July 15, 2020
The United States Coast Guard will soon establish a Coast Guard Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program at Pinellas Park High School.
Presently, there are only two other Coast Guard JROTC programs in existence. They are located at the Maritime and Science Technology Academy (MAST) in Miami, Fl. and Camden County/CamTech High School in Elizabeth City, N.C. Pinellas County is home to over 1,000 Coasties and the nation’s largest Coast Guard Air Station, Air Station Clearwater.
“Pinellas County Schools is honored to be awarded a United States Coast Guard JROTC program at Pinellas Park High School,” said Dr. Michael Grego, Pinellas County Schools’ superintendent. “As one of only three such programs in the nation, we are thrilled to be able to offer this leadership opportunity to the students of our district.”
U.S. Representative Charlie Crist introduced legislation in September calling for the creation of a USCG JROTC in Pinellas. That request led to a provision in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act authorizing the creation of Coast Guard JROTC available to schools across the country. Previously, U.S. Coast Guard JROTC programs could only be established through acts of Congress.
“Pinellas County is incredibly proud to be home to one of the largest hubs of United States Coast Guard commands, where over a thousand brave Coasties serve their country, protect our waterways, and keep Pinellas County residents safe,” Rep. Crist said. “I can think of no better location for the next Coast Guard JROTC program than our very own Pinellas Park High School. I thank the Coast Guard for their continued commitment to our community and look forward to seeing the nation’s third-ever Coast Guard JROTC stationed in Pinellas.”