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Pinellas Park High to Be Home to Coast Guard JROTC Program

US Coast Guard | Special Interest | TB Reporter

It will be only the third such Coast Guard program in the U.S.

PINELLAS PARK – The U.S. Coast Guard will soon be establishing a Coast Guard Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Pinellas Park High School, according to U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.

Pinellas Park High already houses a first responders program, a criminal justice magnet, and an Advancement Via Individual Determination major designed for students who show potential to succeed in higher-level courses. The program is designed so that students can enroll in rigorous courses and still have a support system at school to ensure their individual success.

The Coast Guard JROTC program came after Crist, D-St. Petersburg, introduced legislation in September 2019 calling for the creation of a USCG JROTC in Pinellas. That 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,” 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.”

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego said, “Pinellas County Schools is honored to be awarded a United States Coast Guard JROTC program at Pinellas Park High School. 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. Thank you to Congressman Crist, Admiral Schultz, Principal Patterson, CTAE Executive Director Mark Hunt, and everyone involved for their efforts to bring this prestigious program to Pinellas County.”

Pinellas County is home to more than 1,000 Coasties and the nation’s largest Coast Guard Air Station, Air Station Clearwater.

Presently, there are only two other Coast Guard JROTC programs in existence, located at the Maritime and Science Technology Academy in Miami and Camden County/CamTech High School in Elizabeth City, NC.

Crist represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, south and mid-Pinellas County.

Charlie Crist | Pinellas Park High | Coast Guard | JROTC | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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