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Naval cadets program at Middle Township High School a family affair
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Naval cadets program at Middle Township High School a family affair

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Sometimes it is all about family. Middle Township High School’s Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) program welcomed a new class of cadets this September, and two of the newcomers have older siblings in the program.

The DeVico brothers and Grayson sisters have been fascinated with the military for most of their young lives.

Tommy DeVico and Katie Grayson saw how much their older siblings enjoyed the program for the interesting classes, activities and field trips, and overall sense of structure. Both students jumped at the chance to join this year — although they jokingly admitted they weren’t overjoyed about taking orders from their older siblings.

Devon and Tommy DeVico are both eyeing careers that would build on their military training. Devon plans to enlist in the Marines after graduation, while Tommy wants to attend the police academy with an ultimate dream of joining the FBI.

Charlotte and Katie Grayson come from a military family. Their father and grandfather served in the Army and their great-grandfather was in the Navy. The young women have not yet decided whether they will enlist after high school, but both are considering the Coast Guard and the Army.

The NNDCC program began at Middle Township High School in 2018. Charlotte and Devon were among the first students to join, working their way through the ranks and earning their current titles of Cadet Lieutenant Charlotte Grayson and Cadet Petty Officer Third Class Devon DeVico.

“Devon and Charlotte are motivated leaders who have really excelled in the program,” said Naval Science Instructor Susan Blood. “Their enthusiasm boosts morale, which in turn drives their fellow cadets to face any challenge presented to them. With role models like these, I can see why Tommy and Katie were eager to join, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the NNDCC.”

The older siblings have certain responsibilities associated with their rank and position, but they both ensure their fellow cadets are engaged.

“Aside from making sure everyone in the program is doing what they’re supposed to do, I also help fix any issues so that we avoid tears in team morale and trust,” said Charlotte. “Each day is fun and different, which keeps it more interesting for everyone.”

“Being a good role model to all the kids that join the program is important to me,” added Devon. “Now that I’m a senior, I feel as if I need to show them that even though we have to be dedicated and focused, we can still have fun and make jokes.”

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