and U.S. Navy personnel have paid off.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for our students,” Keeler said.

“The program teaches and supports personal character and leadership. It instills patriotism and a sense of community. It reinforces the school’s message of excellence and wise choices.”

The NNDCC is a step towards the district’s goal of having a full Navy Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program. Central Valley will bear the cost of the NNDCC program, including the instructor, student uniforms and daily operational expenses. If the district and its students demonstrate a firm commitment to the program, Central Valley could host an NJROTC program, which is funded by the federal government.

To begin, Central Valley must first find an instructor.

“We have very specific requirements; the instructor must meet the Navy’s standards,” Keeler said.

A candidate for NNDCC Lead Instructor must be able to certify with the U.S. Navy as an NNDCC instructor and preferably be a retired officer or senior enlisted from one of the sea services (Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard) who is capable of being certified to teach NJROTC. School facilities are state-of-the art and both the administration and community are extremely supportive and motivated about having the Navy’s NNDCC program as part of the curriculum. The instructor must be willing to develop drill teams, color guards, and academic teams as part of the training program. Extracurricular commitments to include some evening and weekend events are required.

Being an hour east of Syracuse and an hour west of Albany, helps broaden the pool of candidates, Keeler said.

For more information about the program or the position, contact: Dr. Rich Hughes at 315-894-9934 or via email at