Gates County Community Partnership (GCCP) sponsored a recent trip to Nauticus and the USS Wisconsin for Gates County High School’s Navy National Defense Cadet Corps. During the Norfolk trip, the cadets were able to take a step back in history and experience living during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storm. They learned firsthand what life was like aboard a real American battleship.

“When we found out from Chief Howard his desire to take his cadets to the USS Wisconsin, we had to do what we could to help, as their ideals of leadership, character, honor, and service fit directly into what we believe as an organization,” stated Brian Rountree, Director of Gates County Community Partnership. “We are excited about what the NNDCC brings to our students and are looking forward to the program’s progression to JROTC.”

As the cadets toured the ship, they saw how sailors ate meals and slept while fighting our nation’s wars at sea. They also had the unplanned experience of meeting 200 Chief Petty Officers and others who had just completed the time-honored tradition of transitioning from First Class Petty Officer to Chief Petty Officer.

“The young men and women of this program are awesome! Providing these wonderful young people with this opportunity granted them newfound respect for those who have served our country,” said the director of Gates County’s program, Chief John Howard.

“Chiefs who were present and able to meet our cadets had wonderful things to say about their behavior, respect, motivation, and attitudes. I am sure this will continue as we move forward to bigger and better things. We cannot thank this community enough for this opportunity.”

Dr. Barry Williams, Gates County Schools Superintendent, participated in the tour with the cadets and stated, “Gates County Schools has achieved one of our long-standing goals by instituting the NNDCC program at Gates County High School. In a short period of time, our cadets and instructor have brought pride and leadership to the school and the community. I am excited to see the program progress as our cadets grow and advance through the program, learning from their leader, Chief Howard, and through firsthand experiences, such as the tour of the USS Wisconsin. I am truly appreciative to Gates County Community Partnership for all they do to support our students.”

Gates County Community Partnership is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to inspire and increase community engagement by the citizens of Gates County for the educational and social development of its youth.